In his “5 Design decisions, What’s Yours” article Jared Spool talks about two websites that sell hiking boots and shares a great photoux related story.

In the early days of e-commerce, we studied how seasoned hiking customers bought hiking boots online. Two sites in our study, L.L. Bean and REI, both sold virtually identical boots at the same price with practically the same marketing copy. Yet the customers we studied were far more likely to buy the boots on the REI site than on the L.L. Bean site.

Why? Because the product pictures on the REI site showed the bottoms of the boots, whereas the L.L. Bean imagery only showed the boots standing upright. For people experienced with buying hiking boots, the tread on the bottom is important. Choosing a tread, for some hikers, can be a matter of life or death.

It’s a great example of using user requirements to inform your photo strategy.

Thanks @sophiedennis for sharing the article.

A blog celebrating photos, the unsung heroes of great user experience design, by James Chudley (@chudders)

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