Image captions in web design

Any great print publication designer will be very aware of the power of image captions. I was once told they were the second or third thing people read on the page, after the headline. Yet despite the ease of including them in web page design, they’ve become quite neglected. Most WordPress themes, for example, have a styled caption which can be included when uploading any image, and it looks great.

Here’s an example of a captioned image. Note how quickly the eye is drawn towards it. In this case, it’s little more than a label which might be of help to screen readers. But it could be so much more: it could actually convey a feature or benefit at a glance to a first-time visitor.

If you’re not making use of image captions on your website, have a look at the content management system and see if it allows them, but has just been neglected. Try adding some to existing images, and see how it looks. And if you haven’t got the facility, next time you’re getting some design changes to the site, see if it can be added.