Static Visuals vs Moving Visuals – When and Where to Use Them

The concept of communication tends to imply verbal communication (speaking and listening). Though this is the most obvious form of communication, visuals play a large role in communication. Being able to use visual communication is as important, if not more so, than verbal communication.

Why are visuals important in communication?

Visual communication is more impactful than verbal communication due to its efficiency. You process information faster when displayed as a picture, hence the quote, ‘A picture paints a thousand words’. Also, the brain is better at storing images than what is read or heard. Visuals are also clearer, as they show rather than describe. This allows information to be transferred more coherently than any group of words.

However, maintaining a balance between visual and verbal communication is crucial to delivering an effective message. Visuals allow the quick and clear transfer of information to people, while the language you use allows you to be more persuasive. Like choosing an appropriate language, it is important to consider the audience of your visuals. Having a good grasp on both forms of communication means you can be both persuasive and concise.

Modernising visuals

Visuals have adapted over time to suit the needs of their viewers. With the rise of technology making media and entertainment more accessible, people tend to have shorter attention spans. People are also exposed to more advertisements than before, so the brain filters them. Marketers have to focus on making their content concise, eye-catching or aesthetically pleasing to be able to grab people’s attention.

Visuals have adapted over time to suit the needs of their viewers. With the rise of technology making media and entertainment more accessible, people tend to have shorter attention spans. People are also exposed to more advertisements than before, so the brain filters them. Marketers have to focus on making their content concise, eye-catching or aesthetically pleasing to be able to grab people’s attention.

Static and moving visuals

Moving visuals, such as animations and videos, are important to catch your eye. Contrastingly, static visuals, like photographs, are more effective at remaining in the viewer’s mind, since they are not always changing. Visuals should have limited text, unless presenting statistics, as too many words weaken the impact of your message.

Static visuals should be used when presenting statistics. When data is presented in a video, information is too fleeting for the brain to process. Like advertisements, static visuals act as information boards that show evidence or deliver an ideology. Unlike static visuals, moving visuals are attention grabbing. Short clips and animations have the capacity to be more provocative than static visuals.

Videos

Videos combine the power of image and sound, making them the hardest, but most effective, way to communicate. Videos require more resources than visuals, such as props and actors, and act as extended moving visuals with sound. This means videos are more expensive and time-consuming to create.

Like visuals, videos are able to show, yet while visuals should use as little text as possible, videos have the advantage of communicating through speech. This allows for the persuasiveness and conciseness that comes with both visual and verbal communication. The best videos are short and come with a clear, succinct message.

Conclusion

All forms of communication should be purposeful – whether verbal or visual – and should deliver a message to the audience. Visual communication is useful to communicate something faster and clearer than verbal communication. Static visuals are good at presenting information while moving visuals are more eye-catching. With sufficient resources, moving visuals can be developed into videos, which incorporate verbal communication.