By using Flash Photosplash you can generate a random layout of photographs that is far more appealing to most people than something more ordered. People tend to like chaos amongst the order, and that is what a Flash script like Photosplash can achieve for you.
When it comes to showing people photographs, or even looking at them yourself, trawling through a photo album from one cover to the next can become a bit of a daunting task. Far more enjoyable is the delight of discovering an image amongst a box of photos that have been randomly mixed in together. A random layout of scattered photos included on a website might very well tie in to this natural enjoyment as far as looking for images in a chance way is concerned.
You may well have done it yourself – looking through an old drawer or cupboard an coming across a photo album and a box of unsorted pictures. You might enjoy flicking briefly through the album, but the box of randomly mixed images all thrown in together looks so much more appealing. There is the suspicion that you’re less likely to know what you’re going to find in the mixed box than in the album, and tipping this box out on to the floor results in a random layout of scattered photos that draws you in. Straight away you start scanning the images and looking for clues as to which might take your interest.
We have a natural desire to look for patterns within random layouts, and a photo album where everything is sorted and organised simply gives the impression that someone has done your thinking, scanning and organising for you. As a result, we slightly disconnect from it. A random scattering of images on the other hand draws us in because we like the feeling that we are in control of sorting through the pictures, never quite knowing what we’re going to find.
On a website, this idea is usually ignored, or rather, not implemented because it can prove so difficult and time consuming to achieve. But imagine if you could throw your gallery images into a random heap on the web site and let your visitors sort through them? A random layout of images, with scattered photos all over the screen lets your visitors feel that they could very well find anything. They sense the control they have over the sorting through of pictures, and the sense of excitement as they look for clues to images they might enjoy seeing.
Of course, it’s all very well just having scattered photos appearing on the web page, but visitors will still need to see them. There are tools, particularly using Flash, that help you to achieve this effect, and this allows you to take the idea of a random layout and inject a little organisation into it. This means that as the images are spread out across the page in a random formation, visitors see a slightly reduced version of each full size image, but by clicking on a picture, or a part of a picture that may be partially hidden, the picture will pop to the front, straighten up, and enlarge to the full size, full quality picture.
It’s even possible to program the images so that they can be clicked and dragged, allowing your visitors to shuffle through the pictures, looking underneath some, and finding ones to look at full size. There’s no doubt that this kind of random layout is appealing, and visitors enjoy the sense of control, and the slightly unknown. The order has been lost, and the pattern rejected, as the visitors are given the chance to sort through your random collection.
People enjoy looking at clouds, and seeing pictures or shapes amongst the random swirling mass of water vapour. It’s a natural curiosity and ability to make order from chaos, to see patterns in random shapes. A page of scattered photos offered in a seemingly random layout appeals in the same way, and people enjoy not only looking for the patterns and clues, sorting through the pictures never knowing quite what they’ll find, but anything which is interactive on a website immediately has the advantage of drawing the visitor in, and keeping them for longer.
The way that a scattered set of photos all piled on top of each other looks also gives the impression of greater depth to the site, challenging the flat, two dimensional view, and this also helps to life the web page off the flat screen and out into the world of the visitor. All of these tactics are subtle, but psychologically sound ways of engaging with visitors. By engaging with them, you’re more likely to earn loyalty, links and custom.
So next time you’re planning a static, dull and predictable gallery of images, consider instead the idea of a random layout to give the visitor the chance to control your site, and provide scattered photos to intrigue them and provide something unique. If you’re using Flash Photosplash then it is likely to be a flexible solution, allowing you to easily update the images from time to time without having to worry about doing lots of work each time.