Forms: Part 2: Images
Most forms do not need any images. The text and the form fields are generally sufficient to explain the function of the form and the intended audience – and images usually just get in the way.
If an image is needed – say, a logo or s screenshot – have your image “ready to go” before you add it in.
Example: You need to add a logo to the top of the form per the policy of your office. You find a sharp and impressively detailed version of the logo – at 2 mb in size – and add it to the form. It’s far too big to fit on the page, so you resize the image by grabbing a corner and shrinking it down. It looks great and you save the form.
The image “looks” small and will print out small – but it still ‘weighs’ 2 mb. And your simple form is now well over 2 mb. If your user has to download this and share it, now multiple versions of the form are quickly filling up their email. Send this to a list serv and you may have thousands of mega-bytes of traffic on the network – slowing things down for everyone.
A better way:
1. Use an image editing program to adjust both the resolutions (dpi – dots/pixels per inch- this is the clarity of the image) and the visible size of the image (width/height).
2. The standard on the web for images is 72 dpi – and that works pretty well here too.
3. The visible size of the image will depend on the document – smaller is better – provided the text of the logo is still read-able (otherwise, why have the image there at all?)
4. You can use Photoshop or any number of free programs online to get the image ready.
5. Once the image is prepared, save it, then add it to your form.
If possible, skip the image. If you have to use an image – get it ready by dropping the resolution and resizing the image before you add it.