Last week I attended a seminar on ‘The Neuroscience of Online Engagement’ and was amazed by Elias Arjan’s presentation about the neuroscience of headshots. Who would have guessed that neuroscientists studied headshots? I wanted to share with you some of what I learned regarding online engagement and neuroscience.
Arjan spoke about new pathological definitions involving the addiction to social media: mainly Facebook. He spoke of the connection between web design and attention: how the human mind responds to website layouts by maintaining or losing attention ( I won’t spoil Elias’s presentation by giving away his secret). At the end of the session, I asked Elias questions regarding my observed experience with corporations increasing performance due to headshots. Elias confirmed that studies have proven that people will look at an image of a face before any other subject or object. Following human faces, humans are next most likely to look at pictures of animals (hence the internet’s fascination with cute cats and dogs!), followed by photos of food. We don’t want to read content right away; it’s not an automatic response says Arjan.
So if a human portrait is the first visual focal point, it follows that all online websites should have a headshots towards the left side of a page to help people visually follow a sequence. As a headshot professional, I have witnessed the engagement related to headshots and the difference it makes when people use our advice to aim for a great headshot.
Do we relate to faces because we are selfish and will respond to things that matter to us, mainly us and about us? Or does it have to do with bonding and social development? I wonder if we also automatically and intuitively make judgments toward the headshot?
It seems that by passion, trial and error, and curiosity, I have been building an online neuroscientific approach for producing a headshot that is ‘the optimum branding identity.’ In next week’s blog entrance, I will write more about the optimum branding identity and headshot.
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