A common mistake in websites by Forensic mental health experts is either the lack of graphics, or the use of a disengaging graphic, embodied in this image!  It misses the opportunity to immediately energize interest, maintaining simple visual contact.  The graphic above is busy, colors clash with one another, its meaning is not immediately clear and it relies on the most common, and even trite, combination of Medical and Legal symbols (The Rod of Asclepius and Scales of Justice.) I will make some enemies with that statement because the relationship of these two symbols is used so widely among those in medical forensic work.
Danger of Stock Imagery.
All too common, experts and attorneys use the same Photo Stock visuals. The visual world online is saturated with a handful of stock photographs–even though thousands are available. The same goes for illustrations, icons and multimedia imagery.  Selecting art that’s ubiquitous is counterproductive when standing out is the goal.
In some cases, images are irrelevant, boring, or even repellent.
Benefit of Stock Imagery
When you obtain a stock image you pay for the license to use it, and do not infringe on an artist’s copyright.  You may be tempted to copy something off the internet with a screenshot, which you will then be using without the permission of the artist.  Employing a Stock Photography service, like Adobe Stock Photos or Shutterstock, avoids any conflict in that regard. Adobe charges $29.99/month with a one year subscription to use their more than 60 million images/photographs/video clips/animations/vectors (line icons).
Describing What you Do, for the Eye.
There are few images that immediately say “Medical” and/or “Law,” creating a small pool of visual options that easily fall into a cliche if you’re not careful.  This is easier to change than you might think.  For example, stock imagery can be adapted in Photoshop to take on a different color, cast, orientation or combination with other imagery, making it unique from the unretouched original.
After critiquing dozens of websites, here are a few red flagged for overuse.
Tread Thoughtfully. These are the most common images used by Forensic doctors that can easily become a cliche. If one truly speaks to you, I recommend making it unique with the type of adaptation described above which can be done in Photoshop by someone with a little experience:
  • Gavels
  • Stethoscopes
  • Caduceus
  • Scales of Justice
  • Blind Lady Justice (yes, that’s her name)
  • Psychedelic brains
  • Court-like buildings (think Greek columns, marble, majesty: either a courthouse or the Federal Reserve)
  • Skylines. Is where you do business the most important thing about you? If so, go for it.
  • HUGE monitor-dominating images that force you to scroll to find out even your name.
  • Collages of any of the above.
  • And my personal least favorite: Business-suited professionals shaking hands and looking like models, because they are.

ForensicExpertPro Practice Development for Expert WitnessesBeryl Vaughan, Consultant | Nationwide

Email us go@forensicexpertpro.com or Call (415) 302-9589

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