Take note. What better way to start an article on water parks than to use a visual to give every reader a taste of the very environment central to this story? And it’s not just the first image.
The story serves up photos and animations throughout that frame the characters, the evolution of water park design and the art of the water slide, pulling you deeper into the narrative by engaging and informing. It’s hard to click out to another page.
Buzzfeed took it a step further, publishing a piece on the featured water slide almost exclusively through images.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I found a post attempting to educate readers on the process of using visual content to tell great stories. Guess what this story was missing. No, the Scrabble-style image doesn’t count; it doesn’t support the story and won’t engage the audience. It’s just a word illustrated in blocks.