Scientific approach to the selection of illustrations for a post on Habré

The choice of illustrations for the article is the concern of the author. Well, or the one who publishes it. I chose the wrong picture - received less attention and views. An icteric headline can increase their number, but readers cannot be fooled. They will read the article and grind the author’s karma into nanopowder. More than once I saw a headline mismatch with the content and what it led to. I looked through all the publications with illustrations in one day and this is what I found.

Posts without pictures attract less attention. Posts with a funny picture provoke a peek under the cat. Posts with a bored picture from the photo stock inspire boredom and reduce views. If we had the opportunity to publish the same posts with different pictures without consequences for karma, we would sometimes see an inexplicable correlation of the proximity of the image to the main topic of the post and the number of views. Of course, there are other factors like the title or the text before the kat, but the effect of the picture is no less great.

In order to somehow understand the proximity of the picture to the topic of the article, we will try to determine 4 degrees of proximity, as advised in one of the newsletters on editing.
The main thing
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The first degree of intimacy is the literal meaning of the article. If you write about the hackathon among the employees of your company, it should be a photo from the event. As expected: with pizza, a beer and the red eyes of the participants. Such a picture is more likely to be remembered and your article can become viral only thanks to a successful photo. You can imagine a sleepless night and the smell of a cooled pizza with an exhausted beer.

Second degree of intimacy - This is something indirectly related to the topic of the article, depicting a detail from the text. For a hackathon, it can be any photo with a lot of people at tables with laptops. Also a bunch of people, but the competition is already incomprehensible or not. Beer and pizza are optional. If it is impossible to take a real photograph, for such an illustration the main goal is to convey the essence of the action.


The third degree of intimacy is a metaphorical designation of the topic. In the case of a hackathon, you can show some programmer in front of a computer with arbitrary code. It is not always possible to illustrate the topic with a photograph. If the article is about programming approaches, career life hacks, or abstract success, the author runs the risk of posting a vulgar and boring stock photo. It’s better to make an effort and find something fresh or completely funny.


The fourth degree of intimacy is a distant reminder of the hackathon. Even green numbers from the matrix or a conditional image of the code will do. Use fourth-degree illustrations of fufufu. Try not to go to this level - you will swallow karmic dust on the back of the Habr.


There are articles in which the illustration has virtually no connection with the title or content. Such pictures can be considered with a degree of proximity of 4 plus. And in the analysis of publications such will also be.

Now we turn to the most interesting thing - the classification of title illustrations for articles. I will not evaluate articles without a picture before the kat, it is obvious that the author decided not to use the illustration to attract attention and there is nothing to look at. The purpose of this text is to show which illustrations are best suited to publications. All authors of the disassembled posts are great fellows, I do not want to offend anyone (if it suddenly seemed to someone). My choice fell on March 7 and the first 15 publications of this day. Let's get started.

1. Cabbage soup, or Recognition of 330 million faces at a speed of 400 photos / sec


Face recognition technology cannot be shown, therefore illustration of the 1st degree of proximity is impossible. Something indirectly related to technology cannot be shown either, because the technology is intangible. This is a solid original illustration of the 3rd degree of proximity, which is not on the photo stocks. "Classmates" attracted attention and revealed the capabilities of technology.

2. Security Week 7: Encryptor Dating and Spam Updates


Kaspersky Lab also prepared an illustration specifically for publication. In the picture is the Annabelle doll (named malware), who wants to get to know her victim. Strong illustration 3 degrees of intimacy.

3. What is a SaaS business


This article is a translation, but there was no such picture in the original. Judging by the English names of the elements of the SaaS model, the author from Alconost assembled an image from stock components. Иллюстрация 3 степени близости.

4. Forward-looking DNS: doing it right


An article based on the speech of Lev Nikolaev. In the photo, his speech and he himself. Illustration of the 1st degree of proximity is the best choice.

5. The eternally open Sesame, or several loopholes in your IT landscape


Jet Infosystems used stock photography from Shutterstock for its publication. The article deals with loopholes in security systems and these gates in the image seem to illustrate the loophole. A very distant association, this is the 4th degree of proximity.

6. Mosaic in the bathroom and Diophantine equations


The author prepared the illustration on his own and shows exactly what he is talking about (about mathematical techniques with squares). Illustration of 1 degree of intimacy.

7. How I earned $ 200,000 in 16 years


Everyday Tools has prepared a translation of the article. The original uses exactly the same image. A rather weak illustration of 4 degrees of intimacy. In place of the MacBook it was worth putting a photo of the author.

8. Data Science Interview: What They Expect From You


Epam provided the publication with a gif. The article talks about how they recruit people with a specialization in Data Science. The meaning of the gif, apparently, is in the special magic of working with data. There is no magic here, so the choice is rather strange. Степень близости 4 с плюсом.

9. We untie the game code using the Command pattern, and debazhim flying in a time machine


The article is devoted to game development and the ability to play bugs. The illustration is something like a time machine from the movie "Back to the Future" with signatures to get closer to the topic. If you evaluate only the illustration - this is the 4th degree of proximity.

10. CSS Weird Things You Should Know About


RUVDS used stock photography. The article is about CSS illogicality. The photo, though funny, is overwritten. 4 degree of proximity.

11. GitLab 10.5 released: integration with Let's Encrypt, Gemnasium dependency checks and external CI / CD files


This article is a translation and the original uses exactly the same picture. Apparently, the authors wanted to show everyone that this is a winter release and it was necessary to choose at least some kind of picture. Степень близости 4 с плюсом.

12. The full pipeline of the level designer War Robots: how do we make cards we want to play on


Pixonic writes in an article about developing maps within games. In the illustration, the result of their work and, therefore, illustration of the 1st degree of proximity.

13. Network device discovery


The title of the article also reveals the content. In the illustration, a network diagram (I won’t talk about a cat), which is not directly related to the discovery of network devices. Иллюстрация 3 степени близости.

14. Creating animations of transitions between Activity in Android


FunCorp talks about creating transition animations with a seamless effect. Image 4 degrees of proximity.

15. Work with the KOMPAS-3D API → Lesson 7 → Introduction to Settings


The company "Askon" talks about the possibilities of setting up a software product. The picture shows the settings interface directly, so this is an illustration of the 1st degree of proximity.

Use photos where possible. If not, look for a suitable metaphor that the reader will remember.

It will be cool if you tell us in the comments how to choose a picture for the post. Perhaps someone has a special technology or basically draw yourself.