The architectural design requires a research of ideas and a documentation to help the designer in its creation work. It is a domain where the use of pictures (drawing, photography,) is essential, because the information transmitted by photographic images are often more easily to understand than the one transmitted by texts. The goal of this work is to show the help that can bring the research of pictures indexed by visuals criteria, as colour, texture and shape, in the architectural design domain. If weaccept the principle that “an image is better than 10000 words“, we can make the hypothesis that an image research indexed by visual criteria can bring a supplementary help to the designer when he tries to resolve design problems. We tested a research tool resting on image indexation with graphic attributes. Two types of corpora have been used. The first one contains images illustrating building products and the second one shows buildings or parts of buildings, which illustrate the wood architecture domain. The objective of this experiment is to evaluate the relevance of this type of image indexing according to identified users needs. We try to determine which type of visual criteria is the most appropriate to help the designer in the various phases of the design process.