Aesthetics or Function – what is more important?

You’ve heard the question ‘Is looks or personality more important?’. The truth is, most of us like to think we’re not as shallow as we actually are and that personality trumps looks every time, but that’s often not the case. 

For us to give someone a chance in the first place, there has to be an initial attraction, hence the inclusion of a picture on dating sites. Personality is essentially a secondary filter. Personality is what makes us want to see them again. Personality keeps us engaged…or, what makes us disengage! At this point, it doesn’t matter how much of a fittie they are, if you don’t ‘click’ then it’s probably not going to go any further which is why a lot of first dates never make it to a second.

 

Yeah, but why is this relevant to my business I hear you ask? Well, because there are a lot of similarities between your website and dating. 

 

It’s irrelevant how well your website functions and how seamless the experience is for your users if it doesn’t look great because if it doesn’t look great, your target audience won’t want to engage in the first instance.

 

Likewise, it’s pointless having a great looking website that doesn’t work when potential customers land on it. Clicking on buttons that don’t take you anywhere, filling in a contact form and realising when you get to the end that it won’t send, waiting for what seems like an eternity for a page to load and the list of poor experiences goes on.

 

When designing something, making it look good should be a given. It should be expected. It should never be a question. Something that is beautifully designed will invite initial engagement and great functionality, UX, UI, personality or whatever you want to call it will keep users engaged!

 

But, if the functionality is poor, it doesn’t matter how good something looks, engagement will drop off a cliff edge and no amount of aesthetics will be able to claw it back!

 

There has been a lot of noise recently around the NHS Track & Trace system and none of the outrage seems to stem from the aesthetics of the app but rather its functionality and the government’s slightly adapted Ronseal slogan ‘doesn’t do what it says on the tin’.

 

So, is aesthetics or functionality more important? To be perfectly honest they’re both as important as the other. A website that is aesthetically pleasing will invite engagement and good functionality will keep your users engaged. You don’t need to sacrifice one for the other. That’s why our ethos is to design and build purpose-driven solutions, not just pretty pictures!