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Designs Are Only As Good As They Are Usable

There is an old saying about beauty only being superficial and limited. What is inside is what matters, and this is also true for website design. There are a lot of people who can create a visually attractive website these days. You can find many tools out there, which make website design much easier than it used to be. Creating a website that simply looks good is not the most important part of design. If you want to make a website which users will really enjoy using there has to be more than just visual appeal. Sometimes attractive websites simply hinder from usability.

This article will discuss the different between good looking websites and truly beautiful website design. The goal is to enhance the users experience by making a site that is easy and fun to use, without detracting from the visual appeal.

Dribbble

Dribbble is becoming increasingly popular, but it has turned a lot of would-be designers into nothing more than copy cats. With Dribbble a designer can share part of a design that they are currently working on. Anything that looks great will start to spread out into the world and people are bound to want to copy it. However, because people can only see the visuals these snippets of design become little more than eye candy. This article does not seek to blame Dribbble for creating lower quality design, but simply share an opinion.

Reflections, drop shadows and gradients

There are lots of things, which might make a website, seem beautiful, but often this attractiveness is skin deep. The use of drop shadows, reflections and gradients does not necessarily make a website more attractive. A website might have wonderfully designed buttons or a brilliant colors scheme. However, are these things, which can make a website classed as beautiful? There are CSS galleries, which share attractive website designs, but just because a site looks great it does not mean that it is a good site. In order to be truly beautiful a website needs to be highly functional and make the user enjoy their experience with it.

Style-less websites

How can someone really measure the beauty of a website? If a site is attractive but difficult to use, is it really that appealing? There are many examples of expensive websites, which look great, but are horrible to use. Sometimes when it comes to the website visuals, less is simply more.

What is usability?

Okay, so we are not trying to bring back the old days of text based, yet highly functional websites, which look terrible. However, if a website is to be successful it needs to include some simple things. It needs to be very responsive and intuitive. The theme also has to be consistent with the branding; because people need to be reminded what your website is all about by each individual element. If an element of design does not make a website more user friendly, it should probably be excluded from the page. After all, your goal is to make it easy for users to find out more about your product without being bothered by complicated design, right?

One Response to “Designs Are Only As Good As They Are Usable”
  1. Chris Ferne

    This should be required reading for every advertiser! The principles Anum outlines are equally applicable to press, print, TV, cinema and outdoor advertising. For years, lazy designers or those with no marketing skill have been designing materials that appeal to their client, rather than that client’s customers.
    The purpose of web design, like any other form of advertising design, is to sell goods and services – not to sell web design.

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