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Usability Vs. Aesthetics: The Right Mix

Website usability is as important as its aesthetics. These two concepts should complement each other, but sometimes web designers just focus on the looks and the appeal of the website without considering its usability. In this article, we will discuss on the right mix for the two to co-exist and result to great impressions for the website visitors.

Web Design Usability

Mouseover in Web Design

Web design usability is all about the experience of the visitor viewing and navigating through the site. This is important as this will become one of the major factors where users can be impressed. If they get frustrated with clicking so many buttons and links before getting to the page they are looking for, usability points are downgraded as well as for the overall site experience. Chances are, they won’t visit back again and they may even advice friends to not go to your website because of this issue.

In contrast, when users feel comfortable navigating between pages and links, your website would earn some level of trust. This could have a positive impact on sales. Focused on learning implications, the key here is to target their emotions and make sure to have their on-the-spot judgment and perception on the site positive.

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Web Design Aesthetics

In the same way, the website’s design aesthetics is as important as its usability. Web design aesthetic deals with the visual aspect of any design. Aesthetics is the first thing people would notice when they landed on the page. This would influence their choice of whether or not to continue scrolling through the website. If the background color is too off for the foreground, if the text sizes are too small and hard to read, if the graphics are low in quality and other considerations, they would most probably leave.

The aesthetics come in when we make our elements and the entire design more than something utilitarian and functional. It’s the extra details put in to make them visually appealing- 

Aesthetics is about “putting the icing on cake.” You audience would not want to look at something that makes them cringe. To comprehend design aesthetic fully you must also learn about color theory and how the choice of typography effect your design.

Beautiful Web Design
A creative web design that has a good balance of color and typography by Forefathers

Thus webmasters and designers must not only consider the insertion of high-resolution videos, photos and other media in the website but also the typography, layout in each pages, font face, font size, and color scheme and so on.

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The Right Mix

In relation to the sense of beauty and accessibility, the website’s look and appeal directly influences the judgment of visitors. They will buy into the idea of the website by judging not only the content but also how elements are arranged in order and beautifully. Usability is closely related to the aesthetics in the sense that the two are almost indistinguishable.

Apple website has good usability
Apple website features good usability : breadcrumbs, well design navigation, search form and so on.

While the importance of aesthetics comes into play before going through the website, usability is what takes the center on the attention of users during and after “digesting” everything they have to know in the website. When either one is negatively projected, the effect for the sales conversion or the total and the total mark for that website’s brand is destroyed. Both of them affect the decision-making process of a potential customer into making a purchase.

Everything must be in balance. The right mix is to have great aesthetics and great usability. When these two are put together and integrated in your site, users will keep on coming back—provided that there is also relevant information available that is targeted to their interests.

You will know when you have reached the right mix, as the consumer’s level of interest will peak. You will have more traffic and engagement from different users, as they are motivated to react with the website. Although the interaction varies depending on the technicality and complexity of the website, a rational expectation would be that they would pay more notice on the core of your website and not swayed by distractions. Remember that customers become loyal to the brand of website when they feel the connection and understand that there is some sort of emotional impact given.

Getting feedback for your web design

Make it a conscious effort to allow testing by conducting surveys on how your website looks and feels among your friends and colleagues. Seek to redesign if possible and as much as you can, until everything is right for public’s view. Process and reflect on the changes and see how else you can improve usability and aesthetics.

Websites where you can get honest and free feedback

If you are not an expert designer or a professional digital marketer who is proficient with the art of creating a good design and web usability, you may want to view competitors’ websites and assess each one of them. Get a paper and write their scores from 1 to 10. Remember the ones which had high marks and those with low marks. Learn the lesson and jot down what went right and what went wrong. Have this session every day until you grasp the real composition and perfect mix of visual appeal and usability of the pages.

Internet users in general are visual. They tend to focus a lot on the design and the total engagement they can have in a website. A beautiful design and great usability would linger into the minds of prospect clients and so is a horrible one. As the website owner, of course, you would want the former!


Author:

Celina Conner is an advanced Yoga practitioner, she finished her Diploma in Graphic Design in Martin College Australia as a Cum Laude. She's also a caring mother to her one and only daughter, Krizia. Celina loves experimenting in the kitchen and preparing unique vegetarian recipes.


  • http://twitter.com/ChrsPellerin Christian Pellerin

    Thank you very much Celina for this great post including great tips with important elements to take into consideration and for sharing the links to this complementary articles and resources.