Web Design: Not All About Pretty

There are many assumptions out there about what web designers are and do, many involving the wire-framed-glasses-and-gingham-shirt, spew-creativity-at-the-blink-of-an-eye variety. Web designers might wear cool glasses (hi, Zach!) and are certainly creative, but there is more to it than that.

Leave it to Ross Nover, from Friendly Design Co, to illustrate this exactly point— literally—with an awesome illustration. As he puts it quite succinctly web design is more than making things look pretty.

"Web Designers Are…" by Ross Nover, Friendly Design Co.
“Web Designers Are…” by Ross Nover, Friendly Design Co.

But I can’t leave all the heavy lifting to Ross. At WDG, we think of web designers as information gatherers, innovators, effective communicators, and most importantly, problem solvers. These qualities take precedence over prettiness, which should matter to a potential client. Read on to see why.

Solutions First, Pretty Second

Focusing on visual prettiness is still an important part of any redesign process—those front-end design elements that greet users certainly set the tone for effective user experience, but they’re not the say all be all of a website’s presence. Gorgeous, but unsubstantial, design doesn’t have the capacity to answer the client’s business challenges on its own.

Pretty First is Not User-Centered

Of course design can be visually appealing. But design that puts pretty first without considering the user’s needs is not, well, pretty. Online users are typically goal-drive when surfing the Internet—they interact with the web to accomplish particular goals. Your website could be the most beautiful thing out there, but if it doesn’t cater to the user’s specific needs, it hasn’t done its job.

Pretty First is Not the Client’s Selling Point

When potential clients approach digital companies, they aren’t looking to sell a gorgeous website. They are looking to sell a product or service. If the website cannot sustain user traffic and promote the client’s brand, it hasn’t helped anyone—the users, the client, or the design company working for them.

Pretty First is Not Functional

As Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Functionality is the core of any design product, whether it’s a website, car, or cooking recipe; each has an assigned function that meets a particular need. Functional and beautiful design is not mutually exclusive, although one should definitely follow the other.

At WDG, our team of expert designers and developers use their talent and time to build customized functional, and beautiful, websites to meet your company’s specific needs. Have a question about your own website? Get in touch with us today!

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