Personally, everything I purchase has to be pleasing to my eye to a certain degree. If something looks good, that’s how I know that it has been well thought about, cared for, and that whoever created it understands my needs. For most products, you don’t really know how it functions if you don’t use it.
Taste may be something that is different to you as an individual, and it may also be dictated by other factors such as gender, age, nationality, and current trends. When it comes to looking at a website, individual taste isn’t as important a factor as when you’re purchasing a car for example, but it may still influence your buying decision.
This is where good design comes into play. Think about your target audience and designing your website to suit their tastes, it can make a huge difference when you can convert visitors into customers.
Steve Jobs once said, “Good design is about how something works, not how it looks or feels”, and who can argue with a man who built the world’s richest company based on good design. Apple is a great example of how you can’t please everyone every time, and this is where we come to the core of our argument – Aesthetics or Function?
Apple products are good looking, but it’s how they function that sets them apart from others. If they don’t work as well as they do, they never would’ve been so successful over such a long period of time.
For your website to be successful, you have to put the priority on function before look and feel. You must first consider your audience and then design the website functionality with them in mind. When that has been taken care of, look and feel can be considered to a certain degree, but never at the expense of function.