Make It Pretty, but don’t forget the Point

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The Magic Mouse from Apple is one of the most beautiful mice I’ve ever seen. But spend a couple hours using it and you’ll see that it’s ergonomics might not be quite up to snuff. There are  discussions here and here about how the Magic mouse might be better with ergonomics. In fact, there is a product created just to fix the ergonomic problem for people who want to continue using such a pretty device.

So, there’s no denying that the Magic mouse is absolutely beautiful, but not necessarily the best at what it is supposed to do. What happened is that Apple traded function for beauty. Undoubtedly, many people buy Apple products simply because they are so beautiful, but the company can’t forget why a user is using something.

The same goes for you and your website. (Or for you designers – how you design your websites.)

Out on the interwebs there are many gorgeous websites that might not function as well as they could for their intended users. They have also traded beauty for purpose. Creating a beautifully designed site is important – it has been shown to increase your sales and the perceived value of your product. But remember the purpose of your site (whether that be to give people information, get them to buy a product, etc
) and keep that purpose first. Make sure that your user doesn’t have a problem doing the what they came to do (more on that in a future post). When building a website it’s vital the “cool factor” and your design do not hinder your user’s experience.

Where have where have you seen examples of beauty taking precedence over functionality?