what is good design?
To illustrate good web design, we often compare websites to stores in a mall. Imagine a shopping mall with two competing stores side-by-side that sell the same products. One deploys the use of eye-catching design on their signage and displays, effective lighting and store layout, and even scents to attract and keep your attention. The other uses basic solutions and cuts corners to save costs, such as burnt out lights, missing signage, or a poorly designed store layout. Which one are you more likely to go in?
Websites, unlike the example above, aren’t in a mall alongside a limited number of stores – they are in a more-or-less infinite marketplace. Your website’s appearance plays a major role in people’s perception of your company, and affects your ability to attract, convert, and retain customers. A well-designed site conveys professionalism and approach-ability, while a poorly designed site can put your credibility in question.
aesthetics vs functionality
In our experience the design is the last place you should be cutting corners, as the effect is often much higher than cutting code functionality and complexity. Ideally a balance of the two is optimal, but factors such as timelines and budgets can lead to some unexpected choices. In our real-world experiences, businesses opt to cut design over code functionality too often, assuming that functionality is more important than aesthetics. While this can work in some cases, in general you aren’t going to “set the hook” (so to speak) with functionality if they don’t hang around long enough to try it.
When you need to choose between function or visual appeal, we recommend putting your money on a high-quality web design. You can always add more functionality later but you probably won’t get a second shot at winning over that site visitor.