Yep, you read the title correctly. And, as a designer, it pains me to admit that: not always the prettiest option will be the best one when taking the customer experience under consideration. I know it may sound a bit crazy, but it is what it is. That’s because before thinking about aesthetics, we should always prioritize usability and functionality. So it really does not matter if your design is incredibly-looking if it is not intuitive for your customers. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the subject so you get what I mean.
Your Design Needs to be Intuitive
When you go into a website and you see an underlined sentence you already know that that’s a clickable object which will take you to another page. Why? Because that is already a well-established convention. So much so, that we don’t even need to think before recognizing the underlined object as a link. Would it look much cleaner without the line underneath? Yeah, it would. But it wouldn’t be as effective. See? Usability over aesthetics.
Your Typography Matters
Let’s suppose your company has awesome branding with really cool typographies, full of personality and, maybe, even a bit crazy-looking. I am sure you always heard we should stick to the brand guidelines and use the same fonts everywhere. Well, that is correct. But, it is possible things need to be adjusted when designing the website. Is not that we shouldn’t use a more distinctive typography, but we definitely should guarantee that it will have good legibility, especially for important texts like the CTAs. So, again, usability over aesthetics.
Who are your customers?
Another important aspect to consider is your clientele, because, at the end of the day, you may not represent your customers the way you think you do. This is something that sometimes can be tricky, but you shouldn’t let your personal taste get in the way of the process. If you understand who your customers are and how they think, it will be much easier to make the right decisions when it comes to your website design. You may not like how the end result looks, but it may be the right choice for the people you want to please.
I guess you already got the idea here, right? Sometimes we need to make the hard decision: should I go with a nice-looking design or with the more functional option that doesn't look quite as nice? Most of the time we can come up with solutions that are both, thankfully, but it is important to discuss this subject because not always that will be the case. So just try to remember: good UI UX is not always pretty.