We hear it all the time, “I don’t care what it looks like as long as it generates sales.” Well, the good news is we do care and we feel the two go hand-in-hand. A well-designed Ad or website will generate sales and it does make a difference. The feelings that a design provokes and the emotions that are felt by simply reading an Ad, these are all things that we think about during the design process. And we do believe that it matters, a lot.
The Myth of Ugly Design
BY ANDREW MCDERMOTT
Have you heard the dangerous lie that’s going around?
It goes like this: “Design isn’t that important. I have an ugly site and it sells like crazy. It outperforms the ‘well designed’ site I used to have.” This horrible myth is perpetuated by marketers.
They tell us …
But, is it true?
We know design matters. We know it’s a deep and fundamental part of communication. But we’re often unsure about how to communicate that. This Horrible myth is perpetuated by marketers. We’re left feeling angry and frustrated. Let’s be honest. As far as marketing is concerned, most executives are focused on one thing: Money. At the end of the day executives want to know—will it attract more leads, customers, and sales? To them, everything else is secondary. It’s a common assumption made by many executives, marketers, business owners, and entrepreneurs. Some of these professionals will even pay for an amazing design, but they’ll do it because they feel they have to. That it’s something the marketplace expects them to do.
This leads to an unremarkable disaster. They create a design so they can meet the demands of the marketplace. They’re not interested in optimizing their design. They don’t want to improve the UX, follow usability best practices, or A/B split test their UI. They just want to get it done and over with. So, they can focus their time and attention on something else.
They prefer a lie over the truth…because it’s easier. Because it’s faster and more convenient. But how do we know this is actually a lie? For all we know, an ugly design could be the right move, right?
Not a chance.
We know this is wrong, even when we can’t prove it. Here’s the thing though. We won’t get the support we need at work if we can’t prove it. So how do you go about proving this?
You work backwards, looking at how people think. Okay …
What do people really think about beautiful design? What makes a design successful?
Ugly and difficult isn’t best. You don’t have to be blindsided by the lie. Marketers may not understand why good design matters, but you do. It’s up to you to show them.
This irritating deception gets lobbed at designers repeatedly and most of the time, designers are completely unprepared. You’re ready. You understand the tangible and
intangible elements of design. Share it with your team. Give them the education and resources they need to combat the lie and you’ll find it stops mattering.