Design aesthetics encompasses the visual and sensory elements of any product, be it digital or physical. These elements are vital in UX design because they have the ability to influence how users perceive and interact with the product, determining whether they have a positive or disappointing user experience.
Designers research the best-fitting color schemes, typography, and layout to deliver an aesthetic UX design. Succeeding in creating striking visuals with unique choices captures user attention positively.
But what about usability? Is aesthetics more important than usability in design?
Both aspects are essential to the success of the product. Users can connect with the product because they find it visually appealing. However, if the product fails to be functional, the users will feel frustrated and eventually abandon the product.
In this article, you can learn more about the role of aesthetics in UX design and the best way to create a visually appealing yet functional product.
In This Article
The Tightrope Walk: Balancing Beauty and Function
The tightrope walk is the balance between aesthetics and functionality in design. Balance is key because over-emphasizing one at the expense of the results in poorly designed products that do not resonate with the user.
Dangers of Over-Emphasising Aesthetics
One of the biggest problems of emphasizing aesthetics is the loss of functionality. Users can be positively impressed by the visual elements, but if the product does not provide easy navigation and clear information, they can’t accomplish their tasks, which results in frustration and product abandonment.
Digital devices are great examples of how an unbalanced relationship between beauty and function harms the outcome. More often than not, we find stunning smartphone designs, but they are impractical and so fragile that users do not find any joy in using them.
Websites can also fall victim to the over-emphasis on aesthetics by containing difficult-to-understand navigation menus that make it almost impossible for the user to navigate and get information.
Pitfalls of Ignoring Aesthetics
On the other hand, overshadowing the visual appeal of a product and focusing solely on functionality comes with its problems. The product is indeed functional, but its design is highly forgettable, and so is the product. Being a user, you can be driven away by the lack of visual and sensory stimulation because there is no emotional connection.
By neglecting aesthetics, designers fail to capture the attention of the users, thereby resulting in low user engagement, disinterest, and product abandonment. Users need usability, but their first impression comes from the interface, so it must convey positive feelings and lock the eye of the user.
Best Practices for Merging Aesthetics and Usability
Take note of these essential tips to create a product that succeeds in beauty and functionality at the same time. If you want to get the result of your liking and the choice, it is important for you to follow the tips given below. Once you follow the given tips, the results can be in your favor and can yield positive results.
1. Co-design With an Interdisciplinary Team
You can assemble a design with visual and UX designers to ensure that both aesthetics and functionality are included and compatible from the word go. Therefore, it simply means that you must know the ways and methods to assemble the designs using both components, and you are ready to go.
2. Create Wireframes and Prototypes
The beauty and the usability are integrated only after you invest in wireframes and prototypes. It will help the team to analyze and ensure that beauty and usability are integrated to the optimum.
3. Establish Design Principles
Off the hook, on the go, without due consideration, you can not design. It is, therefore, important to establish the design principles. By communicating specific design principles to the team, you can ensure everyone is on the same page about balancing aesthetics and functionality.
4. Adopt a User-Centric Approach
Keep the user at the center of the design process, as it helps designers focus on their efforts to provide a pleasant visual experience as well as a positive user experience through functional features that improve navigation.
So, whenever you set out to design, it is important to keep in mind that you are designing it for user usage. So, the user should be at the center of the approach.
5. Collect User Feedback
To know the nerves of the users so that appropriate measures may be taken to rectify the errors and take the necessary steps for improvement. Collecting the user feedback is of paramount importance.
Conduct usability testing, surveys, and interviews to understand how the users perceive the product and detect areas for improvement. Paying attention to the user experience aspect and how users respond to the visual elements.
6. Employ A/B Testing
Since you cannot apply the one-size-fits-all-all formula, therefore, you have to be particular with regard to the design variation. In such a case, the importance of A/B testing goes manifold since A/B testing allows you to test different design variations and determine which product version performs best from the perspective of both usability and aesthetics.
If you want to get the result of your choice, you need to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality. And to strike the balance between the two is not an easy job. It can be very challenging. But you have to bear in mind that it is essential for the success of your product. The best way to maintain your balance in the tightrope walk of creating a product with the right amount of beauty and function is to include UX and visual designers in the project from the start, set clear principles, and constantly iterate based on feedback and testing.
Ensure you find the right UX designers for your project. London has been growing as a hub for digital innovation, so reach out to a UX agency in London, and you will find a large talent pool that can meet your requirements and take your project to the next level.