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Is Your Site Designed for Appearance, Performance or Usability ?

"Is your website a form of art, thought provoking for the sake of it, or a form of communication with a purpose, to satisfy the visitor and website owner"

Tony Simpson

Some web designers believe a good website and a good webpage are all about appearance, visual presentation, the latest in media or trendy imagery and wow-factor graphics.

Other web designers believe what makes a good website and web page is usability and performance. This focuses on functionality, effectiveness and efficiency.

The “Appearance” web designers often focus too much on visual appeal and forget the user experience or purpose of the website.

The “Usability” web designers sometimes focus too much on usability and functionality and forget about the visual appeal.

What makes a good website or web page should be
a balance between appearance and usability.

I tend to lean more toward usability than appearance in my web design and evaluation because:

"A website with good usability and poor appearance will outperform one with good appearance and poor usability"


If you’re a website owner which would you choose ?

  1. A website that worked well but didn’t look so good ?
  2. A website that looked good but didn’t work so well ?

Well, I hope you would say a website that worked well but didn’t look so good.

What’s the point of having something that looks great, but is useless, because it serves no purpose other than to look good.

"If visitors can’t use the website and it doesn’t satisfy the site owner’s objectives, then the website has no purpose"


A web page is not a work of art unless you want it to be

A good web site or web page should therefore be acceptable to the eye, but serve the visitor in terms of usability and serve the website owner in terms of performance and satisfying a purpose.

Websites like Amazon may not win design awards for their visual appearance, but they would win awards for usability and serving the business purpose of the website owners.

If a website needs to look good to showcase the talents of a graphic designer or photographer then part of its purpose is to look good. But most websites and web pages don’t need to win awards for visual design.

Unless the purpose of your website or web page is to impress visitors with visual design it needs to focus on usability with a purpose. This means being functional, efficient and effective in producing the result the website owner expects.

To your Success
Website Auditor
Tony Simpson
Website Audit Expert


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Tony Simpson provides website optimization, conversion improvement and web business advice to site owners.

Tags: website usability website design web page design

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