Being Pretty Gets You Farther

We recently successfully re-launched our splash page and I find it amazing how much visual perception plays a role in information processing.

From my experience with the previous page, people liked the product, but only after it was explained to them. Now every time I show the page I get a “WOW”, and an immediate sense of excitement is noticed.

            One of the residential entrepreneurs we regularly meet even mentioned “It’s better to have a great design and nonworking code, then the other way around”.  As much as I wish it wasn’t true, he’s right.

            The reason why I’m torn is because I’ve been mainly dealing with the backend of our product. In my head, I know exactly how things work and the true beauty of how everything interacts. With this I come more to appreciate the subtleties of a product, and not its prominent flash. We may all be using the same API, language, design pattern, or whatever, but the reality is most people (at least in this field) think vastly different from one another. Even though you use the same outlets, you end up with these completely different, unique solutions to, more often than not, the same problem.

            To me, where the true beauty lies in all of this, is still a bit of a struggle. To be honest, this “inner” website beauty  idea been a pretty recent stand point. I’ve always loved sketching and to this day, it is still a favorite past time. That’s why I’ve always been highly appreciative of the job a graphic designer has. They have the ability to bring out innate emotions in your work, that words just can’t express.

In the end I’m pretty split on the decision and I don’t really think I’ll ever stick to one side. For now all I know is that it’s very frustrating to pour your heart into a working product, and know that internally it is a complex and beautiful work of art, but have it dismissed only because a button didn’t look “flashy” enough. One lesson I’ve learned this summer is to pretty much either suck it up and spend more time on visual design or just pay for a beautiful design because no matter how pretty the code is on the inside, the outside is what truly sells people.

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One response to “Being Pretty Gets You Farther

  1. Bryan, I’m taking a look at the splash screen for Tivly (http://www.tivly.com/). Looks good. I think the back-end / front-end challenge has a lot of depth to it. On the one end there’s the philosophy of “don’t worry, be crappy” (Guy Kawasaki), then in the middle there’s “perfect is the enemy of the good” and on the other end is Steve Jobs’ insistence that the inside of the product be as beautiful as the outside (predicated on his father’s teaching that the back of the fence should be as well made as the front). Lots to think about, and it strikes me that it depends on the situation (resources, time, abilities, etc…)

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