Aesthetic vs Utility: How To Use Design To Get Your App Or Website Noticed

We live in an era where most companies have an app or a website representing themselves in the online sphere.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for the bulk of companies to really find a way to show off their company and express their identity. However, the flip side of this is that there is a lot of competition and with people becoming more and more familiar with good design and slick interface, there’s a lot of pressure on you to work extra hard to get your website or app noticed.

It’s not as simple as doing a reasonable job. You have to go above and beyond to ensure that your site brings the attention and displays the professionalism befitting your company. So, without further delay, here are some great ways to achieve the website or app design which you need for the best results.

Aesthetic vs Utility

1. First Impressions

When you’re walking down the street it’s the storefronts that have really good window displays, or warm inviting air or a nice smell emanating from them which really draws you in. This is your first impression, and it’s a big part of how you end up deciding what company you want to go inside of and ultimately where you want to spend your hard-earned money. This is as true, if not more, about websites and apps. You have to make a great first impression. This means that when your site is opened the first thing your clickers need to be greeted with is your best work. The impact of this sort of moment is more crucial in the online sphere because of the fact that internet users, as opposed to pedestrians in a mall, have far lower attention spans. If a user isn’t immediately draw in by what they see, all it takes is the tab of a key or a click of the mouse to drive them away. A well-designed website will front-end the graphic design elements to get that initial appeal.

2. Get The Flow Right

Good design isn’t as simple as how things look. One of the biggest things a well-designed site will bring you is a really effective sense of flow. By this I mean that each transition from one page to another will feel naturalistic and the user navigation will be simplified. Site navigation is aided and promoted by good design. Promoting site navigation is important and underrated. It’s the act of inspiring people to move beyond the initial click to explore your site. Good design being used to aid navigation means that, if they do want to make that next click, it’s very obvious where they need to go to find what they want to find. Get this right and you’ll instantly gather yourself better site interactivity. This is an area in which utility is to be promoted over aesthetics, though the two can be united.

3. Mobile Usability

This is very important. Pouring a huge amount of effort into creating the perfect website, with excellent search engine optimization, beautiful interface and all the rest is futile if it doesn’t come with an effective mobile companion. In the modern era, so much work is constantly poured into the smartphone and tablet development field to the point where, for some people, these devices have now become the only things they use, replacing laptops and desktops. Even if they haven’t entirely taken over, it’s still true that they are used massively for everything from checking emails to browsing the web. This means it is vital that any design you use for your website has been adapted into a mobile version that can be used in the same way, with the same ease.

4. Reduce complexion

Minimal design is reaching new heights and you can see it all over the web with brands simplifying new content and products. This new trend is more than minimalism and flat design – it’s the next step where the minimalism has been implemented into mobile devices. Some of the defining characteristics of this are bigger headlines with bolder fonts, simpler shapes in the sense of being more universal, and less color or complete extraction of color.

For example, remember what Instagram used to look like? Blue and white with green buttons and so on. But now there is almost no color in the UI itself, except a few with links and buttons but even that is minimal. They have also made their navigation much simpler and icons too. Medium is using the similar approach for their app and website. AirBnB has changed as well, creating a more simplified interface. If you enter the apps of these three businesses, you will find that the interface is quite familiar – the content is supposed to shine and the app is supposed to be functional.

This is a huge progress and it improves the overall experience.

And if you want to jump on this bandwagon, here are some things you need to do:

  • Remove colors – If your app has a ton of colors right now, it’s best that you remove it. It doesn’t have to be completely because you can use one color but do so sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. To show action, for example. The content of your app should be the one to bring colors and your app should basically be colorless.
  • Ma bold headlines – The trend now is to emphasize the headline, increase it heavily in size and in weight by making it bold. Any headline you have will benefit from this.
  • Create simple icons – Place no color in your icons. They should be simple lines, universally recognizable. For example, a house for homepage. A little head for profile page, for example. All of these things create more simplicity.
  • Make more white space – The more white space the better, in general. You can’t go wrong here. Just leave as much white space as possible and you’ll be on a good way.
  • Make the app icon bright – Design your app icon with flash and color. So, no color anywhere else, but put as much color and brightness on your app icon. This is where you can insert your personality and branding as much as possible. Make yourself stand out through this element.
5. Add illustrations

This has been one of the most popular trends in recent years. Illustrations in user interfaces are a visual representation of a process, function, text or anything similar. It supports and extends the ideas of people and it offers additional information as well. They have been implemented into books, newspapers, flyers, posters, album covers, educational books and so on.

There were improvements that came with cartoons, videos, games and similar media. Illustration is beautiful and creative and it offers a lot of flexibility. There are more and more websites and apps, and illustration is one of the best ways to enhance the user experience and improve the visual and emotional appeal of these entities while increasing usability.

So, how to use them in UX design?

For one, you should use them as a functional element rather than just for beauty. Here are some of the illustration elements:

  • Theme images
  • Mascots and various characters
  • hero images
  • blog post images
  • rewards graphics
  • onboarding graphics
  • notifications and marketing
  • Infographics
  • Social media pages
  • storytelling
  • stickers

These are just some of the ways you can use illustration to enhance your messages and improve your app.

Here are some reasons why you should definitely consider illustration for interface design:

  • Custom illustrations create originality – Illustrations always have the power to add some style to your app or website. And because the competition is so tight, you need something to help you stand out. Illustration and graphics can give you just that. Designers can adapt their images to the target audience, needs and other elements of marketing so you can truly add more flair to your service
  • Visual triggers – Visual triggers have always been more powerful than any other. This is mostly because you can get the message of an image in mere seconds while you would have to read for quite a while to get the message – the complete message – of an average blog post or information post. People will recognize shapes, colors and their meanings in combination and convey certain feelings and knowledge from those images.
  • Illustration supports copy – In many cases, images are better at conveying the message than copy. In fact, most people won’t read most of your copy. They might skim it at best. But if they arrive at your landing page, there is no chance that they will miss an image. It will jump out at them instantly. This is what makes illustration so great for advertising.
  • They are great for storytelling – Again, a big problem with conveying a message through text is the fact that people lack the patience to go through it all. If you want to tell a powerful story, the image will be a lot better as an option to get the message of the story across. It grabs attention and people can get it in just one look. One image can set the atmosphere, show character, convey a message and so on.
  • Illustrations have an emotional appeal – With colors, shapes and shading as well as the overall topic of an illustration, you can make people feel something. When their emotions are connected to you, they will never forget you as a brand and you will always remain in the back of their minds because of that. They can get your brand personality and connect with it in mere seconds.
  • Good illustration creates satisfaction – Aesthetic satisfaction adds credibility to your project and it makes your visitors or customers engaged and delighted by the beauty and harmony of your app or website. People want and need good-looking interfaces because it makes them feel joy and it makes them like you even more. ]
  • Illustrations are memorable – As mentioned, a text is easy to forget, especially if you don’t read it completely. But great images and illustrations are instantly recognizable and people memorise them quickly and seamlessly. The next time they run into your presence online or offline, they will remember you. If they forget all else about your brand, they will remember the images related to your brand and that’s how they will find you again. This is perfect when you want to raise your brand awareness and get more people around your brand. This is especially great if your illustrations, images and graphics follow a similar theme or aesthetic.

You can already tell by the phrase ‘website design’ that design is going to be at the forefront of your priorities as you put together your company’s online representation. The biggest issue within design is nailing the balance between looking good and being usable, so hopefully with a few of these tips you’ll get a website that is as good in both areas.

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One Comment

  1. Great post, Chloe. Mobile usability is really important now. A majority of searches are done via mobile. Images are increasingly important, as you can optimize them, as well.

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