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Old 3rd January 2007, 01:19 PM   #11
vangogh
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I agree with Justin. I think most ugly sites that succeed do so in spite of their ugliness and not because of it.

With some business models perhaps ugly is good. I'm thinking models like AdSense where revenue comes only when someone leaves a site. But if you want to keep people on your site I don't think ugliness helps.

Now I don't think you need to have a beautiful site. Look around and you can easily see some of the most succesful sites online aren't going to be winning any awards for beauty. And what makes them successful is their usability and and the content they have. They're a far cry from being ugly however.

I'd even say that the sites mentioned in the article aren't ugly sites. Take the plentyoffish site. It's certainly not a beautiful site, but I wouldn't call it ugly. I've seen far worse looking sites as I'm sure have we all.

I disagree too that ugly means more trust. It would be an indication that a huge corporation is probably not behind the site, but when I see a site that is clearly amatuerish it makes me wonder how secure it might be to hand over my credit card information. If a site owner couldn't shell out even a few dollars for a template why should I think they've done anything to make sure my transaction will be secure.

I agree with everyone here who understands that design is not only about how something looks. Aesthetics are one component of design, but aesthetics are not design. I've seen some very beautful sites that are very poorly designed.

Can an ugly site succeed? Absolutely. In then end success or failure will probably have less to do with the looks of a site that it's other aspects. But I think most of those successful sites would also be more successful if they were not ugly. I don't see how their ugliness leads to their success. I think they succeed in spite of it.

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Old 29th January 2007, 07:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
...ugly...would be an indication that a huge corporation is probably not behind the site, but when I see a site that is clearly amatuerish it makes me wonder how secure it might be to hand over my credit card information. If a site owner couldn't shell out even a few dollars for a template why should I think they've done anything to make sure my transaction will be secure.
You're exactly right vanhogh. As web users become more and more savvy they can distinguish between a site that is the real deal and a complete sham. And contrary to what the article says, the user more than likely isn't going to trust a poorly designed site. Unfortunately we live in a society where looks are important, and first impressions last. Buying online can sometimes be as risky as buying a product off the street. Who do you think is going to be trusted and generate more sales? A straggly, dirty street vendor, or a clean cut business professional in a suit. The same applies to the web.

The goal of any website is to find a happy balance between all the standards to target their ideal market. Design, usability, accessibility and content all hold equal importance.

-Jrock

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Old 30th January 2007, 07:20 PM   #13
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I think the way a site looks can only take you so far. But definitely for me the first impression is what attracts me. If it's a nice site, I'll be interested in taking a look and investigating the site. If it's ugly, then I'm sorry to say but I'll be out of there pretty quickly.

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Old 1st February 2007, 12:43 PM   #14
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I don't think a site needs to be beautiful by any means. Some of the most successful and most visited sites are hardly what anyone would call beuatiful.

But I think there's a certain minimum design that people are going to need to see in order to place their trust in a site. There are still many examples of amateurish sites that do well, but I suspect that as the web matures we'll all need to meet a certain minimum standard.

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Old 8th February 2007, 03:01 PM   #15
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I'm still a sucker for a beautiful site.

However. I've made purchases from many sites that aren't beautiful. I've never made purchases from sites that aren't professional.

So that's the distinction for me I guess. It doesn't have to be gorgeous, but it needs to look like it isn't some fly by night hacker site!

Cruzin -- thanks for sharing your experience. It's my next learning curve in design. Promise!

Lori

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Old 14th February 2007, 11:38 AM   #16
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Lori I think we're on the same page. I like looking at beautiful sites too and if you have that kind of design at the very least I'll still around a little longer to see what you have to offer. The aesthetics of the design won't sell me, but they will keep me around long enough for your content to sell me.

At the other end if your site is truly hideous there's a good chance I'll be gone long before ever reading a single word.

Most sites simply need to be above a certain minimum aesthetic to allow your words to sell.

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Old 27th February 2007, 03:13 PM   #17
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I really don't mind about the site's over all appearance what's important for me is that I can navigate the site easily and the features are user-friendly.

That I guess is the problem of other sites that look good but generally lack the most basic thing which is being user-friendly.

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Old 28th February 2007, 07:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jlaing View Post
In my opinion usability and good design are tied together.
I agree. While I am fully supportive of creating a thorough backend that allows the user to do whatever they possibly could ever need to do, it is also very important to have an efficient and usable interface to go along with the functional, backend part. Having the ability to do certain things is not enough. Those tasks also need to be represented in an eye-friendly and efficient way.

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