Is Website Appearance Really That Important?

Ever since the first websites showed up, people have been diligently working on making them look more appealing. Nowadays, many sites are brilliantly designed, attracting visitors and keeping them on the page. However, how big of a role does a site’s look really playing in pleasing visitors? While the common web user will usually tell you the most important part of any webpage is the visual appeal, there is actually solid evidence that the appearance is not as important as previously thought.

 

What Is The Purpose Of Visual Design, Then?

Before we go any further, there is a very crucial distinction that must be made between attracting and maintaining visitors. Design is still integral to setting the tone of the website, whether it be anything from a professional site to one advertising a balloon store. If a website is terribly ugly, people are going to reach for that back button without hesitation. Ugly websites will always drive away visitors. On that note, visuals actually play a very small role in holding visitors for more than five seconds. The look certainly isn’t useless, but people are quickly beginning to realize that other aspects keep viewers on the page for longer.

 

Ugly Website

Ugly Websites Are Still Bad

 

If Appearance Doesn’t Keep People On A Site, What Does?

Simplicity. Visitors to any site want to quickly be able to find what they are looking for. The simpler the website, the better. All websites should know what they offer and need to clearly advertise them on their home page. This doesn’t mean that an animal supply store should have thumbnails of every hamster ball or cat toy as soon as you see the page, but they should somehow clearly show where you can buy their products. Mastering the simplicity aspect of site building is essential for creating high quality, appealing websites.

 

How Appearance And Simplicity Go Hand In Hand

The one downside of clear cut, easy to navigate websites is they tend to be rather empty. Enter design. While the appearance doesn’t have much effect on how long a visitor will stay, creating a good first impression is the only way for businesses to showcase their services online. Having an attractive design will hold people for the first few seconds, which, though it may not sound like a lot, is just long enough to show the information on the homepage. These two aspects go perfectly together, and both must be present in full force if any website is to effectively sell their services online. Just because a site’s design isn’t as important as previously thought doesn’t mean it can be thrown away. In the end, there’s a reason people place such a focus on appearance; it’s what they want to see when they first land on a page.

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