Why Visual Design Matters

Why Visual Design Matters

Visual Design often doesn't receive the respect it deserves among other disciplines such as UX, Development, and so on.

I have faced situations like:

Devs have already started the development based on UX. Just spend a few hours adding colours, please.
We do not need visual design. Our devs are building based on the UX and it works.
We do not have a budget for a visual designer. We have more important things to spend our money on.

the list goes on...

The sad thing is that this lack of appreciation doesn't only come from the product itself, which naturally may not understand the value of visual design, but also from the visual designers themselves!

I've had unfortunate conversations where visual designers expressed their desire to switch to UX because they believed there was no value in Visual Design.

How can you expect people to respect your profession if you don't respect it yourself in the first place? So, I often find myself explaining the value of Visual Design to product owners, businesses, and other designers. Once I explain it, they understand why it matters and begin to appreciate it.

Here are a few arguments I put forward:

①  Beauty Matters

Businesses often approach products with logic, and that is okay. However, we don't always require a logical or mathematical explanation for everything in business. As humans, we have always appreciated beauty.

Ask yourself: Do you prefer a beautiful chair or an ugly one? Both chairs will function as intended, but you will naturally be drawn to one. Why is that?!

This preference for beauty extends beyond chairs and applies to various aspects of our lives.

In business, visual design has the power to create a memorable and immersive experience for customers. It goes beyond mere functionality.

When businesses prioritise visual design alongside logic and functionality, they can resonate with individuals on a deeper level. By embracing the value of visual design, businesses can elevate their offerings and leave a lasting impression on their target audience.

Left: Classic Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman - Right: unknown

②  Positive Emotion

Beauty creates positive emotions. People with positive emotions are more forgiving of flaws and more creative in solving problems they face.

Why do you think we have zero patience when an ugly government website dysfunctions, but we are more forgiving when a beautifully designed product messes up?

The impact of beauty on our emotions.

Beauty has a way of uplifting our spirits and creating positive feelings.

When we come across an ugly and dysfunctional government website, it fails to evoke any positive emotional response. As a result, our patience wears thin, and we quickly become frustrated.

On the other hand, when a beautifully designed product encounters a hiccup, our positive emotions from its attractive design still linger. This helps soften the blow and makes us more understanding of the temporary glitch. We tend to attribute it to the complexities of technology rather than seeing it as a major flaw.

This just goes to show how the power of beauty can influence our level of patience and forgiveness in different situations.

Left: Unknown - Right: Stripe

③  Leading Competition

Most likely, your product is not the only one in the market solving the same problem for people. So, how are you supposed to beat the competition?
Features and prices are the first aspects that come to mind...

However, beauty is the key.
People make purchasing decisions based on emotions, not just logic. If you design the most beautiful product in the market, you can lead the competition, even if you lack certain features or have a higher price. Just take a look at Apple.

When a product captures our attention with its stunning design, it creates a desire within us. Beauty has the power to spark that emotional connection and make us fall in love with a product. It's this emotional bond that drives us to choose it over others, regardless of its technical specifications or price.

So, if you want to stand out and lead the competition, remember that beauty has a magnetic effect on people's hearts and minds.

Embrace the power of design, and watch your product lead the competition.

Left: iOS - Right: Android

④  Increased Revenue

One of the best arguments you can put forward for business owners! : )

They always want to spend less and profit more. It is a business after all.

Building on the points mentioned above and more, focusing on design and other factors that set your offering apart can attract a larger customer base.

This means more people choose your product over competitors in the market, resulting in increased revenue. It's a win-win situation where prioritising design and delivering an exceptional user experience can directly impact your bottom line.

So, invest in creating a standout product that not only meets customer needs but also delights them, and watch your revenue grow.

APPLE vs SAMSUNG - Source data: FourWeekMBA Financials

⑤  Attracting Talent

How do you build successful products?
"With talented people"

How do you attract talented people?
Offering more money is not always possible or enough.
Remember, it's not only about money; it's about being part of a team that creates beautiful, remarkable products and achieves remarkable success.

So, yes.
Beauty matters!
Visual Design matters!

Don't get frustrated when your craft isn't appreciated.

Sometimes, we need to educate our team on why it matters.