How Do You Balance Aesthetics With User Experience?

How Do You Balance Aesthetics With User Experience?

Striking the perfect harmony between beauty and usability is a challenge for any web professional. We've gathered insights from eight experts, including Web Designers and CEOs, to share their strategies. From prioritizing user-centered design to aligning the brand with user-friendly design, discover how these pros balance aesthetic and user experience.

  • Prioritize User-Centered Design
  • Incorporate Aesthetics in UX Solutions
  • Integrate Brand Identity with UX
  • Enhance UX to Boost Sales
  • Balance Clean Design with Functionality
  • User Testing Guides Aesthetic and UX Balance
  • Pair Visual Appeal with Intuitive Navigation
  • Align Brand with User-Friendly Design

Prioritize User-Centered Design

Balancing aesthetic design with user experience can often prove to be challenging. In order to get around this, we have focused on strategically building websites to focus on ease of conversion, aided by prioritizing a user-centered design (UCD) approach.

There are many examples of instances when we have seen a positive impact of a UCD approach to building websites. The key one I can recall is the redesign of a truck manufacturer's website. Before the project took place, we took time to assess how users were using the old site, what B2B truck consumers valued, where they struggled, what were the barriers to conversion, and how the old site's design potentially limited users.

In this analysis process, we identified several key pain points and areas for improvement. Users often found the navigation confusing, product information was not easily accessible, and the overall design was not intuitive. Armed with this insight, we began a comprehensive redesign.

Our redesign simplified the navigation, enhanced product pages with detailed specs and interactive tools, ensuring an avoidance of information overload, and improved the visual design with a clean, modern aesthetic.

Paramount to a UCD approach, we conducted user testing throughout to gather feedback and make iterative improvements to the site's design and CTAs—balancing design and user experience.

Our approach ensured the success of our redesign, citing a positive 40% rise in conversions and a significantly lower bounce rate. By focusing on the needs and behaviors of users, which you can discover through regular tests, you can create websites that not only look great but also deliver exceptional performance.

Jordan Bridge
Jordan BridgeDigital Marketing and Cyber Security Analyst, Growthlabs

Incorporate Aesthetics in UX Solutions

Our sites offer benefit administration solutions for companies of all sizes and an enrollment platform used by employees of various backgrounds, where rules regarding benefit enrollment can vary from state to state.

Due to this scope, and the requirements of building and designing software in a heavily regulated industry, many of our projects require us to display explanation of benefit tables, resource folders for documents related to each benefit offered, lengthy statements, and selectors that can increase in length based on a user’s beneficiaries and dependents.

These features and more can lead to a site filled with everything a user needs on their user experience journey, but lacking in aesthetics due to how much content must go on one page; the way we solve this is with out-of-the-box solutions and extensive iterating throughout the design process.

During the most recent redesign of our benefit enrollment platform, we noticed that some benefits provided lengthy, but essential, forms that were blending in with our provided descriptions and instructions; this lack of delineation caused users to skip through sections of the page, and as a result, would create confusion regarding which actionable steps the user had to take.

The ideal and most aesthetically pleasing solution would have been to separate the content into more pages and guide the user through smaller steps, allowing them to absorb all the necessary information.

But since we were required to have the whole text displayed on one page, we instead created that separation using containers with their own design rules to uniquely identify the content, while placing that content in consistent and expected areas, allowing users to find relevant information quickly in an otherwise text-heavy page.

This allowed us to elevate the aesthetic of each element and let us focus on how to lay out the individual containers on the page, which improved the user experience significantly.

There is always a struggle when it comes to incorporating aesthetically pleasing solutions to niche user experience problems, especially in industries with higher regulations and essential data representation; however, we find that involving aesthetics from the beginning of the user experience design process helps us balance both, creating an overall richer experience for our users.

Ralph ChaplinWeb Designer, MyWorkplace Inc.

Integrate Brand Identity with UX

At Innovate, we balance aesthetic design with user experience (UX) by ensuring that our designs are visually appealing but also functional and user-friendly. We start by understanding our client's brand identity and goals, then create designs that reflect their aesthetic while prioritizing intuitive navigation and accessibility.

For example, during a website redesign for a local boutique, we crafted a visually stunning design that showcased their unique brand style. Simultaneously, we focused on UX by simplifying the navigation, optimizing load times, and ensuring mobile responsiveness. The result was a beautiful, user-friendly website that increased user engagement and sales by 30%, demonstrating the successful integration of aesthetic design and user experience.

Daniel Bunn
Daniel BunnManaging Director, Innovate

Enhance UX to Boost Sales

With any project we work on, we always aim to balance aesthetic design and user experience in a way that favors user experience. Great design should enhance the user experience rather than hinder it.

Recently, I worked on integrating a new app for a client on an e-commerce site. Their site was visually stunning but suffered from slow load times (high FCP and CLS). I knew this was hurting sales because higher bounce rates are directly correlated with longer load times.

Although improving load times wasn’t the initial goal of the project, we brought this issue to the client’s attention and got approval to make some changes. By optimizing the site’s performance, we significantly improved load times. As a result, not only did the user experience improve, but the client also saw a decrease in bounce rates.

This project shows that by putting user experience first, we can achieve great results while still maintaining strong design principles. A great user experience doesn't have to be an ugly one, and a beautiful user experience doesn't have to be slow.

Ethan Sheffield
Ethan SheffieldDeveloper

Balance Clean Design with Functionality

The balance between aesthetics and user experience (UX) in web design is a fine line and an ever-changing one. Each project must be reviewed on its merit, and a decision must be made based on the project's objectives. Aesthetics are important, as an unappealing website will not encourage users to continue using it. However, poor UX will not lead the user to where they or you need them to go. An example of this would be the LunarWP website, where we had to balance a clean design with usable and functional buttons, links, and content. We did this with the objectives of making WordPress knowledge accessible, encouraging people to use our free trial, and finding the balance between the two.

Dominic Bonaker
Dominic BonakerFounder & CEO, LunarWP

User Testing Guides Aesthetic and UX Balance

As the CEO of Startup House, I always remind my team that while aesthetic design is important, user experience should always come first. One way to balance the two is by conducting user testing throughout the design process to ensure that the design not only looks good but also functions well for the end user. An example of a successful outcome of this approach is when we redesigned a client's website with a clean and modern aesthetic, while also improving the user experience by simplifying the navigation and making key information more accessible. This resulted in a significant increase in user engagement and conversion rates, proving that a balance between design and user experience is key to a successful project.

Alex Stasiak
Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

Pair Visual Appeal with Intuitive Navigation

Balancing aesthetic design with user experience requires a user-centric approach. For a film-distribution site, we paired visually appealing layouts with intuitive navigation. By prioritizing accessibility, including clear captions and easy-to-read text, we achieved a site that was both beautiful and functional. This balance led to increased user engagement and positive feedback from both viewers and industry partners.

Khurram Suhrwardy
Khurram SuhrwardyCEO, Caption Easy

Align Brand with User-Friendly Design

At Dental SEO Expert, we focus on creating visually appealing, user-friendly websites. One memorable project was redesigning a dental clinic's website. The clinic wanted a modern look without compromising on ease of navigation. We worked closely with them to understand their brand and target audience. The result was a clean, professional design with intuitive navigation, which led to a 40% increase in appointment bookings.

To achieve this balance, always prioritize simplicity and clarity. Use a consistent color scheme and typography that aligns with the brand. Ensure that the site loads quickly and is mobile-friendly. Test the design with real users to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments. This approach enhances the user experience and keeps visitors engaged, leading to higher conversion rates.

Ihor Lavrenenko
Ihor LavrenenkoCEO, Dental SEO Expert

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