Design Beauty As Online Strategy
Beauty has a problem online. Imagine a line with pretty pictures on one end and makes money / converts on the other. As website design travels away from the balanced center out to either pole something is given up.
Beautiful sites often feel solipsistic and self referential. Commerce sites feel transactional and much like an not very special commodity. As visual marketing commands more and more of our attention, efforts and communication arresting imagery is important.
You can't sell someone who doesn't stop long enough to know who you are. Is beauty an effective strategy in and of itself? No. Is commerce an effective strategy in and of itself? No. Truth lies in the magic promise of a balanced approach as these 10 examples of somewhat practical beauty share.
My favorite and the one most centered between those two poles?
Juliana Bicycles - I don't typically like group scenes that aren't open to the viewer as they can send an exclusionary message. This bicycle site doesn't because of the magic of place pictured and the ancient desire to warm next to a fire with friends.
Would NEVER have thought Juliana Bicycles hero could feel so beautiful, friendly and inviting breaking several key rules - but it does.