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September 16, 2021

Websites: What Looks Good is a Matter of Opinion

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Look, website design is relative, just like all “art” and design.

Do you think there is some objective “good” web design and some “bad” web design? Well, there are certain conventions, but that isn’t the same as objective taste.

Take a look at every website from 1997. The formatting and layout will repulse you. The mid-2000s may have been even worse, with never-ending shiny bubble buttons and background textures.

Everyone loved those websites back then. Our collective tastes change, and there is a consequence: you will have to update your website to keep up with the conventions and current tastes.

Also, beware of anyone who claims to have objective “good” taste. That person or business isn’t just an opinionated artist; they are a charlatan. Web design is a team effort – it is joining usability and design to meet your goals. And those goals vary wildly.

You may want an avant-garde website that is impossible to use for the average person because your audience is the nerdiest of gamers who will love the challenge. You may wish to defy convention or have a perfect corporate-looking website. It is subjective – the critical part is to reach your goals.

So rely on experts, but also ask for what you want too. And remember, when someone claims to have the gospel truth on web design, they probably just mean “this is what most people like me prefer.”

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