7 on the Ugly Scale
Tom Chi  

The role of aesthetics in design

March 27th, 2006 by Tom Chi :: 13 Comments

I guess the reason that the recent “debate” over ugly websites has gotten so much attention is that it goes against common sense. In emotional design, Norman argues that people will go to great lengths to adapt to the requirements of products/services that meet their aesthetic preferences. This would indicate a kind of aesthetic primacy, especially for products/services whose markets are well established.

Now, in the peculiar case of these “ugly” websites, a different sort of mechanism is at work. In most cases, the winners of the web these days are sites that are able to draw and sustain vibrant communities and/or solicit interesting user-generated content. Whether it’s Craigslist, or MySpace or IMDB, by being the first in the space they were able to capture the community and the net result was that early success lead to later success.

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?