Design versus function. Why some ugly websites are more popular then those with better design?
In an article by Joshua Porter in Think Vitamin, he wrote about what he called, 'The Myspace Problem'. As we all know, Myspace is a designer nightmare & was badly design. So why is it so popular, it even out ranked Yahoo and Ebay which, is more pleasant to the eyes. Is good design is dead? Should we stop designing wonderful stuff and follow Myspace instead? And employ a 7 year old geek as our consultant?
There are several points that make Myspace a success.
1. MySpace is your social life.
Every feature, every design element, serves to reinforce this. Sure, it is butt ugly but function-wise, MySpace have been spot-on.
2. Confusion is good.
Have you ever received any spam mail that look so annoying yet interesting that you was forced to click on the links to learn more about it? A good design sometime define it purpose too clear. And people will not click any further because they already get the message. When a design is bad, you are forced to click more to make sense of it.
3. Personal style and customization.
According to Danah Boyd, who researches MySpace, writes about designing to allow for personal style: "Don't design for perfection - design for reinterpretation. No matter how perfect you see your design, it will be modified, altered or manipulated in use."
It all about functionality and understanding the current trend rather than good looks. There still hope for good design.