Take a look around at some of your favorite websites. Are they pretty? Now look at some of the most successful websites online. What do they have going for them?
Here is a list of successful websites that aren’t all that pretty or do not have a great deal of graphic design work going in their favor:
- Google – It’s pretty simple with a white background and a search box
- Craigslist – Just a page with a bunch of links
- Drudge Report – Still one of the most unattractive websites online
- Yahoo! – Have you seen Yahoo! lately? It’s got a lot going on, but it isn’t particularly attractive.
- Alltop – Guy Kawasaki’s newsstand. Ugly.
- Wikipedia – There are few websites that can boast of the popularity and success of Wikipedia, but boy is it ugly.
- Twitter – Not much to it, right?
The Web is full of ugly but successful websites. It’s also full of beautiful ones that don’t succeed.
The key to a successful website is to offer something people want. Functionality is key. Without it, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your web design is. On the other hand, a beautiful website can keep visitors longer – but it has to be a functional website with something to offer.
Are web graphics necessary? Not ultimately, but they can make a good website a great one.