Visual Design: The Important Link to Customer Experience

UX / CX | December 2, 2016

In a previous post, we talked about the importance of putting good design first; building a confusing user-interface leads to an unpleasant user experience in our fast-paced digital world. It’s a sure fire way to ensure your potential customers close the tab to your website and proceed to investigate the nine others they have open and waiting. We’ve also talked at length about how not putting design first can cost you big time in lost transactions, and the way you can avoid costly redesigns is by doing it right the first time. Now, let’s take a few moments and visit what else good design can do for your business.

In this post, I’ll be talking primarily about Visual Design. The usability.gov website describes it this way:

Visual Design is a powerful tool that must be wielded with the utmost care, precision, and subtlety, in deliberate harmony with both a strong User Experience and User Interface Design. What determines whether Visual Design will be boon or bane for your website is how it interacts with those two disciplines.

The BMW Example

In my last two posts I’ve leaned on the automotive industry to illustrate my point. Since the comparison is fitting, we may as well make it a hat trick.

The BMW is known as the paragon of four-wheeled excellence. For decades, this brand has come to represent status, luxury, and exquisite taste. The question is: why?

It is known for excellent handling, but is it far and away better in that regard than every other car on the market? The BMW sits among models in the luxury class, but its features are no more indulgent than many of its competitors. The beamer has excellent fuel economy, but the efficiency playing-field is a crowded space at best. So what makes the BMW special when so many other manufacturers have managed to compete with its various strengths?

Well, the answer isn’t in any one of these areas, but in how they all work together.

No other car on the market manages to perfect the combination of performance and fuel efficiency wrapped in a luxurious package. This is how Visual Design works so well with UX and UI.

Bringing it all Together

Using the BMW analogy, those two fields also work together in providing excellent performance and efficiency. But standing alone do not a beamer make. The aesthetic nature of Visual Design could mislead you into thinking that it is less important than UX and UI. And while it is true, well thought UX and UI are the foundation of Visual Design, just as a BMW is simply not a BMW without all of its intricate, well-crafted touches that set it above the rest. And whether you realize it or not, it’s those touches that cause many to spend more to buy the BMW over a Ford Fusion or Honda Accord.

Understanding how Visual Design can work to create an immersive experience that elevates your brand and entices your consumers will help you drive your business to the next level. Stay tuned for my next blog where we will dig into how Visual Design can become an unlikely addition to your sales team.

Ryan Davis is iCiDIGITAL's Visual Designer with an eye for marketing and a focus on results-oriented creativity. He also enjoys long walks on the beach and horseback rides and dreams of world peace.