• http://www.grownupnowwhat.com TammyLuck

    I once had a client hire me to teach them the basics of SEO. They were in the process of a website redesign, and they wanted to make the most of it. As I was explaining current best practice, they told me that their designer found words to be ugly and wanted their homepage to be word free except for navigation.

    I agreed that the new design was beautiful (the mock up was gorgeous!), and then asked them if they wanted a beautiful site that no one visited or an attractive site that people would be lead to by the search engines. They hadn’t thought of it that way.

  • http://tamaroDesign.com Paul

    Excellent post, thanks… now back to rounded corners, different shades of gray, the latest color palette, and the most recent layout :\

  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey

    Paul, I feel your pain. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey

    TammyLuck, if our only job as consultants was to be smart, the Web would be a much more enjoyable place to surf and a much more profitable place for businesses. But, we have to be as persuasive with our clients as our sites are with their clients. Glad they had you on their team (and I bet they are too).

  • http://jordankoschei.com Jordan Koschei

    This is quite the straw man you’ve set up here.

    Design that serves any purpose besides the greater business goals of the client isn’t design at all, it’s art. This article makes the assumption that design is about how something looks rather than how it feels; anyone who’s worth a dollar in this profession will tell you the truth is otherwise.

    You’re right, the business is more important than the aesthetics. Thankfully, we have a name for that sentiment, and that name is “design.”

  • http://antdido.tumblr.com Anthony D.

    What Would Bernbach Do? You described a timeless problem in advertising and marketing, how to have copy and design fornicate to produce a love child of incredible messaging. Do what Bill Bernbach did in the ’60s, put your copywriter and designer literally in the same room. Have them critique each other’s work and build the presentation together. Great copy is King, I agree. And, his Queen is design that compliments the message to the Kingdom. Their torrid love affair has us all rejoice and respond by forking up our hard earned dollars. Long live the King and his beautiful Queen!

  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey

    Anthony D.,

    You speak wisely and eloquently. The answer is YES! Put two heady pros together and let them make sweet persuasion. The challenge in the online world is that everyone believes they are a writer, while designers enjoy the view that their art is a rarified talent. Give designers and copywriters equal standing and all should be well in the kingdom.


  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey


    I love that distinction: Aesthetics in the service of business is “Design”. Thanks for commenting.


  • ShellyKramer

    There are no words for how much I love this post. #thatisall