Design for Experience, not aesthetics

This post is just as much a confession, as it is a criticism. I too often, I have found myself pushing for an idea or design because I thought it "worked better"...when I really I thought it simply "looked better." This week I tweeted,

"Shut up & design. No one cares about your thoughts on flat design."

Yes its harsh. I don't even want to be apart of that conversation, because I think that its the wrong conversation to be having all together. If we are designing apps and products, we should be more concerned about the business objectives of that product. Likewise, if we are only concerned about the visuals of a design, we have no unit of measurement to judge wether we are succeeding or failing.

Of course, we as designers aren't only worried about visuals. We talk about architecture, typography, composition, etc, but the more we chat and argue about visual details (that most likely have little effect on the UX), the more we loose sight of the user. I think we should design like scientists and this is what Netflix has taught me to do. Every project has a purpose and a hypothesis. We design to prove that hypothesis with data (qualitative or quantitative), and iterate as a product team around those results in order to improve the experience. 

... the preferred aesthetic style should follow the UX design...not dictate it

That being said, the visual components of the design are essential to create an experience, but the preferred aesthetic style should follow the UX design...not dictate it. I still want a beautiful design, with sexy details, but this is simply one of the small components that co-labors with interactions, animation, data, and performance. In order to create a great UX, we should be crafting all those elements along with a hypothesis and strategy.  

Shout out to my homie Smirk for the beats behind my rant. Buy his music.