Beauty is powerful.

And beautiful design sets the stage for powerful user experience.


Never before have we had so much data.  And never before have we needed less of it.

As we navigate the daily onslaught of screens and messages, beauty has become a defining aspect of good design.  It determines which content we decide to engage with.  And once we do engage, beauty helps us process, navigate, and understand.

Beauty simplifies and clarifies.  Part of what makes something beautiful is focus, and focus by definition means taking some other things away.  Beauty is not about clutter.  It’s about just a few things that work just right together.

Take email.  Remember those circa 1994 “Let me know if you got this.” and “I got it!  Let me know if you get this.” messages?  Gone are the days when the arrival of an email was occasion for celebration.  Email is now like trying to cross through Grand Central Station at rush hour.

There are too many missiles coming at you, so how do you decide what to read?  Part of the answer is beauty.  If something is beautiful it signals it is worth looking into.  And email should be beautiful.

InVision sends some lovely email.  Email is not the place to read long messages.  It’s a medium suited to brief notifications that give you a little info or reminder and then drive you somewhere else to do/read/buy something.  A good email is a micro branding experience that (if it goes well) reminds you of a product or brand you’re in a relationship with.  You should come away reassured that the company is in good hands and still deserves a place in your inner sanctum.

Using a card-based pattern, InVision creates a micro story that is as much image as text.  The purpose here is to convey WHAT something is and WHY you should care.  Take the following as an example.  A little color, some mystery.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have a hard time not clicking a red button labelled “Hemingway Knows Best”.  Look how beautiful and simple this is.  The email is a stack of 6-8 of these cards.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.23.51 PM

Beauty communicates a lot subconsciously.  Something beautiful, in addition to being about whatever it’s actually about on the surface, also tells you:

  • How about this!
  • We know what we’re doing
  • We create special stuff that stands out
  • You appreciate beautiful things
  • There’s more where this came from
  • This is a place where you want to hang out

Powerful, right?  Beauty pulls us in and keeps us there.

Beauty sets the stage for good things ahead.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s