Last week, while I was running, I was pondering the different routes I could take home. My goal was to get the most mileage I could. Both routes were probably around the same distance, so I focused on which one would enhance my experience. One was along a busy road with businesses and the other was along a more quiet road with beautiful homes and gardens.
Guess which one I took?
This made me think about another route choice while driving and how different people approach this differently. At the end of the highway, there is a light. If I take one route, it goes through a more industrial area, but I don’t have to stop and wait. I may get home a little earlier, increasing the value of taking that route. However, it’s not as pretty as going through the neighborhoods, enhancing my visual experience. My son and I always will take the more aesthetically-pleasing route, while my husband takes the more utilitarian approach and will take the faster route.
This made me then think of the experiences I design and whether an enhanced experience may help convince someone to stick around and explore. Combining the flow and ease-fulness through the site should never be compromised for aesthetics, but, I do think they can be combined to create an even better experience. We all love and are drawn to beautiful and enjoyable things. Why not enhance this and go for the desirable as long as it doesn’t take away from the usefulness and usability?