People make up their minds very quickly when they meet someone new. Science calls this physiognomy, or reading a person’s personality traits from their appearance. This can be applied to visual media, including websites. A website could be a potential client’s first experience with a business. It is therefore imperative that they are engaged enough to want to know more about what a business can do for them.
A website that engages the target begins with a sound strategy based on what the website is expected to deliver. This could be brand, web commerce or both. Once a strategy has been devised the functionality needs to be developed to make the site deliver on the strategy.
Design is all important but a good design is meaningless if it does not deliver on the strategy. In fact the opposite can happen if the user has a poor experience with a site that just looks good.
Sullivan’s Axiom that “Form Follows Function” applies as much to the online world as it does to the physical one.