This home page case study by John Henry Müller is a must-read for visual designers:
We released Pack last fall with what we thought was a pretty solid homepage. It had all the bells and whistles you’d like to see on a modern product website: approachable hand written headline, custom ambient background video, playful colors, benefit-led descriptions of key features, scroll triggered animations, prominent call-to-action, charming microcopy, responsive, CSS3, HTML5, blah blah blah. All of the things.
Recently we officially switched over to a drastically simplified homepage after A/B testing for 10 days.
The results of this test were surprising and frankly: embarrassing.
User experience design, or UX design, is a necessary skill for UX and visual designers alike.
Remember what Steve Jobs said, design isn’t about how it looks, but how it works.
Pretty comes later. Make sure your shit works first.