Aesthetics primarily deals with the look and beauty of certain things. Aesthetics for a website may cover the overall look, color, texture, appealing images, buttons and words to determine the overall appeal of a website.
Generally people perceive 'what looks good must be better,' mainly because of the recurring Halo effect.
Halo effect is defined as “the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area.”
A customer shopping online will preferably choose a good looking website over an average looking one despite the lesser quality of product or services offered by it. Such tendency tends to trigger an effect among the customers to choose what looks better but the other way around.
The halo effect primarily overruns the customer’s mentality, however it may only exist for a while. Afterwards, it’s entirely about the user experience that matters most to the customer.
A guest waiting to be served for 30 minutes in a posh restaurant is likely to walk out even when the restaurant offers great service afterwards. To retain the customer, the restaurant must serve at instant and keep them occupied until they are served.
Usability deals with the overall user experience in a website. The ease in searching for desired products, alternatives, information to back the product and accessible purchasing or ordering options determine the user experience.
User experience is synonymous to user engagement. Garnering the engagement is a challenge for every website owner. They must offer the desired product and in the manner desired.
Usability and Aesthetics goes hand in hand. Aesthetics helps in appealing the customer and user experience will help retain them for a longer period of time. To ensure lesser bounce rate (Website abandonment), higher conversion or turn-outs and retaining, you must focus equally on aesthetics and usability of a website.
Check Web development to learn more about current website and usability practices.