Is Aesthetic Superseding Functionality In Today’s Time?

Great web design without functionality is like a sports car without an engine.

-Paul Cookson

It has been a long lasting debate as to whether we as individuals give more emphasis to luxury rather than necessity? Many psychologists have pursued interest in this matter and have forged many theories, one of the more famous ones being the that proposed by James Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs.


This theory essentially outlines a hierarchy according to which an individual sets about satisfying his needs, categorically from the base of the pyramid to it’s apex. According to this theory, self actualization can be attained only after the satisfaction of the more generic needs like physiological and so forth.

This entire topic of debate drove me to engage in a debate along the similar lines- are aesthetics superseding functionality in today’s age? To extend the discussion further, aesthetics is that aspect of a product that is angled towards human psychology with a means to drive the sales of the product thereby being more of a marketing tool. Functionality on the other hand is the motive behind which the product is developed, that is, the need of the products inception.  A segregation between the two has slowly diminished to virtually nothing, moresoever, it is the aesthetic that is driving the sale of the product.

Do we really need to invest in the aesthetics of the product rather than its functionality? The latter in my opinion should be the driving factor for the development of products. This will lead to the development of technology as a whole and will provide an opportunity for consumers to govern the choices based on requirement rather than a marketing scheme or an advertisement. A quest and diligence for excellence will consequently lead to the higher sales of the product and will also lead to a higher rate of  consumer satisfaction.

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