At my day job, we are currently redesigning the corporate Web site. I am responsible for doing most of the coding for the site. During lunch, I have been reading articles on CSS, XHTML, site design, structure, management, etc. Today, Slashdot had a link to an article at Site Reference called
“The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites,” by Mark Daoust.
One interesting point that the article makes is that quite a few users are still afraid of the Internet. They don’t like the impersonal feel of a professional site. If a site is “ugly,” or looks less polished, a visitor might think that a person (instead of a company) did the site, which creates a connection with the user. Maybe it makes them feel comforted, like he or she can trust the author of the site. It is an interesting read.