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The role of aesthetics in design (27 Mar 2006)
A simple example today is eBay. EBay has huge community lock-in effect, but in some smaller niches they are losing ground to people who specialize in the niche. For example, Blue Nile sells diamonds and competes quite well with eBay on this front. Itís not because their community is larger, but because their user-experience (and aesthetics) have been tailored for this niche buying experience, they can out-maneuver eBay who must create a generalized (and sometimes ugly) buying experience for all types of goods.

So simply put, ugly!=good, but ugly doesnít hurt that much until your market is mature enough for people have choices by which to exercise their aesthetic and user experience preferences.
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