This article was written in 2015. It might or it might not be outdated. And it could be that the layout breaks. If that’s the case please let me know.
I’m working on a talk for my students about what a visual (interface) designer is supposed to do. What does it mean to be responsible for what things look like? I asked for examples of sites that look the same, or sites that are boring, or ugly. Charis Rooda tweeted a link to this very good presentation about the value of good (visual) design by David S. Wieland. It is a perfect recap of some brilliant articles — like the instant classic Design Machines — and it translates the ideas about the future of visual design into some very clear points. It answers the question what the value of template-based things is, like Shopify for instance.
“But it looks good”
I’ll quote just one slide, you’ll have to see the rest for yourself.
No one will come to your site because it looks good.
They’ll come if it answers their concerns, satisfies their needs and solves their problems.