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Zero business value, slowing down mobile browsers. Great article and love the effect, though. The newsletter signup effect is worth a subscribe.

How can you say for certain there’s no business impact? I can imagine for really premium brands, this kind of attention to detail makes a difference.

Difference for whom? I bet most users won't see a difference even if you ask them to search for it.

And most website lack more important features than shadows even premium brands. Sometimes premium brands in particular value looks over function.

On the other hand, a lot of developers undervalue design.

Having sat through quite a lot of end-user sessions, I would make three points:

1. users do often notice these differences subconsciously, even if they say they don’t. Say “which do you prefer” and they’ll tell you the one with the nicer shadow (for example) even if they can’t articulate why.

2. When a site is more aesthetically pleasing, users report greater satisfaction with the product and find it more usable. Of course, there’s diminishing returns here, but premium brands may get more returns on these subtle extras.

3. Developers tend to prefer sparse, lo-fi designs more than non-developers.





That’s how. I guess it’s time to tell these guys what they were missing all these years.

the Apple website uses background blur and has giant scroll-animated images. The store page has drop shadows and CSS transitions.

We weren't talking about "just shadows" though. While one of the sub-pages of one of four brands is really using shadows at least somewhere:

  /* https://www.apple.com/store */
  .rf-ccard-content {
    box-shadow: 2px 4px 12px rgb(0 0 0 / 8%);
... it just supports the point made at the root comment.

PS. And gucci not having an https certificate is another example how "premium brands" often have completely unusable or simply non-functioning sites. Still sells.

Gucci was an established brand long before having a website. Unfortunatly, most people don't start their business at that level, so they need to do whatever they can to stand out (or at least look half decent)

Their 1998 website probably used tables with celllpadding, and it was “good enough” at the time. But I suspect they’ve benefitted by changing it. However, since neither of us have data, it’s all subjective.

For those that do have data, they’ve decided spending millions on it is worth it.

I disagree, please don’t tangentially deny my data points as “no data”. Four random vendors of “premium brand <something>” not doing today what was spoken about in this thread (properly casting shadows as described in tfa has zero business value for premium brands) is not no-data.

OK good point, instead of "no data" I'll say "an insignificantly small amount of data from which it's impossible to draw any conclusions as you could use the same data to say pretty much anything".

At least I wasn’t drawing from pure imagination.

There’s certainly value in, at the very least, understanding how shadows can help delineate elements and create depth (which is a huge part of how we as humans create visual hierarchy to determine what’s important).

Much of the article might not be exactly “business value focused” but neither are the technical deep dives of database systems, though you’d never hear this kind of comment on that kind of post.

tl;dr: it’s someone nerding out a bit, it doesn’t need to create “business value”

Why can't depth be a design element that creates visual hierarchy for a better UX? Better UX can generate business value.

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