To say “design is about making it look pretty” has finally become a faux pas within Silicon Valley. To utter it brands you as the worst kind of n00b. Instead, people have adapted to this shift by saying “Interaction Design is about making work well, Visual Design is about making it look good”. This seems to be the new status quo and it’s easy to mistakenly hold this impression if all you’ve ever worked with are bad Visual Designers. Good Visual Design is about clear and effective communication and it involves everything from understanding who you are communicating to, what message you want to communicate and then how to effectively deliver that message.
To demonstraJaco, over at the guestlist blog, has an excellent time lapse video of the design of the guestlist front page which, IMO, convincing demonstrates how visual design encompasses so much more than making things look pretty: