This is truly a double-edged sword, Connor. I think there has to be a fine balance between aesthetics and functionality along with a rational approach to where you will or need to spend your time in developing a product. I point this out in a later story — Confessions of a UX Designer. I have come into multiple organizations where the UI is severely lacking in both functionality and aesthetics. The best system redesign efforts I have worked on balanced those two. The worst have been those where the project is not scoped right and we spend more time on style issues than functionality or more time on just building a system that functions than on how it looks and feels.
Nevertheless, aesthetics cannot be minimized as they do play a role in how a user perceives the system. Users will be more likely to forgive minor errors in a system that is aesthetically pleasing. This is called the aesthetic-usability effect and has been replicated in multiple studies.
Thanks for reading and thank you for taking the time to comment!