The Style of Function

Have you looked around the web lately? No, not at the giant companies, but at your local, hometown businesses that had their websites designed by the guy at the local computer show, or by the girl who just got her graphic design degree. I get the feeling you haven’t. It’s probably because when you search the Google for anything your local businesses don’t come up, despite the fact that your search settings ask for local results first. And, if you have found them on Google, you probably didn’t stay long because you couldn’t find your way around.

Unfortunately, bad design and bad development are way too common nowadays, and it’s plaguing our ability to do business with local companies. There is a reason the big sites are designed the way they are. The companies that own them want you to find them, spend time on their site, and ultimately spend your money there. To make that happen, the site has to work right.

Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.

– Frank Lloyd Wright

Take a look at the diagram up top. What you typically have is one of two scenarios; your site was designed by a graphic designer with some knowledge of HTML, or your site was developed by a software/website engineer with little experience with design. The former creates an excellent looking site that nobody can find, while the latter creates an absolutely findable site that looks terrible and is complicated to use. This is why it’s important to find a web designer.

Unlike art, websites have to serve a purpose. They are a tool intended to be used. They aren’t all about looks. No matter how great the site looks, if nobody can find it, or it takes forever to load, it doesn’t do its job.

They also can’t be all function with no form. If the customer does find your site, he has to be able to find his way around without straining his eyes at the small font and bad layout and without getting lost among a complex navigation tree. It has to be easy enough on the eyes that he doesn’t want to immediately leave.

Your site’s development is critical, so remember that the company you hire to build it has to make it pretty and powerful. owner Martin Malden offers us this great explanation of how your site’s code can affect the most important thing: how client’s find it. Have a read, and think about how your site is constructed. If it’s no good, you can contact us for help!

Was this post helpful?

About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.