Can Functional Design and Aesthetic Design Meet in a Happy Middle?
If you’ve surfed the web for any length of time there’s a good chance you’ve come across a wide variety of design for websites. You can find an example of everything from the headache-inducing awful (just visit WebPagesThatSuck.com) to gorgeous designs that look more like artwork than an actual website.
Website design is crucial to the success of your business. Given that there are over 3 billion people on the internet (according to internet live stats), a business can’t afford to not have a website anymore. Even people who are familiar with you locally are likely to investigate online, whether to learn more about you and the company, see what else you offer, or purchase a product or service if possible.
However, should your website be built and designed to be functional or aesthetically pretty?
Well, we think both, but by seeking functional first. A truly functional website will also be aesthetically pleasing, because a functional website is one that focuses on serving the customer first and foremost by delivering clear communication effectively, no matter what it is communicating.
How do you know when your site has left functionality and crossed over into simply being pretty? That’s difficult to say, but we recommend asking yourself the following questions:
- Does a visitor know what the purpose of this website is? You’ve got a few seconds to communicate where they are. The last thing people want to do is figure out how to figure out what the point of the website is.
- Does a visitor have obvious direction of what they should do? The navigation should give them an adequate amount of options that cater to the things your visitors are looking for on your website. No more, no less.
- Does a visitor feel overwhelmed or confused? If they know nothing about you or your business, and arrive on your website with nothing but the url name, do they know what you offer?
- Did your visitor have to wait forever for the website to load? With short attention spans, people aren’t inclined to wait very long while your site loads. Too much time and they’ll just head somewhere else.
Conversely, a functional website:
- Clearly communicates what the purpose of the website is right away.
- Offers navigation options clearly, and has a flow for visitors to follow.
- Makes the visitor feel welcomed with clear directions to get anywhere on the website easily.
- Loads quickly and easily.
Not sure how your website ranks? Feel free to ask us for our opinion!
What are your thoughts on the functional vs. aesthetic design?