rebath showers adding a floor to a bungalow 1st floor additions lakewood dove remodeling arlington heights prefab rooms to add on spring grove .. Chicago Drug testing

Choosing Form Over Function Kills Your Site

Never put form over function. Why? Because it's crucial that visitors actually be able to USE your site. Everything you do must be designed to be as easy for the visitor to understand as possible. Everything should be functional first.

If you put form before function, you sacrifice your visitor's best interest for your own preferences. By definition, putting form over function means you sacrifice function--you make it harder to perform whatever task is supposed to be performed. You give up ease of use or simplicity in order to make it look nicer. Basically, you wind up with a lot of icing and no cake.

Don't get me wrong--form often accentuates function, just like icing accentuates a cake. Something that is visually pleasing often increases the usability by making it more attractive or by using visual elements to increase understanding. Creative design can often be used to make a task easier to perform. It can entice the visitor to take whatever action you want them to take.

However, on the web, there are frequently contests between form and function. Designers make choices between whether to make something look nicer or make it simpler and easier to use. For example, these are common ways of sacrificing function:

  • Using an uncommon style of links that makes it hard to recognize the links.

  • Putting a textured background behind the copy, even though it will make the text harder to read.

  • Choosing a font color that doesn't have enough contrast with the background color.

  • Using a font face that is difficult to read.

  • Using an uncommon name for a common link. For example, "Talk" instead of "Contact us".

  • Placing elements in unexpected places. Like putting the logo on the right side of the page or placing the main navigation along the bottom of the design.

  • Using a splash page on the site because it looks neat, even though it keeps visitors from getting to the real information in the site.

  • Using a lot of fancy images that make the page load more slowly.

  • Opting for a totally graphical design with no copy on the main page. Regardless of the fact that visitors won't have a clue what the business is all about until they get further into the site.

These are all examples of choosing form over function. Unfortunately, if your design looks great but is hard to figure out, your visitors will be gone. They don't come to your site to admire the looks; they come to use the site--to find information or to accomplish a task. Anything you do to stand in their way is a no-no.

Most of the time, a visitor's attention span is about as long as snake fur. They have no patience. If you complicate their lives, they're outta here. Other sites are ready and waiting to meet their needs, so there is no reason they should struggle through your site. If you opt for form over function, you're likely to opt yourself right out of sales. Not good.

When you're designing your website, don't think about looks first. Always make function a priority. Think about what's going to be easiest for your visitors to use and understand. Then create an attractive presentation to accentuate it.

About The Author

There are 605.6 million people online. Can they find your business? Jamie Kiley creates powerful and engaging websites that make sure YOUR company gets noticed. Visit www.kianta.com for a free quote.

Get a quick, free web design tip every two weeks--sign up for Jamie's newsletter: www.kianta.com/newsletter.php

jamiekiley@kianta.com

In The News:

My Top Ten List Of Extremely Annoying Web Page Design Elements!

Easy navigation and usability are one of the most important... Read More

What is ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a new programming framework from Microsoft for developing... Read More

Give Your Web Site a Small Business Marketing Tune Up

Your web site is like your car. Both are significant... Read More

A Web Site That Sells Is All One Needs To Have A Successful Online Business!

There are more than billions of Web Sites, running Online... Read More

Reach Out To Billions

Have you heard of 'Babel Fish'?It's a service provided by... Read More

Creating a Basic Web Design Template

A "template" is simply a design format which you can... Read More

Save Thousands of Dollars by Creating Your Own Web Site

With the advent of the Internet a whole new vista... Read More

Do You Own Your Web Site Design?

Your web site has been up for a few months... Read More

Database Driven Website

The solution lies in creating a 'Database driven website', through... Read More

10 Tips for Killer Website Design

Does website design make a difference in how long people... Read More

Digitalize It! : (Modification of images with tools such as Adobe CS and Corel)

Then it was a choice among crayons, paints and palettes... Read More

Creating Your First Website? Your Options

Creating your own website is great fun! But how is... Read More

Be Inspired to Create Better Websites

Being a writer, when I was asked to do some... Read More

Website Design: Redecorate Your Web Site To Increase Sales

Getting traffic to your website is not the only factor... Read More

How to use Emotional Content to Increase Visitor Response

Did you know that many folks make "buying decisions" when... Read More

How To Improve The Professional Look And Feel Of Your Website

Projecting a professional image is paramount to your website's success.... Read More

How To Choose A Website Designer

Now that you have decided that it is time to... Read More

What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?

QUESTION: My business is very small, just me and... Read More

Web Site Templates and Their Benefits

Unarguably, the most important part of your website is content.... Read More

Creating the Perfect Website - A beginners Guide

Are you looking to create the perfect website? A complete... Read More

Caveat Scriptor: Use the Advice of Those Who Know Before You Build a Site

~A man [woman] is a success if he [she] gets... Read More

Some Useful Common Site Ideas

In my web surfing adventures, I've found a few site... Read More

Website Promotion and Design Tips

Are you thinking that it is about time your small... Read More

When Your Graphic Designer Costs You Money

So how do you know when your graphic designer costs... Read More

Hiring The Right Webmaster

The Questions You Should Be Asking ? The Answers You... Read More

street light instrumental led street light specifications Pete's produce ..
street light instrumental led street light specifications Pete's produce ..