Web Design: What Comes First, Functionality or Visual Appeal?

How many times have you landed on a website that is visually stunning, but impossible to navigate? How about the opposite ... a site that is plain and simple, but funcionally superior? Most visitors arrive with a purpose. If the design obstructs the path, we have failed!

Overview

Website Design is much more than simply visual appeal. Of course, everyone want a site that looks good. But too often, web designers compromise functionality and purpose to achieve design goals. Looks can be decieving. The real power of design is the ability to shape the customer experience. A color choice that calms or stimulates a visitor at the right moment is more essential than one that is purely asthetic. An element that invites a user to respond, is more usefull than one that compliments the design scheme. The trick is to achieve both, but it isn't always possible. Testing different variations sometimes proves that effective elements are not always the prettiest. When we face that scenario, we have to choose function over form, even though it feels awkard.

Web 2

Web 2 is a buzzword that has been bandied about recently. There are allot of different interpretations about what exactly Web 2 is. We think it is the extension of something we have believed and achieved all along. Web 2 is the use of the most current technologies to create websites that are functional and creative. We tried to achieve the same goals with 'Web 1', before it had a name. Some of the concepts are common sense. The simplification of web pages to relieve confusion is an example of a Web 2 principle that we have always practiced. Complicated navigation, crowded content and wide blocks of text annoy visitors and increase the risk that they will abandon the site, or or be left with a negative experience. The most current technology is a piece of the puzzle that is always changing. Sites that we design today incorporate things that weren't available even a few years ago. It doesn't mean that we didn't use the current technology then, it just means that the technology was different. It was still cutting edge, and most of it still stands up to today's standards, but those standards are always be evolving.