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

[email protected]

In The News:

Web Design Company, Huemor, Shares 3 Tips for Optimizing Your Mobile Website  PRNewswireNEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A functional mobile website is essential for any company with an online presence because over 50% of web traffic ...
Jumpstart your web design business – What’s the ultimate ‘mantra’ for surefire success?  The New Indian ExpressIf you're someone who still hasn't focused on website designing, it's high time you realize that you make it a priority in 2019. Here are few statistics that can not ...
GoodFirms Features the Most Excellent Web Development Companies from Various States and Cities of the USA for 2019  PRNewswireWASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In the modernized digital world, websites are playing the role of backbone to businesses. Today, it has become ...
CE Pro All-Star Band Member Profile: Geoff Meads, Presto Web Design  CEProGeoff Meads, managing director of the U.K.-based company Presto Web Design, has played more than 1000 gigs in his musical life. Today, Meads is one half of ...
6 Web Design Tips to Keep People on Your Website for Longer [Infographic]  Social Media TodayAre you looking for ways to reduce your website bounce rate? Want to keep people on your website and engaged for longer? The team from CMS Wire share ...
Julien Rivoire’s 3D concepts imagine modern-day versions of retro tech  The VergeA little while ago, programmer Foone Turing shared a concept image of a portable WinAmp player that sparked intense reactions on Twitter, like, “I've never ...
Should websites be accessible to everyone? Domino's says no  Fast CompanyThe pizza company has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a three-year-old case that deals with whether Domino's is legally required to make its websites ...
IoT: Revolutionizing the web development sector with  JAXenterIoT is a diligent technology that has totally transformed our daily lives. But how has the technology affected web developers? In this article, we attempt to ...
Mobile web design: responsive vs adaptive  ITProPortalWhen building your site for mobile, should you build a responsive or adaptive site?
Consumer Survey Demonstrates Strong Link Between Website Design and Credibility  Business 2 CommunityMost businesses understand the importance of having a website in 2019. Strangely, a number of these same businesses don't appreciate the need to carefully ...
The rise of the smart site: How web design is driving business growth  NetimperativeA new white paper from Kayo demonstrates how web design and development can drive business growth. Kent-based technical agency, Kayo, has launched a ...
This Month in InDesign Articles, August 2019 - InDesignSecrets.com  InDesignSecretsHave you ever wondered why Adobe called it “InDesign”? Why not OutDesign or OverDesign or ThroughDesign? Since the team that built it originally worked on ...
What Are the Top 10 Web Design Mistakes to Avoid?  MarTech AdvisorMegan Dennis, Freelance Writer, Independent, discusses common mistakes while designing and shares tips on how to avoid them.
Ministry Design is moving to downtown Battle Creek, though it had opportunities elsewhere  Battle Creek EnquirerMinistry Designs is moving its business to downtown Battle Creek, despite having other offers elsewhere.
The Top Web Design Companies Of 2019, Says New Report From DesignRush  Yahoo FinanceDesignRush determined the best website design firms who can build custom platforms. NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- DesignRush.com, ...
The Top Elements of Effective B2B Web Design  Business 2 CommunityWhile B2B sales are typically complicated, your website shouldn't be (at least not to your user). Below are eight essential things every B2B website design must ...
Good Mobile UX: More Vital Than Ever  Dice InsightsMore Americans than ever are only interacting with the web via their smartphones and other mobile devices. For web app designers and any tech.
70 Web Design and Development Terms We Wish You Knew, Part 2  Business 2 CommunityIn Part One of this two-part post, we gave you some definitions and comments for terms we use here every day. I broke it into two parts because it was getting ...
How Top Web Design Agencies Charge Clients For Their Services, According To New Insights From DesignRush  PR WebNew York, NY (PRWEB) August 21, 2019 -- According to research, there are 4.39 billion internet users in 2019, an increase of 366 million since 2018.Internet.
Graphic/Web Designer job, Johannesburg, Kew  Bizcommunity.comPlease note: We are looking for a creative and innovative thinker who ideally has a minimum of seven years of professional experience.Relevant three-year ...
TryMyUI Study Finds Sen. Harris Is Winning the Web Design Primary  EContentAccording to a study by web usability company TryMyUI Inc., Senator Kamala Harris has the best website of leading 2020 Democratic nominee candidates.
Web Design Company, Huemor, Explains the Top Five Ways to Get More Leads  PRNewswireNEW YORK, July 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Getting more leads for your business doesn't have to be a hassle or cost your company a fortune. Huemor, a web ...
Web Design Trends in 2019 predictions  Times ConnectionWhat will be the web design trends in 2019. We list the main trends and predictions going forward. Fast download times and enhanced mobile experience are ...
In Transition: Joshua Hanosh Is a Different Kind of Teacher Now  Comstock's MagazineIn 2014, sitting around the lunch table at Springview Middle School in Rocklin, the campus where he worked, Joshua Hanosh taught himself to code. He'd seen ...
Web Design Market Size 2026 – Global Industry Sales, Revenue, Price trends and more  Trading HeraldMarket Study Report, LLC, has added the latest research on ' Web Design market', which offers a concise outline of the market valuation, industry size, SWOT ...
Before You Accept a Website Design Price Think of This…  Business 2 CommunityKelsey needed a new website. At least, that's what she thought after reading an article on websites, revenue, design, and the modern customer. After sifting ...
Worldwide Achievers Felicitated the Winners of Business Leaders' Summit & Awards 2019  Business Wire IndiaMumbai, Maharashtra, India: Worldwide Achievers organized Business Leaders' Summit & Awards 2019 in association with ZEE BUSINESS as Telecast Partner ...
Web-design expert offers tips to spot false news stories  KWCHA false news article Tuesday causes confusion and concern in Wichita. The article, shared by many on social media Tuesday night, talked about Wichita police ...
Beauty Bay unveils distinctive new web design  Essential RetailOnline beauty retailer Beauty Bay refreshes website complete with separate scrolling homepage columns for commerce and *content*.
GitHub adds 21 new partners to its free Student Developer Pack  TechCrunchFor a few years now, GitHub has been running a program that gives students around the world free access to GitHub Pro and various free and discounted ...
Web Design New York Company, Huemor, Explains How to Make Your Brand Stand Out and Resonate with Customers  PRNewswireNEW YORK, July 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Having a memorable brand is easier said than done. When it comes to brand awareness, there's never been a set ...
Web Design Agency, Huemor, Shares 3 Tips for Creating the Perfect Domain Name  Yahoo FinanceNEW YORK, Aug. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Creating the perfect domain name can be a tricky task. When choosing a domain name for your website, you may ...
Handy tips of web design to create the best website  RecentlyHeard.comYou will be surprised to know that 48% of users on the web say that a website's design is crucial. It is the topmost determining factor for a business's.
New software school set to open, offering web development and design program  DevdiscourseA brand new software school is set to open in Whangarei, initially offering web development and design program. The school will be the first of its kind in the ...
This Sony patent could mean the PlayStation 5 will actually be the PlayStation V  The Next WebSony Interactive Entertainment reportedly filed a recent patent for what appears to be a new gaming console, complete with drawings indicating it will have a ...
ProPublica Programs Are Helping Diverse Candidates Break Into Newsrooms. Here Are Their Inspiring Stories.  ProPublicaAlmost 100 journalists and journalism students have gone through our Data Institute and scholarship program. Many have told us that their experience shaped ...
Innovation in 3D Web Design Services Market 2019-2026 with Top Firms Like Website Development Company, WebFX, Adobe, Esko, Awwwards, 3D Web Vision, BR Softech  Market Expert3D web design services providers develop, render, design, and produce three-dimensional graphics for websites. These designs can take the form of animation, ...
Web Design Agency, Huemor, Discusses Tips for Designing the Perfect Ecommerce Page  Yahoo FinanceNEW YORK, July 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecommerce sales represented over 50% of all retail growth in 2018 and the growing customer preference for online ...
Ask Brien – Bob Bell on Full Blown Studio and Web Design – July 25, 2019  KHTS RadioOn this episode of the Ask Brien Radio Show, Brien is joined live over the phone by Bob Bell, as he discusses his company Full Blown Studio.
Amazon’s Disney Shop Has Everything You Need For Halloween  SimplemostWhen it comes to Halloween, Disney likes getting a jump start on the spooky season. Walt Disney World is already celebrating the “not-so-scary” holiday in its ...
Hopeworks in Camden Helps Young People Heal  New Jersey MonthlyNearly two-thirds of adults experienced one major stressor during childhood. Camden children experience an average of five. It's a statistic that Hopeworks, ...
Sign-Up Forms: 14 Ways to Increase Conversions  Business 2 CommunityGrowing your mailing list and generating leads should be a focus of your marketing. If HubSpot didn't have 215,000 blog subscribers, they wouldn't have a ...
Web Design Market Opportunities, Developments, Market Size and Future Forecasts To 2024  CW57.TVWeb Design market research report 2015-2024 helps businessman/investor avoiding unpleasant surprises. Intuition and experience can be helpful at times, but ...
Journey ends with high school built for the future  Waite Park Newsleaderby Mike Knaak. [email protected] Amazing. That's a word commonly heard from students and teachers when they talk about the new Sartell High ...
How To Use Web Design To Create A Lasting Brand Identity  Demotix.comA brand is a term or image by which your customers know your products or services. The brand is the face of your company. Now, there are many brands out ...
Marseilles mayor says marketing consultant worth the money  MyWebTimes.comMarseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck defended the city's hiring of a marketing consultant and the process for the hire.
13 free tools for API design, development, and testing  InfoWorldThe rise of RESTful APIs has been met by a rise in tools for creating, testing, and managing them. Whether you're an API newbie or an expert on an intractable ...
How Much Does a Website Cost?  Business 2 CommunityIt's a common question, that a lot of bloggers have answered, but I still get asked. So here's my answer on how much a website costs. What is a conversion worth ...
15 profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya  Tuko.co.keTuko.co.ke News ☛ This list of ⭐BUSINESSES TO START WITH 50K IN KENYA⭐ shows that you don't need a lot of money to set up a successful business.
Money advice for freelancers who want to live well without being tied to a desk  MicThe gig economy is poppin'. There are close to 57 million freelancers working in the US, and research suggests that number is expected to rise by 14% by 2027.
‘User Inyerface’ teaches you about terrible modern web design by making you suffer through it  The VergeBad website user interfaces are perhaps the worst part of the internet: spammy pop-ups designed to trick you, dark patterns that are intentionally misleading, and ...
Web Design Practices That Frustrate SEO Pros  Search Engine JournalIt takes a skilled team to build a successful website. That means developers and SEO pros need to work together. Here's how to make it happen.
User Inyerface is a maddening tour of the worst web design mistakes  PolygonGood interface design works best when you don't even notice it. But what if every UI mistake existed on one website? User Inyerface is an example of everything ...
This Website's Deliberately Frustrating Interface Will Make You Appreciate Good Web Design  GizmodoYou don't know what you have until it's gone is a well-worn cliche, but also an apt description of a web game called User Inyerface, created by design firm ...
5 Web Design Mistakes You Must Avoid  Customer ThinkWe already have enough quotes on how wise men learn from the mistakes of others. It is time that we put into practice and find out what are the common web ...
Four Tips For Effective Web Design  ForbesOn the surface, web design is about making a website look good, and anyone who says that would be right. After all, beautifully designed sites do get a lot of ...
EpicPxls offers pro web design assets for life, and it's over 90% off  The Next WebWeb design is absolutely an art, but don't think there isn't a fair amount of practical process work happening there as well. While creating the perfect style ...
20 Free Web Design Tools from Spring 2019  Practical EcommerceAdd value to your website by utilizing free resources from the design community. Here is a list of new web tools and design elements from spring 2019.
The 'Captain Marvel' site revisits classic 90s web design  EngadgetNo matter your level of excitement over the first Disney+-exclusive Marvel movie, if you remember web browsing in the days of 28.8 dial-up and web rings then th ...
Web design and development  IndivigitalAs featured on. Web design. We build user-friendly websites that help small brands standout in competitive marketplaces. We believe a website should and can ...
Seven Aspects Of Website Design Crucial For Drawing In Customers  ForbesWhen drawing in clients or customers, it is important to remember that each interaction they have with you or your company reflects upon your brand as a whole.
4 Ways Web Design Can Help You Improve Customer Experience  Customer ThinkThe design of your website is one of those key elements of modern brand building that has the power and potential to make or break customer experience and ...
Top 17 Web Design and UI Trends for 2019  DesignmodoNew year, new time to think about web design trends. The start of the year is a great time to look back on the previous year and your successes and look …
Policymakers Sound Alarm On "Dark Patterns", Deceptive Web Design Trick  NDTV NewsTwo U.S. senators unveiled new legislation Tuesday targeting what they say are deceptive tricks, employed by websites and tech companies, that are designed ...
Your Next Website Redesign: 6 Trends to Embrace Now  Search Engine JournalAre you in the early planning stages of a new website? Here are the trends that web designers and their clients expect to embrace in the year to come.
6 Campaign Web Design Trends to Watch in 2020  Campaigns & ElectionsEach cycle we see website design trends that come to dominate the digital aesthetics for campaigns. In 2008, it was overstuffed landing pages.
5-Step Web Design Process to Create Winning Websites  Business.comA stellar design isn't merely focused on how pretty the interface looks.
AI Needs to Develop to Impact Web Design  Business.comArtificial intelligence has had a big impact on web design and development, but it still has a long way to go.
Six visual web design trends set to be big in 2019 – Econsultancy  EconsultancyAs January comes to a close, it's time for a round up of web design trends we're likely to see a lot more of as 2019 progresses. Expect even more video *content*, ...
10 Lessons from Hertz's $32M Web Design Lawsuit Against Accenture  CMSWireHertz has sued Accenture for $32 million over a website redesign failure. We asked around to see if there was anything to be learned from this suit.
Digital Influence: Web Design's Impact On Marketing Strategy  ForbesWhen strategizing an integrated marketing plan for your brand, the right web design is essential. The standard for web design is no longer just function or ...
How Big Data is influencing web design and what you can learn for it  CRN.inBig Data refers to huge volume of data, both structured and unstructured. The volume of data is so massive in scope that it is almost impossible to process it ...
Web Design Don'ts: 13 Website Features That Can Ruin The User Experience  ForbesA "flashy" website may look cool, but intrusive, slow-loading or unintuitive features may ruin the user experience. Members of Forbes Technology Council detail ...
The seven deadly sins of web design  Packt HubFor a great website, web developers meet client demands while at the same time thinking about users. Gary stevens discusses more such in his article.
6 Ways To Improve Your Website Design To Boost Sales  ForbesHow you build your website is as important as what is on it when it comes to converting sales.
Hertz Sues Accenture for Breach of Contract Over 'Seriously Deficient' Web Design Work  AdweekHertz, one of the world's largest rental car brands, is suing former marketing partner Accenture LLP for breach of contract, claiming the company failed to deliver ...
The Top 25 Web Design Companies from Around the World, According to DesignRush  Yahoo FinanceAt Mad Icarus Media, they believe mediocrity is the enemy. Mad Icarus Media works with its clients to take the creative and calculated risks needed to create ...
5 Solid Web-Design Tips For Drawing In Clients  ForbesGood websites inspire action. From educational *content* to well-crafted menus to a focus on users' needs, here are some things to consider when looking to ...
CSS Grid is finally starting to live up to its potential in web design  AdAge.comThe technology promises to modernize the way the web looks for brands and publishers.
10 Web Design Tools to Improve Your Workflow in 2019  HTML Goodies10 web design tools that will help you effectively complete your tasks.
Twitter’s new desktop web design and dark mode options rolling out to all users, no option to revert  9to5MacTwitter's been testing a new design for its desktop web experience and now it's rolling out to all users with a simpler aesthetic, two dark modes, and more.
Web Design  Image MattersYour website is the centre of your digital presence. Therefore, our website design team create effective sites that best show how you can help new customers.
10 exciting web design trends you can't hide from in 2019  The Next WebWith adding extra white space, making navigations the focal point of websites, and new typography, 2019 will be seeing websites experimenting with their ...
The Role of JavaScript in Web Development  Coast DigitalJavaScript is growing every day and our job as developers is to grow with it. This post takes a look at the role of JS in web development.
How AI is reshaping web development | Articles | Big Data  Innovation EnterpriseHow AI is enabling are reshaping web development and giving developers everywhere hope about the future of tech.
DesignRush Announces The Top 13 New Jersey Web Design Agencies Of 2019  Yahoo FinanceStudies show that 62 percent of companies can increase sales by creating responsive mobile-friendly interfaces for their website. DesignRush rounded up the ...
Top 5 Web Design Trends  Business 2 CommunityIt's 2019, you've already got a couple briefs to respond to, but you have no idea what's “in” this year. Fear not, I'm here to fill you in on all of the hot web design ...
9 Web Design Tools to Help You Work Smarter in 2019  Interesting EngineeringWant to work smarter and not harder? Why not check out these web design tools that will leverage your time.
How (and Why) Collaboration Brings About Stronger, More Creative Web Design  EntrepreneurWith respect to web design, the result of team collaboration is almost always a better product.
How to Build Your Brand through Web Design  EntrepreneurBrands are successful because people care and remember them. So how do you make your brand memorable? The answer is consistency.
8 Web Design Tips for Ecommerce Website to Boost Sales  CEOWORLD magazineYou're in business to make money. You most likely knew that you can do that with your website. What most ecommerce site owners don't know, though, is how to ...
A day in the life of... Co-Founder and Creative Director of a web design agency  EconsultancyAndy Golpys is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of web design agency MadeByShape. Econsultancy spoke to him about how he came to found a web ...
Psychology in Web Design: Exploring Hidden Influences on Users’ Decision-Making  Business 2 CommunityGood design is something obvious. Great design is something almost transparent. Great web design can help build trust with users and motivate them to take ...
YouTube's carbon footprint is huge, but smarter web design could fix it  Wired.co.ukSustainable Interaction Design could help shave down the carbon emissions of websites and online services — why aren't they using it?
Web Development Company in NYC, Huemor, Discusses the Difference Between Web Design vs. Web Development  Yahoo FinanceNEW YORK, July 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Though the two terms are used interchangeably, "web design" and "web development" describe different tasks in a ...
Workshop on responsive web design and MS-Excel  The TribuneTribune News *Service*. Ludhiana, June 20. The department of computer science of the Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, had organised an intensive ...
Web Design New York Agency, Huemor, Shares the Ultimate Website Design Checklist  PRNewswireNEW YORK, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Website design is much like constructing a building – a plan is required, as well as time, effort, and resources. If...
DesignRush Announces the Top 29 Florida Web Design Companies of 2019  Yahoo FinanceB2B agency ranking site DesignRush determined the leading website design agencies in Florida who can build professional sites that reach brand goals.
Accessible web design: an urgent priority for the public sector  www.computing.co.ukNew accessibility regulations coming in September mean major upgrades for public sector websites and digital platforms, warns Sigma's Hilary Stephenson.
Web Design Trends of 2019 [Infographic]  Social Media TodayWhen was the last time you gave your website a refresh? This is an important consideration - website functionality is evolving all the time, and as other ...

Handwriting Font Tips - The Personal Touch That Makes a Difference

Most websites use similar fonts and as a result have... Read More

404 Error - The Page Cannot be Found

A "404 Error" happens when the web server you are... Read More

Basic Graphic Design

Wether you design your business brochures, flyers, web page, or... Read More

The Newbie?s Guide to Small Business Web Design

You've got a concept for a business, are excited about... Read More

Creating a Basic Web Design Template

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

Be Inspired to Create Better Websites

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

Your Website Could be Letting You Down

A professionally presented business website is a powerful and essential... Read More

Website Redesign for Existing Websites

Does your website need a re-design? Here are some questions... Read More

Your Site Map: Spider Food or Just A Light Snack?

Mechanical spiders have to eat. In fact, they usually have... Read More

Cool Web Design And Promotion Tips

This article gives free tips on how to find a... Read More

Use Feng Shui Techniques To Design a Harmonic Website For Your Business

By following feng shui guidelines and techniques, you can build... Read More

Creating Personal Web Sites

This is a two-part article about creating a web site... Read More

Free Website Templates - Top 10 Things You Need to Know

When building your website you might not have a large... Read More

The Technology May Change, But Human Nature Remains The Same

Let me repeat that.."The technology may change, but human nature... Read More

Hiring a Graphic Designer

You've come up with a great product. You've got the... Read More

The Golden Rule Of Website Building

Copyright 2005 Robert EvansSetting yourself up to earn a steady... Read More

Building An Effective Furniture Sales Web Site

Web sites that feature products ? especially furniture or other... Read More

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website

When designing your website, remember to avoid useless and confusing... Read More

Choosing Form Over Function Kills Your Site

Never put form over function. Why? Because it's crucial that... Read More

How to Avoid the Biggest Mistakes Member Sites Make in Their Marketing Copy

If you have a web site to which people pay... Read More

10 Things All Webmasters Should Know

Geared Up with a website and lots of energy to... Read More

Meta Tags ? An Introduction

A long, long time ago? In a galaxy far, far... Read More

Your Web Site Is A Wonderland: What Picassos Art Taught Me About Persuasive Design

Whenever singer John Mayer sings his romantic song, "Your Body... Read More

What You Should Ask a Web Designer Before You Hire Him

You've thought about it and you're ready to go. You're... Read More

Nine Effective Tips For Improving Your Website?s Usability

Web usability is perhaps the most important factor in any... Read More