View Full Version : [ARTICLE] Functionality or Design

07 May 2009, 05:58 AM
We all want to run the website that has everything, the best features, the best look, the perfect website. Unfortunately, it wonít happen. Even the biggest and most-funded companies in the world canít do this. This article is designed to help you make the compromises that are required to make your launch date & still make a bang.

During web development thereís usually a deadline, this means compromises need to be made in order to reach it. The decision is between two powerful aspects that drive your audience to come to the site, one is functionality, one is design. Which is most important? Well the programmer in me wants to say its functionality, but the designer in me has a different opinion.

In order for your website to me used, it has to be useful. Your site must give the user something, whether itís something to do, some kind of service or perhaps just a place to spend time with friends; without this they have no need to visit your site. So the functionality is extremely important. At the same time the site needs to flow nice & be easy to navigate, otherwise the users will get lost or get irritated by the poor look and move to a better looking alternative. So how do we resolve the co***ict?

First of all, the site doesnít need 100% of the planned functions straight away, so start by stripping away the ďwanted featuresĒ and stick to the necessities. This way thereís some functionality to attract your users, the rest can come afterwards once the panic of the launch is out the way. Now the design, donít get lazy the site still needs to look usable and not ďhalf-doneĒ, just remember you can always give the site a face-lift, so if certain aspects of the design are delaying things, come up with new quicker solutions. Again this can always be done later.

Ok so Iíve told you to cut back on both, now here is why. The initial launch is one of the most important milestones for the website; if youíve already told the world its coming then youíre under the pressure as this is the userís first impression, do you want them to think you arenít prompt & organized? Definitely not, you want to scream professionalism. Just because itís the launch or release doesnít mean things have to be perfect, it just needs to be stable & useful as you can add new things later, sometimes this is enough to get you more members and extra publicity to improve the sites user-base and overall internet status.

So what if this isnít a launch, why canít your website be perfect? Simple, because the internet is ever expanding. During the time it takes you to develop that ground-breaking solution, the bar has been pushed further. Youíre not competition on a local market, the internet is global and theirs break through every day. You just have to be ďup theirĒ, even if youíre the number 1 thing today before you take a break someone will already have stole your thunder. Just keep your eye on the prize, work at it & you will be producing an amazing thing. Our world is slowly moving to the internet, all aspects whether its Health Care being provided via web-link consultations or children trading games, conquering the internet isnít easy, but the ride along the way is just as fun.