Web Design Form and Function
“Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright – Architect
The web is new and innovative and different from any past human endeavor. This is true in some respects. The Internet is bridging gaps, creating new channels, opening new opportunities. But in other respects, it’s not really true at all. It is simply a new medium. Before the Internet, television changed the world; before television, radio; before radio, the telegraph. And so on. People change, societies evolve, the world gets faster, but people, the essence of people, who we are and what we want, remains largely unchanged. Throughout history people want their needs and wants fulfilled. Styles change, preferences move, language evolves, but people remain the same.
And the Internet is simply an extension of people. A medium, a set of tools and agreements allowing people and businesses and groups to communicate, interact, learn, and transact.
So your web presence is simply an extension of who you are. Or at least, it ought be.
Blogs, social networking posts and pages, and personal websites reflect the people that create them. And business websites reflect the businesses that create or operate them.
Is your website a reflection of you and your company? Does it accurately portray your company’s products and services and market and values? If not, it simply won’t work. Visitors to your website continue to grow more savvy and discriminating. It’s very easy to click the back button and move on to the next search result on Google.
What is your company, at its essence? What need do you fulfill in the marketplace? What specific solutions can you provide to potential customers or clients? These are the core questions. Does your current website answer them accurately? This is function. This is who you are. And from function flows form. And form introduces function.
It’s difficult to explain what makes a website optimal. It’s a mix of compellingness, usefulness, attractiveness, and authenticity. We know it when we see it. It’s Google. It’s Facebook. It’s a thousand other successful websites. It’s where form and function mix in subtle harmony.