Design Vs Functionality: What Makes or Breaks a Website Design?
The physical appearance of a brick and mortar business is often a determining factor in its success. The more you invest in the look and design of an office, the better it is for the business. However, a website design is not about the art and beautiful design; rather it is about making the site functional, and a major contributing factor in improving the profitability of the business.
The webmasters who mistakenly assume that a successful website is that which has a visually appealing web design are in for a loss. Whenever we talk about design vs. functionality, the latter should always be given preference because it is the ease of use of the site that bridges the gap between you and your potential customers. While the aesthetics shouldn’t be completely ignored in web design, the functionality of the site is what makes or breaks it. If a site is easy to use and navigate and the visitors feel interested in visiting the site again, it is the victory of the web design and the designers. However, if the visitors only visit the site to see the attractive images, colours and design, then the main purpose of creating the site in the first place remains defeated.
In website design, two major elements must be kept in mind before working on the design- visitors (customers and potential customers) and search engines. These two factors determine the success of the site and if the visitors and search engines find your site favourable enough, it is bound to achieve success. The conversion rate and the business profits depend entirely on their opinion, so the web designer should make sure that the site enhances the user experience and is also search engine-friendly.
The business of a website is to make money, and not just to be an aesthetically pleasing piece of art. Some of the aspects that must be taken care of in order to enhance the functionality of the website design are discussed below:
1) Navigation- Most of the website visitors get annoyed when they are unable to browse through a website due to broken links or because of a confusing navigation plan. It is important that the designer checks all the broken links and allows the visitors to know where they are, how they can return to Home page/previous page and how they can proceed. Moreover, a simple navigation should allow users to get all the information that they want from the site.
2) Load speed- This is another critical factor in determining the success of a website. A heavy site that takes more than 10 seconds to load has higher probability to losing out potential customers despite having an effective web design. Generally, excessive use of Flash/ Splash increases the load time and waste time of the visitors who want quick information. Thus, one should minimise the use of every technology that slows down the site and should rather use the technologies and features that make it easier for the visitors to get the information they came looking for.
3) Hyperlinks- The promotion of your services and your website depend largely on hyperlinks. Intelligent use of hyperlinks allows search engines to find your website and index it. This enhances the visibility of the site on the World Wide Web. So the web designer should ensure that true hyperlinks are provided to provide greater exposure to the site.
4) Content- When it comes to important factors contributing in enhancing the functionality of a website design, the content is also a very crucial element. Comprehensive, crisp and informative content plays a huge role in bringing in more customers for your business. If the content is well written and provides all the necessary information about your brand, services and specialisations, the visitors would be compelled to contact you and show interest in your products. It is important to have enough call-to-action messages so that the visitors can reach out to you ASAP, without delaying it further.