Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Corporate Websites: Form vs Function?

Form vs Function is a favorite topic for debates, especially when deciding from a business perspective. Best example: designing a corporate website.

Many business owners are at loss when it comes to matters over creating their corporate websites. Often they'd just let the designers decide everything. It wouldn't be a problem if the designer is well-versed in both aesthetics and functionality but what if not? The World Wide Web abounds with personal and corporate sites that look great but are unusable.

Sometime last year, web users realized that ugly is the new thing - what with the evidences of 'ugly and successful' in websites like Craigslist and ImageVenue. This is where functionality trumps form. Even with the lack of artistry, surfers find these websites convenient and very easy to use. Does this mean 'ugly' works? Yes and no. Yes, but take note that the sites featured on the link are largely internet based. Businesses offering products and services accessible to consumers outside the WWW will benefit from good-looking websites.

The key is balance. When designing a website, think 'functionality is king, aesthetics is queen.' It's not form vs function or one without the other. Form precedes function and would not do without it.

Things to consider when designing a corporate website:

*User friendly navigation. Many designers have found clever ways to design website navigation. Some designs are too clever - too clever for users to identify. What good is a well-designed navigation scheme if the visitors fail to realize its function?

*Mobile searching. Thanks to non-stop mobile technology innovations, users can now access the internet through smart phones. Convenient, yes; but as far as speed and connection are concerned, mobile browsing is still not up to par with computers. If your website fails to adhere to the '10 second loading' rule on computer browsers, chances are consumers would not even bother to visit through their mobile phones.

*SEO. It's all about traffic. ROI will not be possible without traffic. 90% of website traffic comes from search engines, so it's best to maximize the site's search engine-friendliness. Flash-based sites might make for great aesthetics but are not recognized by search engines.

Alchemy Advertising offers website design, management, and SEO services. For more information, visit our official website: http://www.alchemyad.com.