If you ask a group of website designers and developers whether appearance is more important than functionality you are likely to hear an interesting argument. Some will feel that the way a website looks is just as, if not more, important than the way that a website functions. Others will feel that the opposite is true. It’s a bit of a chicken and the egg situation. The fact is that appearance and functionality are both essential. Here are a few reasons why this is.
Everyone has seen a website that just looks terrible. Whether the colors are jarring and badly matched or the images that are used are not attractive, an ugly website can send customers away in droves. Since you want them to spend as much time as possible on your site appearance is important. Some would argue that when it comes to website development, if the appearance is not there, the functionality will not matter because customers will not stay around long enough to see if it works.
A website with a poor appearance can make your company seem unprofessional as well. As this is not the impression you want to give, you may want to think strongly about how your site will look before you begin to develop functionality.
Why functionality is important
Some designers will argue that without sound functionality, your website is likely to be unsuccessful. This is a valid argument. We have all looked at websites that were impossible to navigate, were slow to download or were plagued by many different functionality issues. It is likely that you left and have not been back since. For a personal website, this is not as much of an issue and can be an inconvenience at best. For a company that is depending on site performance to help drive sales this can be devastating.
Functionality can also help your site get noticed. Proper structure and the use of links and key phrases can help with search engine optimization. This will make it possible for customers to locate your site more rapidly because your site will appear closer to the top of search engine results. Analytics tools can also be a benefit because they will help you determine how people are finding your site, how many hits you are receiving and whether those hits are return customers or new ones.
So which is more important?
The fact is that both of these areas are equally important. While you want to make sure that the site looks good you also need to make sure that the functionality is sound as well. A good website development company is one that will work to combine appearance and functionality so that your site can do what you need it to and look good while it does.
If you want to make sure that your site works and looks like you want it to, it is important that you become involved in the design and programming process. You need to be able to give specific recommendations to a website development company about the color scheme and the layout as well as what your site needs to do.