Creativity vs. Functionality in Design: Which Reigns Supreme?
Listen, we wouldn’t be web designers if we didn’t want to be a little creative, right? Naturally, we want our layouts to be appealing, eye-catching, and aesthetically pleasing with added functionality.
That being said, there has come the point when I have noticed some designs—looking at you, fancy restaurants—try to put too much emphasis on the look of their pages, when in reality…they’re barely functional.
The moral of the story is don’t be that designer.
A Website Without Functionality Is Useless
The bottom line when designing a landing page, about section, or especially checkout page—you really should put the creativity below the functionality of the webpage itself.
Sure, you want everyone who comes to your spot on the web to like what they see, have it be appealing to a wide audience and stick out from the crowd. But too many times I have personally tried to use a website, and just immediately became frustrated and left. Because while it may have LOOKED beautiful, it had zero purposes for me, as I couldn’t get what I needed from it.
This is especially the case with portfolios. And while I understand you want to show off your skills, making your website non-functional is not the way to do that.
Isn’t Function the Reason You Made the Website?
This rule becomes especially true when the entirety of your website is for a commercial purpose, for instance, if you have an online store.
The entire reason you have a website in the first place is to garner business, and give customers a great online retail experience, no? If so, why on Earth would you make your website even slightly hard to use? With so many options for online shopping, your store is only one broken or hidden click away from a lost sale.
And please, restaurants, knock it off with the weird side-scrolling windows. I beg you.
A Broken Website Won’t Resonate
Don’t forget that the more you put into the details of your website, the more points of error there are. And while, yes, your designs should be decently intricate and good-looking, there is a point where you just have too much, and when something inevitably does break…well…you may be searching where the leak is for a while.
Plus, this will just make your website look plain sloppy, and even abandoned if your errors are live for too long, hurting your reputation that is hard to earn back.
To wrap all of my nonsense up, I should note that while yes, functionality is key, so is a good design. My point is, make sure to focus on making sure your web pages actually WORK before polishing them up to some new-age design (of which I usually don’t like, if I am being honest).
There are a ton of online trends nowadays with design, but honestly, a lot of them damage functionality. So think from the perspective of an online wanderer, if you will, and if your website truly makes sense. Sometimes, the best designs are the ones that just get the job done.