form vs function

Form vs Function

So many people try to jump straight into the visuals when they’re buying a website. I get it. It’s the exciting bit. It’s the bit that makes it seem real but it’s also the worst possible place to start your web project.

In this video I explain how your website works is way more important than how it looks. If you focus on how it works, what it does and how it makes people feel then how it looks is kind of by the by.

There is a three stage process to launching any business, service or product:

  1. Make it work – if it doesn’t work no one is going to buy it
  2. Make it feel good – you’ve got to make people feel good when using it
  3. Make it look good – you’ve got it working and people love using it so now focus on how to make it look visually appealing and make the overall experience better

To find out about the three step process, watch the video below.


WEB DESIGN IS BROKEN let’s get into this one. Form … function; how it looks … how it works. So I’m going to break it down for you today and show you why if you focus on how it works, what it does and how it makes people feel then how it looks is kind of by the by.

Okay so this is the number one thing that I see people getting hung up on when they’re buying website is, how it looks. They want to jump straight into the mock-up, straight into in into the visuals and this is always, always, always, 100% of the time gonna produce a really bad website.

I mean it might be pretty and it might make people go ‘oh wow ah’ it’s not gonna make them connect with you as a business it’s not gonna drive them to whatever your most desired action is: buy my product, sign up to my mailing list, join my cause – whatever it might be.

Now what this isn’t is an argument to say ‘hey looks don’t matter’ of course they matter, but you’re a business you’ve got to be thinking about it from the business point of view. Unless you’re running a modelling agency you wouldn’t just hire someone based on their looks; your competition aren’t successful because they’ve got the best-looking sales team in the county! It’s because of how they work as a business and how they make their customers feel how they connect with those customers.

Ask yourself this question: would you rather have a beautiful website or a website that works like Google? Would you rather have something just draw dropping … draw dropping draw [struggles to say ‘jaw-dropping’ ] jaw-droppingly … would you rather have something that’s jaw-droppingly beautiful or something that works with the magic and a power of Google? 100% of people would rather have a website that works like Google then have a website that’s beautiful.

Think about if I was sat down in front you and we’ve got to the stage of mock-ups and I was like ‘okay right I’ve got I’ve got a couple of concept designs for you’ and I pull out this thing and I’m like ‘okay well look so we’ve got the logo here front and centre, nice and big and then we’ve got this magical search box which answers any question you ask it … Do I get the job?’ you’d laughed me out of the room! But they trained us successfully how to use it and it worked beautifully and it made you feel good about it because you could just ask Google anything and it came up with the response.

Let’s take Amazon as well only have you seen the Amazon homepage?! I mean it’s almost like Jeff Bezos sat down and said to his design team ‘I want you to use ALL the pixels’ There is no space to breathe and they put all of the products there in one spot. Honestly if my designer turned around to me and said ‘hey I’m working on this concept for a new e-commerce’ I would be like ‘take the rest of the day off. And maybe we’re working you a bit too hard because that looks like someone threw up an Argos superstore.’ But it works you can find absolutely anything that your little heart desires and it will be with you the next day. They made it work then they made it feel good.

There’s a three-stage process to launching any business any service any product it goes like this: Step one – make it work. That that is the most important thing you you’re a non-starter if what you’re promoting doesn’t work if it doesn’t work no one’s gonna buy even if the concept doesn’t work you (if you’re doing like Minimum Viable Product) even if the concept doesn’t work no one’s gonna buy it. So step one make it work that is a first and foremost.

Step two: make it feel good. Once you’ve got it working you’ve got to make it feel good you’ve got to make people want to use it. If it works and it feels good to use them people will forgive how it looks. This has been done so many times going back to the Google example it looks pretty utilitarian it’s pretty basic. For years they just had the basic browser blue colour for their links and everything was really super basic, but it was so easy to use – it was so hard to screw up using Google! So much tech is so easy to screw up using; How can you get using Google wrong? You just type what you think and it gives you what it knows that the experience is so rewarding with Google when you actually find what you were looking for in the first place.

Step three: NOW make it look good because you’ve got it working people love using it now you can actually focus on well how do we make it visually more appealing how do we enhance the experience. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Google – whoever you want to throw in there – that’s why they win because they make it work they focus on how it makes you feel and then making it look good is the icing on the cake. These same rules apply to your business, to your organisation when you’re buying a website: focus on what you want it to do focus on how you want people to feel when they use it and then making it look good it’s the icing on the cake.

I am Aaron Taylor I’m helping you make better decisions and have better conversations when you are buying a website till next time.

This is episode 4 of Web Design is Broken, a series where our CEO Aaron explores the issues with our industry and helps you to make better informed decisions when it comes to your website. Our company, Six Two, specialises in web design in Ashford Kent.

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