Form vs Function

What is design? One of my favorite takes on design, especially when considering design for the web is “To do or plan something with a specific purpose in mind.” For me, that is exactly what I try to do with each new design project. I design knowing that someone who visits that web page is looking forward to a pleasurable journey and experience. A journey where they will ultimately achieve a goal. Two factors that play a large role in designing for the web are form and function.


When talking about the function of a design, I am referring to the usability or overall purpose of a design. Function is generally the first thing I start to consider when I begin a design. These are some questions that I use to help guide my decisions: How is this element going to further the user's experience or make a process easier? Does this design element make sense? Is this element necessary?


It’s important to know that when referencing the “form” of a design, we are referring to the aesthetics of the design or how it looks. We are all aware of how important aesthetics are to a design. The form is what makes design attractive and eye-catching! Form tends to be the more short-term factor in design.

Ultimately both the functionality and the form HAVE to work together. A design that is not attractive or aesthetically pleasing will not catch the user initially, however, a design with no functionality will cause a user to bounce from your site. From past design experience, the form tends to be derived from the function that it carries out. You’ll commonly see that both go hand in hand and it’s hard to design for one factor without dabbling in the other.

As always, contact Red Shark Digital for all of your design needs!