Functionality vs Visual Appeal

It is darned hard for a designer and a coder to work together on a website. They represent two sides of a coin – the analytical and the artistic.  I’ve seen designers try to code and coders try to design and in neither case have I seen the same effect that each could do if they worked together in harmony.  Designers end up making sloppy code and coders end up making stilted design.  Maybe I’m wrong and you know a few people who break this mold, but it certainly isn’t the norm.

As a designer I spent the better part of my earlier years believing functionality was pointless without an earth shatteringly unique design. After all, who would bother to stay long enough on a boring website to see how well it worked?

It’s true that without some decent professional appearance people will not give your website a great deal of attention and in these days of template websites it’s harder and harder to get away with poor design. However, a beautiful website whose website’s SSL isn’t working won’t get many orders – if any at all. Is there a point to drawing in and interesting customers who can’t trust your site enough to buy from you?

If you’ve been reading some of the person-to-person development books I’ve been reviewing like Crucial Conversations, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and Entreleadership you stand a better chance of bringing both sides of this equation together.

When both sides have learned what the other side needs and how they work, they can work together far better than alone or, worse still, at odds with each other. So don’t shirk development books and seminars as wishy-washy, because without good people-person skills you’re very likely going to have to choose between functionality and visual appeal.

Why have one, when you could have both?

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