Fashion vs. Function

A conversation that comes up frequently is the quality of a website’s design.  In e-commerce it is important to remember your goal. The balance between your brand and getting the job done is a delicate one.  Here are some points to remember:

  1. Function comes first – Make sure you are very clear on what your goal is.  Are you driving sales? Are you collecting leads? Are you displaying information? Make sure you design your site to serve your goal, and then worry about making it look good.
  1. Your brand through images and copy – You can convey your brand through the imagery and copy on your website.  Custom interfaces and layouts just confuse users, so stay away from this.
  1. Simple Simple Simple – To emphasize the above point, your site should FUNCTION like every other site of it’s kind.  If it is an e-commerce site, then the cart should be in the upper right and all the basic navigation should exist the same as everyone else.  Make it incredibly easy to navigate so people can do what they need to do.  The more you change as far as functionality or layout, the more people you will lose due to impatience.
  1. You are not a tech company – Do not try to be.  Unless you are actually creating a new shift in web interfaces, you need to focus on just displaying your product, service, or brand in a very standard and easy way. All of which, while conveying your value proposition and differentiator.  Unless you are a tech company, this should not involve anything complex on the tech side of the site either.

About: Hawke Media is full service outsourced CMO and digital advertising agency with clients in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

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