Finding the balance between form and function
Form is the arrangement of the general structure of an artwork while function is a relation such that one thing is dependent on another. For instance - height is a function of age or price is a function of supply and demand. A function is an abstract meaning which, by itself, has no intrinsic form. Form and function are independent dimensions along which the subject is defined.
Form ever follows function. This was the idea of architect Louis Henri Sullivan. It denotes that the two are intertwined and inseparable. This idea set forth by the architect can also be applied to any type of design – industrial, print, web or product.
Most designers are not aware of this fact. If truth be told, we have seen so many designs so many of them lack form or are deficient with its function. The blatant truth is that even those extravagant corporate sites are often as guilty as others. I can say that it is manifest but it is essential to know the reason why they fail in order to patch things up.
Majority of large corporate sites are packed with functionality for they are equipped with information. The problem though is the lack of pleasant form. On the other hand, small personal sites are often flashy – there are biographies, galleries, portfolios and stories but they lack functionality. These kinds of sites care less about marketability since they mostly do not market.
The general rule is that there will be no form without function and there will be no function without form. The key is equilibrium. The solid balance between form and function is a catalyst to achieve the envisioned idea of excellence. Function must be known first before a form can be developed.
To discover the function is not that easy. Many of the sites still lacks purpose and functionality. Understand your market, know your products and services and how you will carry out your endeavor, by that you can formulate your set of functions.
To formulate a form, try to feel the site, consider its functions, organization, expectators and its structure by then you can create its accurate form. What color will complement the site? Does it need lots of graphics or texts? Is smooth navigation accessible? To know the answer to this queries will give you the idea of what kind of form is needed.
Balance is too hard to capture and seize however, the web is still so young to encourage trials and explorations. No matter how hard it will take us but we should get balance to achieve our ultimate goal.
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