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Why Your Website Must Prioritize Function Over Fancy

By: Ryan Kidman



The Internet has been around for a very long time. The first public websites were founded in 1991. The first for-profit websites were launched in 1993, including Bloomberg and IMDB.

The number of websites has grown exponentially over the years. It is estimated that there are around 400 million active websites on the Internet and another 1.6 billion dormant websites.

Although websites are far more prevalent than they used to be, a surprising number of companies still don’t have one. Around 64% of businesses have a website of some kind. However, many business websites don’t serve their needs very well.

One of the reasons that websites don’t meet the goals of the businesses that they represent is that they weren’t designed with the right priorities in mind. One major mistake that many business owners make is prioritizing the fancy appearance of their site over functionality.

There are a number of things that business owners need to take into consideration when planning the design and layout of their website. Here are some reasons that emphasizing aesthetics over functionality can be a major mistake. Of course, you should do both when you design a website.

Fancy websites might not properly reflect the perspective of your customers

Many business owners want to create the fanciest possible websites. They seem to think that rich color schemes and large arrays of photos is the way to impress their customers.

These views are often rooted in a false binary understanding of customer preferences. Customers across all industries have very heterogenous preferences when interacting with brands. A law firm is likely going to find that customers have much more conservative preferences on visual elements when interacting with marketing creative. An online store that sells home interior products, on the other hand, is likely going to need to present more fanciful design elements.

Make sure to think about the type of business you have and your target audience in order to make a good decision about the way you want to design your website.

The cost of inaccurate information on a business site is much more costly than a subpar design

There are certainly some concerns with having a poor visual design. According to HubSpot, 38% of online visitors will cease interacting with websites with unattractive layouts.

However, these kinds of statistics often cause people to place more emphasis on the aesthetics over more important factors, such as the quality and accuracy of the content presented. The truth is that mistakes with your non-visual content can be a lot costlier than a lousy design. One example is when companies have inaccurate information on their site.

The cost of factual inaccuracies on your website are massive. It is easy to see how they can be more problematic than a low-quality visual design.

One of the problems with inaccurate information is that it causes consumers to abandon your site quickly. One study found that sites with inaccurate information had bounce rates that were 85% higher than similar sites with more accurate content. This suggests that erroneous information can play a bigger role in driving visitors away then a bad layout.

Another problem with poor grammar and misinformation is that it causes traffic to drop. Google and other search engines often rank websites lower when they have clear mistakes on them.

Poor functioning websites might not be able to acquire leads

Functional issues with a website can also make it impossible for businesses to acquire leads. You may have an opt-in form on your website to get prospective customers to request quotes. You might also have an email form or directions to your place of business.

If any of these forms aren’t working properly or your information is not correct, then you won’t get any leads at all from your website. You should compare this against the number of leads that you would get if your lead acquisition model was working properly, even with a poor web design. A website with a less than perfect design is going to always attract more leads then one with a lead funnel that doesn’t work at all.

You shouldn’t prioritize a fancy design over the functionality of your website

There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are designing a website. You need to have nice aesthetics that properly reflect the desired image of your brand. However, this is not the only thing that you should be concerned about.

The functionality of your website is even more important. You need to make sure that information is accurate and all of your plug-ins, forms and other elements work properly. This is going to help make sure that your business website is a success. Once you are sure that your website functions properly and has high quality and accurate content, you can start focusing on the design. If you want your website to reach its full potential and serve your business properly, you must make sure it is visually appealing as well.

Published: February 25, 2021

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Ryan Kidman

Ryan Kidman is a startup-investor and serial entrepreneur. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about blogging and covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow him on twitter: @ryankhgb

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