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Form vs Function (on the web)

Balancing form and function is something every designer sets out to accomplish. With the European Design show approaching in 2009, this seems like a valid topic and something that has been on my mind as I have begun working on creative mockups for the exhibition website. The pieces in the collection are amazing and a huge inspiration!

So, what is the answer? Which is more important? From my experience, the balance line shifts depending on the content and audience. I tend to be a fan of simple and clean design. The problem for designers who want to stick to the basics with a no fuss minimal interface is there is a good chance your audience and/or client will think it is “boring”. I still have a hard time articulating to peers why less is more in the long run. I think the best examples we as designers give is through results.

Over time I find sites I’ve designed that are cluttered and full of ornaments, etc. often feel dated quicker than minimal simple designs. Also, sites with clear architecture and navigation with clean interface design tend to get more positive feedback and appeal to a wider range of people.

One of our lesser known, but more successful websites we created was for the Adrian Schiess exhibition. This is one of my favorite web designs for its simplicity. It’s one site that gets referenced positively from time to time internally during design discussions. Check it out and judge for yourself.

I’m afraid it’s a little too early to reveal the Euro Design mockups since they are waiting for official approval. But I’m excited to get it out there as I think it’s a great balance of function over form. We will be doing a soft launch in January sometime. Stay tuned for that one!!

Sometimes less IS more. In fact I think that’s the case most of the time… but that’s just me. What do you think?

Filed under: Design, Technology

2 Responses to “Form vs Function (on the web)”

  • avatar

    Less is more.

    I’m very glad to see that the IMA was able to acquire at least one of the Schiess pieces for its collection.

  • avatar
    Meg Says:

    I loved the Adrian Schiess Web site. I reference it often when I talk about the best mix of style and utility on the Web. It is such an elegant design, Matt. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for European Design.

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