When I read this article, I thought this is a great way to explain one of our saying “Form Must Follow Function”.
It’s easy to get caught up in the private world of web design, spending too much time playing with the latest CSS tricks, or flipping through the coolest design showcases. You start forgetting that your work isn’t all about being on the cutting edge and snagging a web design award or two. The reality is that the latest and greatest design trends are irrelevant, and sometimes even alienating, to the majority of audiences. Unfortunately, that kind of work is often only appropriate for an audience of other designers, and those projects are rare.
So take a step back from trying to one-up your peers, and consider the basics. At the heart of design lies the famous maxim that form follows function. Make sure your work is holding true to that principle by making sure of these three things:
The interests of your target audience should always be the overriding consideration in determining the style of your site. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that say, a flight tracker site has to look dry or function traditionally to accommodate its audience. While Adioso has an elegant, modern design, it remains relatively simple by highlighting usability above all other aspects. The layout and styling focus more on elevating the search tool rather than adding “flash” to the design.
Use split testing to understand what your audience responds to.
It’s not hard to find out what kind of people you’re designing for; you can use tools like Google Analytics or pop-up polls to get a sense of your demographics. But after that initial research, it’s still really helpful to continue refining the design, honing in even more on the interests and reactions of your audience.