Does Design Need To Be Compromised For Functionality?

Making a website isn’t easy. Striking a balance between having a site that is functional but also aesthetically pleasing is a challenge that even top web designers struggle to get right 100% of the time. Despite this clear challenge, there are plenty of sites out there that not only remain pleasing to the eye but that also tick the box when it comes to being fully interactive and user-friendly. Let’s take a deeper look at how these sites have got it so right.

Easy On the Eye, Easy to Use

One of the “rules” (that is nonetheless much debated) in the world of web design is that of the three-click rule. We can argue over the exact merits of the rule but the idea that a website has to be easy to use, especially for consumers, is one that cannot be disputed; an over-complicated and counter-intuitive website will fail to adequately engage consumers and will result in a high bounce rate. The three-click rule simply states that any piece of information on a website should be no more than three mouse clicks away from the user.

“OuiShare Summit 2012” by  (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Perhaps, though, what has been missing from the three click rule previously is the importance of having an attractive website to help encourage users to engage with the site itself, and striking a solid balance between easy navigation and aesthetic qualities.

One site that combines this perfectly is the Airbnb domain, which arguably employs the three click rule in one of the most effective ways on the web by being simplistic but stylish in its actual design. The success of blending an easy to use website with a simple design focusing on exciting imagery has clearly paid dividends for a company that went up against bigger sites with a new concept but has gone on to be valued at $30billion.

Standing Out in a Competitive Market: The World of iGaming

We can look to another corner of the web for examples of websites that combine user-friendly approaches with an emphasis on the visual. iGaming websites are unique in that they have to tick various boxes all at the same time, and all to the same extent. The software and technology sitting behind these domains is extremely complex. After all, this is a sector where you can log on at home and see live action casino unfolding in front of you thousands of miles away. You can then interact with a real person on-screen as the gaming action unfolds. iGaming sites have managed to combine the tech-heavy backend engine needed to cope with this, with a visually pleasing front-end, putting stunning graphics at the forefront to pull consumers in.

Take the page offering live blackjack at William Hill as an example. It not only uses real photos, which instantly makes you trust the product being offered, but the design is slick in appearance. The site also loads quickly despite the various options being displayed, and you’re only ever really a couple of clicks away from joining a game.

A Look Ahead to the Future

Of course, the William Hill approach isn’t the only successful one when it comes to designing an easy to use site in iGaming but they have struck the balance between giving customers an easy opportunity to interact with their site’s landing page while also being visually attractive.

“poker” by  (CC BY 2.0)

Indeed, sticking with the world of iGaming for a second, the fact that trends in the industry have seen the social side of gaming fully embraced so that gamers can communicate with one another has placed even more emphasis on the need for websites to allow for interaction, something other sites in other industries can certainly learn from as they follow the lead of this most forward-thinking of sectors.