Form or Function?

What should be more valued by users?

How should developers create content to highlight this value?

Form and functionality are both needed (and intertwined) in the user conversion process. Although function is just as, if not more, important than form to online shopper user, it is the latter (form) that appears to be more important to them. If a user ends up on a landing page (or any page) that does not have a cohesive form, they will not even get to a point where the functionality will come into play to create an action. If users are confusing/overwhelmed by the form, they will just leave the page and go to the next one that appears promising.

Form is perceivably more important to users than function because it is what they first see when they arrive on a page. The form of a webpage is the layout of it and how it attracts (or un-attracts) the users to continue on the site. Sites should be formatted in a way that makes a user convert from clicking on the site originally to leaving it with something that they did not have before. This is done by the site making a clear promise to the user in the pre-click phase and keeping that promise during the post-click phase while organizing it in a way that shows clarity of thoughts/ideas in addition to highlighting their creditability and creating chances for future conversion opportunities. If the form does not succeed in these aspects, it doesn’t matter how user-friendly a site is once it is navigated because the user is most likely gone already.

Although form is the key to gaining the attention of a user, webpage developers should put just as much, if not more, time into making a page functionally sound as well. The form of a webpage can only go so far in the conversion process. At some point, the user will get past the congruence and clarity of the page and want to make their action(s). If the function of the page is not set up to make this action easy for the user, they will abandon their satisfaction with the form and leave the page without a conversion occurring. To combat this, developers must use their form to help promote the function(s) of the page. There must be an easy to follow course from the information given to the action requested that is not confusing or interrupted by any unnecessary content. Once at the point of conversion, the given sheet/link/shopping cart must work so that conversion is completed easily. With this, in the case of online shopping, developers can create more conversion opportunities by giving users recommended items based off of what they purchased, have in their carts, and/or have viewed prior.

To put it simply: form is more important than functionality to users on the surface. What they do not understand is that functionality and form play off of one another, as both are needed to create a state where a user will convert on the action that is being asked of them. It is the job of the developers to find how the two play together to create the highest conversion rate for their given audience.

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