…..but the functionality is there Banner Image
February 6, 2009

…..but the functionality is there

I have been hearing these– in fact I will not deny saying these same words to our clients earlier. But with time there is an important lesson I have learnt and would like to share it with all my developer friends.

It is mandatory to ensure that the first visit of a user to a web page is pleasant. Most of my developer fraternity does not believe in show casing their hard work in a trim and proper user interface. The general comment is “As long as it functions correctly….” but sadly my friends that is not true !!!

The first impression is the last impression- it applies the same and has the same effect. To build a strong and robust User Interface is as important as to build strong and robust system architecture. One pixel today counts a lot – think how much effort has been put in to display that one pixel! I remember spending one hour to understand from “Ray Duncan’s” famous book on MS DOS programming – to display one pixel on the screen. It runs through Int 21h or Int 10h through an x86 hardware.

It is a great responsibility and challenge to ensure that users who visit the web site find the page appealing and aesthetic. Imagine you walk into a shop which has crooked shelves and an untidy salesman – I am sure you will not buy from that store unless it is extremely urgent.

So think – all the midnight lamps that we burn in ensuring that “our code” works perfectly reduces to nothing if the User Interface is shabby. It reduces the user’s interest from the web page.

So put on your thinking caps as you develop- get into the skin of the user and then check your own page. Would you as a normal user like to see a crooked, disoriented amazon.com, flickr.com etc?

I have heard simple arguments that the “functionality is there”… no my dear friends – if the “UI” is not there, there is no “functionality”. Nobody will want to waste their time to review your functionality if the “UI” is not good.