Functionality Should Trump Design
On nderground I originally used a hamburger menu icon (although at the time I didn't know that this is what it is called). I chose this icon for many of the reasons that are outlined in the WebdesignerDepot post: it is elegant and, I thought, it would be something that users would be familiar with.
I removed the hamburger icon and replaced it with an icon that is titled “Menu”
I replaced the icon because one of the alpha test nderground users was confused by the hamburger icon.
I love elegant design. I come from a family of graphic designers and architects. I collect art. The icon that you see at the top of this post is an icon that I created.
Whenever I wish that nderground had a better deisgn look I tell myself that nothing is more important that functionality and usability. It doesn’t matter how elegant the design is if the functionality not there. The design can be clunky and adequate, but there has to be functionality that users find useful. In making decisions about nderground, I have to tradeoff time and dollars spent implementing functionality vs. elegant design and functionality wins every time.
Reading in this post about how menus are discretely placed at the top of the page, often with icons that are not obvious, I wondered if the author had lost sight of the fact that we are generally not building art, but a functional software user interface.
I’d like nderground to be beautiful and, perhaps, a bit edgy. Elegant design is great in art and advertising, but for a site targeted at a wide range of users, obvious functionality trumps design every time. I think that designers can get wrapped up in their art and forget this. If I want nderground to succeed, this is something that I cannot forget.