What came first, form or function?

Second semester recently started and in my first design class we were asked about American architect Louis Sullivan‘s phrase “form follows function”. Since I’d never heard this statement before I did some research and realized that I agree with it, but only in certain circumstances such as web design.

In web design it’s fun to make interactive and eye catching websites, however that’s not always possible if the website doesn’t function well. If the websites function is lost or ignored while creating the form of the website it can become a disaster. Instead, a website’s content should inform its design, not the other way around.

When form follows function it allows a web design to no only be functional but unique. By allowing the content to come before the design, ideas and inspiration can come from the websites core content to make the design flow more with the information. This makes the website easier to navigate and just an overall better experience for the reader.


Take Lush for example. If you don’t know, Lush is a beauty company that focuses on being simple, ethical, and open in all aspects. When looking at their website, it’s obvious that they worked with form follows function, as the website has a simple design that is easy to navigate and open towards all questions on production and company policy. Their website very obviously displays its function and put Lush’s core values and concepts in the front of their minds to make the web design perfect for Lush.

All in all, the idea that form follows function is a debatable subject, but in the industry of web design it’s an important theory to follow to display your best work for a clients needs.



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