What is form follows function? And what is function follows form? According to wikipedia, Form follows function is a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose. What I understood from this phrase is that a design or a style or a shape of an object follows the function of the object. For an example, a chair's shape is designed according to the exact purpose of its existence. If the chair is built for people to have a quick nap, the chairs shape must be long enough to make the people feel comfortable and cosy. Another example is flat shoes. The shoes are designed flat to make sure to meet the function of the shoes which is to make the users to feel comfortable to walk around.
The basic rule for any design is “Form follows function.” If an object has to perform a certain function, its design must support that function to the fullest extent possible. This also goes for industrial design and even more for Web design. This rule is also equally important for web designers as well as architectural designers. A web designer must make sure the structure of a particular website suits the typical users of the website. The typical users can be the function here. But definitely the purpose the website was created is also very important. The typical user must feel comfortable and convenient in using the website. The design and basic structure must be user friendly.
Then what is function follows shape? In this case, the shape plays a more dominent role in design than the function or purpose of the particular object. The shape of an object determines the function of the object. It might say that the object is first designed and then was experimented to explore more on the functions part. For an example,we can talk about Iphones. Iphones has a special features that everyone loves : touch screens, unlimited softwares, interesting games and everything. It has accomplished a special design and shape for itself. We now even have Iphone shaped cushions. I saw my friend holding a 'Iphone' the other day. I went near to ask when he bought that expensive phone and he said its a RM800 worth Ipod. But the shape and the touch screens looks exactly like Iphone. The function of a Ipod follows the form of a Iphone.