Content VS Functionality


If we think about developing a website, we will face these two questions. “What is content?” and “What is functionality?”. By combining these questions, we can also ask ourselves this question: What is the differences between content and functionality?

The content of the website is to provide direct access to files, text, movies, or images in a general and simple way. Essentially, direct access to information… Users can often interact with websites to perform some complex tasks. There are even lots of websites in which you can make new websites with them. Those can be called task-based systems. The reason for making two separate lists for requirements are, that content and functionality requirements are fundamentally different. Although long texts are written or quality pictures are taken or long hours were spent for editing the video, content is less complex than functionality. The functionality of a website needs to be planned and built. Designing a shopping cart or a checkout system is more difficult than writing some text or taking some photos.

For instance, a website user wants to learn how much shipping will cost. That’s an acceptable user need. If you describe your shipping policies on the website, it can be a great answer for it. Especially for a simple website, it is an easy way to write a short text explaining how shipping charges are calculated. But on bigger e-commerce websites, shipping charges are often more complex. So you have to build a shipping calculator. It would be a happy situation for the user to calculate the shipping costs by the website. In summary, as a website designer, we have to ask the question for content and functionality requirements: “Does this fulfill a client need?” and “Does this fulfill a user need?” Most importantly, you must frequently apply to your website’s strategy documents. That’s where after all, you determine the client’s needs and user needs for the site.

Here’s a long list of all kinds of example content requirements: 

  • Logo
  • Contact info
  • About us text
  • Social media links
  • Product images and descriptions
  • Featured products
  • Pricing and shipping Infos
  • Customer reviews
  • FAQs
  • Headshots
  • Bios
  • Food menus
  • Ingredients
  • Opening times
  • Directions
  • History of the company
  • Academic calendar
  • Events info
  • PDFs
  • Audio files
  • Images gallery
  • Credits
  • Blog posts

All of these examples have to do with text, images, audio, video, and files. Here’s a list of example functionality requirements:

  • Sorting
  • Filtering
  • Search
  • Image slideshow
  • User authentication
  • Account creation
  • Recover password
  • Shopping cart
  • Shipping calculator
  • Order form
  • Check out
  • Order history
  • Contact form
  • Image zoom
  • Upload images
  • Color picker
  • Date picker
  • Share to social media

However, the common point of all these elements is defining complex systems that not only define the content but also allow users to complete certain tasks.






Source: Roman Jaster, Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture by California Institute of the Arts, (

Written by Metin Gerçek


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *