The word functionality is taken from the Latin word function meaning “to perform”. Considering a website, the term “functionality” has different meanings for audience, stake holders as well as the developers/team.
Considering the technical aspects, functionality refers to the interactive functionality, or any type of technical “specialty” which sets a website aside from the regular/basic crew.
For a layman, functionality simply refers to how they may interact with a website, get response from it and can achieve different things with it.
On the whole, functionality refers to the aggregate of what a website offer to its audiences.
The functionality of a website differs according to the concept or purpose of the website. The purpose of a website acts as the key motivating factor which develops the sense of creatively to choose or design the features appropriate for a website. For reference, here are a few examples:
A website developed to promote a brand will more concentrate upon the presentation and CMS capabilities. Such a website might have such sections which would promote the Brand by publishing their news, network and other such things.
A website developed to promote eCommerce sales for its owner would concentrate upon how a product may be categorized, accessed and promoted with ease. Such a website may have sections like best seller products, featured products, client testimonial, ratings & reviews for products etc.
A website developed to promote social networking would concentrate upon how to increase interactivity between its users. Such a website may have sections like a time line, friend/follow options, chat & messaging options, enhanced user profiles etc.
And so on…
Thus it’s certainly not feasible to describe such functional features which may be common to every website in the world. Though still there are quite a few which could be emphasized while developing a website:
Download/browsing speed of a website is one of the most important factor for any website in the world. Low performance in this segment only leaves the audiences frustrated and disillusioned.
Across the spectrum, everything should work as expected, including hyperlinks, contact forms, site search, event registration, and so on.
Bug Free System: A website should be properly tested from the point of view of a user ensuring a bug free state at the end. A bug prone website not even leaves a bad impression on a visitor but such a website can certainly never satisfy the purpose of its development.
Fine Tuning: There are several issues in a website which are not considered as bug but still bother a user to a great extent. Some common examples are:
- Smooth Global Navigation
- Typos, incorrect grammar and punctuation, or misspellings.
- Intelligent Navigation: At every point, the user must have a clear indication that where they are exactly on website or in a process, how they may fall back or how they may proceed ahead.
- Search Features: In modern day website, search has become a necessity in almost every website.
Cross Browser Compatibility: The website should work on multiple browsers and should cover at least the major browsers. The major browsers are:
- Internet Explorer
Consistency: The website should be consistent in all respects. Whether it’s a layout, approach to clicking over a button, filling up a form, displaying error or greeting messages etc., consistency is one of the most desirable features in any website which not only leaves a very good impression on a visitor but it plays a vital role to create goodwill of a website.