Website Functionality and Usability


Besides providing information, websites feature functionality that enables users to complete tasks, such as searching the site, submitting an online form, or using interactive design features.  The Web team in Marketing & Communications helps with designing, evaluating, selecting, and integrating functional components of the University websites.  Site functionality involves a combination of code developed by the MarCom Web staff, third-party components, and external services.

Successful website functionality involves considerations beyond a webpage.  For a desired function, consider:

  • what’s the best method for the user to do what’s wanted?
  • how will users find the function?
  • who (or what system) will receive the results of the function?
  • how will they receive it?
  • what will they do with it?
  • what follow up will be needed?

If you have a need for website functionality, feel free to contact MarCom to discuss goals and possibilities.  While we have a limited development resources for custom functionality, we are happy to help you evaluate and implement options.


Usability is a critical facet of website quality that unfortunately often gets overlooked. Usability is concerned with the question, “How easy is it for site visitors to use the site?” More specifically:

  • How quickly can visitors find the information they’re looking for?
  • How easily can they accomplish tasks on a site?

Nothing is more important for a website than usability. A visually amazing website with bad usability is a bad website. The best content in the world is rendered obscure away by poor site usability. A complicating factor is that usability can seem quite abstract. You may have heard about it in terms of user experience, user interface, or whether a site is “user-friendly.” Some general aspects of usability are:

  • accessibility
  • consistency
  • learnability
  • memorability
  • efficiency
  • overall user feelings / satisfaction