There is a difference between content and functionality that some people don’t seem to understand when it comes to designing interactive systems.

It’s important to be able to access content in many different ways. Peoples’ minds work differently. People remember different attributes about different information and to be able to find that information in the quickest manner possible, Information Architects need to present many ways to access it.

Functionaly is completely different. Providing many different ways to complete the same funtion in an interactive system is BAD. It breaks mental models because users aren’t sure, for example, what button they should use if they’re both labeled the same. In addition to breaking mental models, providing more than one way to complete a function decreases the effeciency of your interface because your users have to decide which method they’re going to use to complete the function before they actually go and do it.

I found this post hidden away this morning. I think I wrote it because I was upset that SO many people on the sigIA-l mailing list think they are Information Architects, when in fact, they are Interaction Designers. The people on that list confuse content with functionality ALL the time. Grrrr.

So, what do you think about the difference between content and functionality? Am I right or wrong?

The difference between content and functionality