Wait–don’t just add another feature!
Wait, don’t just add another feature! Adding appropriate new features to a product is always a great idea, but the way to ensure success when adding those new features is by talking to customers and including them in the process. Every new feature adds complexity – it is important to have a defined strategy to follow and to always keep the user experience the focus of the process.
Consider this: a car is more than an assembly of features. It is a unity – a complete design that is more than the sum of its parts. In the same way, a software product needs to be more than the notion that a list of features is an adequate road map. It is imperative to understand the reasons for including individual features and their relative priorities, take time to define a cohesive set of related features, and conceive of a design solution that pulls them together into a unified experience. A well-defined and coherent user experience is conspicuous to users, who feel that they can achieve their goals in a way that seems natural and invites repeat use and exploration.
The ideal process begins with User Experience, Product Management and Customers aligned to create a road map that guides the development effort over a period of time. The road map includes an evolving feature set. Working on a bucket of independent features will not help a business or a product reach its goals. Features should support a larger vision of what a design is becoming, with clearly defined goals such as increasing customer conversions and engagement. The end result of this process is a product that always delivers the appropriate features and value.