One of the common problems I found when dealing with people who wants to make something, whether it’s app/website/others is that one sentence put on as the title of this post: “I Want More Features”. Said loud and proud, as if having more features equals to having a better product. Maybe it’s the direct artefact of living in an age where quantity matters? I don’t know.
In the age where everybody seems to make new app every now and then, it would be extremely hard for your digital product to shine and turn few heads to your direction. That is, unless, you design in with specific feature in mind, something that you believe would be meaningful to your product’s user. That’s why we keep on hearing the term UX design, or user-centric design, because that could be the key for your product to strive in the market. Basically you’ll want to answer 2 key questions: “What’s one central issue that you’re trying to address?” “And how can your product central feature answer it?”
And let me be honest, that’s probably the easiest part of the picture.
The hardest part is restraining yourself to the sudden demonic urge of adding more features to the product concept. Yes, some feature might be complementary to the main feature (at least in your head) but many can easily disrupt the central experience and renders your product useless. Pay attention to the fact that your user requires to be in a certain mindset while using your product. Now, distract that space with additional unnecessary feature and your one step closer to looking at your investment vanish into thin air.
Instead, why don’t you introduces additional features after having the main feature implemented and shipped to the public. Afterwards, see from there and measure, how does the feature performs, what needs to be improved or changed in order for that features to be the true identity of your product. It was after this step that you can confidently add more stuffs.
Also, from the developer point of view, developing a product with a certain feature in mind, clearly helps a lot in the development process. You see, developers don’t only code and configure, they craft the product through lines of carefully typed codes. We don’t just make, we craft. By limiting the number of feature, the whole crafting process can be made way easier and faster. Plus, once the product goes live, it would be a lot less painful to measure the whole system performance.
Those are the reasons why you should limit your product’s feature to its core at the first step. That’s exactly why we learn about the whole MVP (Minimum Viable Product) thing. It’s not just shipping with limited functions (that’s lazy), but limited functions that clearly describe what your product is (that’s hard work). A whole different ball game. This is one of the core belief in Labtek Indie and we practice it rigorously.
And yes, limiting functions doesn’t mean that you can’t be visionary. As a matter of fact, this is the clear proof of how visionary you are. You’re able to break down your huge goal into small achievable baby steps that can reach the market as soon as possible. That’s a win in my book.
If you’re still not convinced enough to ship with just a certain feature, keep in mind that Google was only a search engine for a few years. Look at them now.