Some product owners add and add and add and sit in wonder at how competitors with fewer features have bigger audiences. Drives me mad. Piling more garbage on top of a landfill won’t make it smell any better. Big menu at a bad restaurant – that’s the experience your audience may be getting.
People don’t need tools, they need the right tool at the right time. And they have to have experiences they’re willing to repeat.
You may be wondering: “what have you done that’s so great?”. Hopefully a lot, that’s not for me to say. But I’ve seen for myself that adding often equals taking away.
More options won’t make a car any more fun to drive.
Take for instance the original Strands Fitness mobile app. More features than anybody, but an interface that left many saying: “I don’t get it.” So many great ideas, so little focus on usability. But since January, our new team has been making big improvements.
By pulling out features, we’ve seen interaction increase dramatically. By simplifying, we’ve seen greater discovery. By working more closely with users, our app is now growing with our audience. We’re building loyalty and we’re just getting warmed up.
We wouldn’t be caring if we spoiled people with toys they’d use once and forget about, so we’re willing to empty the toy box a bit to give users a few that they’ll truly love.
The point, really, is that you can easily drown your audience with tons of features and waste a lot of money in the process. Make the best damn hammer you can before you try to fill the tool shed. Focus on what your audience needs, not what you or even they think they want – it’s probably too much.
More can equal less so work hard at being simple, reliable, and for your product’s sake, get out of the way!