Features, Ease Of Use & Anti-gravity Machines

There is a curve that seems to apply to all software over time:

Features v Ease of Use

When you start you almost certainly don’t have enough features (and if you do, you probably launched too late)

So, adding features initially makes things easier for users – you’re able to support more user requirements with fewer work arounds.  The software continues to get better and better.

But, eventually features start to weigh the application down – more navigation, more options, more for new users to learn – until eventually you end up no better than a product with too few features.

What can you do?

It’s pretty simple. You need to either know when to stop adding features (which in practice probably means having a better system for prioritising your development work).

Or, failing that, an anti-gravity machine.

3 thoughts on “Features, Ease Of Use & Anti-gravity Machines”

  1. Excellent point. This is exactly what has happened to FaceBook–too many features and apps, alientating more and more new users.

  2. I actually disagree….

    I think the curve is only a partial curve….. and as time goes on it goes back up again, and then takes a fall again. probablly in an ever ongoing cycle.

    I think its the NOOBs who do a project that grows then gets messy and then live with the mess just haven’t had enough time to rework features into a coherent whole. Some people don’t get a chance to do this because the whole thing kind of falls apart. But if you get past that, I think you get a whole new level of usability and capability.

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