Features Vs Usage


Imagine that you bought a new Ferrari 612 Scaglieti. Your new 6 speed Italian sports a V12 and is capable of reaching a top speed of 199 mph and rests on amply padded 19″ wheels. You just dropped $250,000 on this bad boy to get you from A to B, you know, the things you do everyday. You bought it b/c it was fast, looked amazing, had a great finish, featured hand stitched leather seats and of course was a Ferrari. But there is one problem; you don’t know how to drive stick. So now you have this great car full of features but you can’t use it. Your car had features, but in the end you couldn’t use them. Now imagine you bought a car with an automatic transmission (which you can use), excellent gas mileage, comfortable seats, a/c, heat, seatbelts etc… Your new car has features that you can use. It allows you to do the things you do everyday very efficiently and simply.

While this may not be the best example in the world, it does help to prove my point. Software can have dozens, if not hundreds, of features. This often happens as competition becomes tighter and there is a need to ‘catch up’ with others. You may also find that vocal customers get their way and features get added specifically for their need alone. Rather than bolting on feature after feature, boil down what it is you do well and build things that people actually need. Focus on what your users are actually using and make those features super usable.

Herefish Colophon