I recently read a blog posting by Vincent Jordan titled “Build a product. Not Features.” In this blog post, Mr. Jordan explains the all-too-common issue that product innovators face: trying to become all things to all people. He explains that it’s very easy to find yourself in the midst of ‘feature creep’ due to the whims or demands of the moment. Every new feature or function added to the system is a form of feature creep and every feature has both positive and negative values. Positive values may result in an increase in customers and revenue. Negative values may include the cost and time it takes to achieve slim or temporary gains.
Mr. Jordan goes on to list several companies that have avoided feature creep by offering very good core products, such as Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp is an email advertising campaign facilitation site. Mail Chimp could easily fall into the trap of feature creep by expanding into online surveys, pay-per-click advertisement management and other forms of online marketing, but they’ve stuck to what they’re really good at: email advertising campaigns. (Fortunately there’s another primate for managing online surveys: Survey Monkey!)
Visualization can help your organization avoid Feature Creep without costly development and rework. It is much faster and less costly to modify a visualized system than to develop, test and deploy changes to your products. In addition to demonstrating and testing interactive examples of your product, the visualized model can be deployed to the internet, allowing you to elicit feedback from your customers regardless of their location. This will lead to product satisfaction for your organization and your customers without the ‘bloat’.