98. Feature creep – why apps get too complicated

development mobile apps product management tech terms explained ux design May 11, 2022

When an app has too many features and pop ups, most users get confused and frustrated. This is feature creep: when the product’s core functionality becomes hidden in too many options and things to do.

Feature creep happens when a team is determined to stay productive, but loses sight of its strategy. Sometimes stopping is better for the product than doing more.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Feature creep is problematic for two main reasons: it confuses users and it costs money. This is because product teams have to be paid to design and code, and you also have to pay cloud costs to store your pointless features.
  • Feature creep happens when there is a pressure to produce, which is contrary to the ability to focus. It can be easier to present new features as productivity to investors and corporate bosses, rather than saying that the product team took time to review results and reflect.
  • To prevent feature creep, go back to the fundamental product development questions you’ve learnt here:
    • What problem is our product solving?
    • Who are we solving it for?
    • Who is willing to pay to solve this problem?
    • What other solutions do they have to this problem?
  • Keep your eyes on the user, not the product. Feature creep happens when you get obsessed with the product and forget the user. It should be the other way around.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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