Fighting feature creep

Feature creep is an easy trap to fall into. As developer and software vendor, you always want to please your users. So when a request comes in and it’s eloquently and nicely laid out, it’s hard to resist. I experienced it so much while working on Run Mate 1.1, which is the main reason why it took me 3 months to publish it.

Never again. I hope.

I have a new weapon against it now – it’s a wonderful thought that Wil Shipley said in an interview for Mac Developer Network podcast:

…Technology is just being too complicated. People just don’t enjoy using it, they don’t get it, they’re not getting the most out of it, they’re not able to use the feature they have and if we radically simplify it, then people suddenly get a lot more out of it.

They actually use more features if you give them less features.

MDN podcast is wonderful resource. I had a large backlog of various podcasts – this Shipley interview is in MDN Show 003 from back in July 2009 – which I have recently cleared out. I never check what is in any of the shows, I like when they surprise me. This interview with Wil is chock full of great thoughts.

Another fantastic feature of the MDN Show is World according to Gemmell where Matt Gemmell picks an UX subject and really, really hummers it down.

Note: Steve Scott, the man who ran MDN, has retired that show and now has a new show called iDeveloper Live. It’s more dynamic than MDN Show (more people) plus it’s recorded live and you can be part of it through the chat.