You don’t know what the feature should be

You don’t know what the feature should be

In my last post – Craft fast, Polish Later I mentioned that writing a feature and verifying how it works from users perspective is an upside of micro-iteration-cycles. But this has a more important aspect.

Classic way of design

What I often see is that people want to design how something should work from the start. To be honest when I start working on app I do not know how exactly it is going to work. It is often uncovered in the iteration process.

But it is not because of some artistic part of me. One reason is efficiency by pushing all not absolutely necessary tasks out of the scope. Second reason is that my image of how something should work is often wrong.

Don’t fantasize – Implement it

My experience is very common in different projects. When I discuss the app with someone we flood ourselves with ideas. It can be overwhelming. Of course we need to cut out of this is a MVP vision. But there is also another aspect that I that is critical to prevent burning time, your own motivation and going down wrong path.

In every project I had experienced that after implementing a functionality, once we could use it, we naturally saw what should come next. Sometimes we even decided that the way we are providing a solution is wrong and needs to be changed.

The path will reveal itself

In these small feedback loops the reality verifies and shows better paths. And we didn’t think about it previously. 

To be honest this is really crazy how this feedback-loops can impact crafting a product. Keto-feed was supposed to be an app with meals and shopping list only. In the process we moved into another need that was much bigger – and the app was changed to become a dedicated meals plan generator and keto-diet manager.

It was similar with Sun-Gaze. I kind of forced Sebastian from eyeshield to focus only on the most basic calculation and displaying information about sun phases. Once we did it became obvious that the next thing we need is simplified information about when and how much time users should spend on the sun. This ‘suggested exposure list’ was not on our previous features list – and yet it came as the most important.

One step at a time

This means to take one step at a time – and then ask a question whats next. And again. And again. The process of crafting, testing apps and seeing where it can lead us is a luxury that bigger projects can’t afford. 

In the end you get to spend less time and craft the product better. 

It is more pleasurable, because it helps to avoid getting into dead ends.