Avoiding feature creep in designing product functions


Descriptions: Feature creep is the ongoing addition of new features in a product. These extra features go beyond the basic function of the product and can result in software bloat and over-complication, rather than simple design. The most common cause of feature creep is the desire to provide the consumer with a more useful or desirable product, in order to increase sales or distribution. However, once the product reaches the point at which it does everything that it is designed to do, the manufacturer attempts to adding unneeded functions, sometimes at the cost of efficiency, or sticking with the old version, at the cost of a perceived lack of improvement. Another major cause of feature creep might be a compromise from a committee which decides to implement multiple, different viewpoints or use cases in the same product. Then, as more features are added to support each approach, it might be necessary to have cross-conversion features between the multiple paradigms, further complicating the total features. From the perspective pf product lifecycle, new features are introduced in order to differentiate brands beyond merely price point, and to create brand demand over price demand.

Using the "80/20 Rule" (i.e., the more basic product might support the needs of about "80%" of the users, so they would not be subjected to the complexity (or extra expense) of features requested by the other 20% of users), we redesigned an in-vehicle infortainment system with Hyundai Motors.

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