New guy in corner over there smells funny... Toomuch cologne, probably.

17 Oct 2006 - 11:18am
8 years ago
9 replies
456 reads
Lorne Trudeau
2006

"Question 1-
If a user doesn't notice a missing feature, is it really missing?"

Also, does the fact that it's missing classify as a feature?

Comments

17 Oct 2006 - 12:41pm
Dave Malouf
2005

>
> "Question 1-
> If a user doesn't notice a missing feature, is it really missing?"
>
Well, uh, yea. This is the difference between a latent requirement and a
manifest requirement. Often, the former is about innovating ideas that
the user/human would not think of themselves, but through good user
research techniques are discovered.

Waiting for a user to request a feature to me is a path to failure. Your
competitors won't wait.

-- dave

--

David Malouf
Vice President
dave(at)ixda(dot)org
http://ixda.org/
http://synapticburn.com/

AIM: bolinhanyc // Y!: dave_ux //
MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com // Gtalk: dave.ixd(at)gmail.com

17 Oct 2006 - 12:47pm
Cindy Alvarez
2004

On 10/17/06, Dave Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> >
> > "Question 1-
> > If a user doesn't notice a missing feature, is it really missing?"
> >
> Well, uh, yea.

Assuming a bit of tongue-in-cheekness from the original poster, it seems
much more likely that he's referring to the type of "feature" where a
clueless VP (or customer buying your software) swoops in, insists that the
product needs online automatic ear waxing, and swoops back out. In which
case, the user "not noticing" it's gone can support your argument that it
really wasn't a very good idea in the first place.

Cindy

17 Oct 2006 - 1:16pm
Nasir Barday
2006

>> Waiting for a user to request a feature to me is a path to failure.
>> Your competitors won't wait.
Totally agree. In most markets, people won't complain to you about your
product's shortcomings. They'll switch.

> If a user doesn't notice a missing feature, is it really missing?"
> >
> Well, uh, yea. This is the difference between a latent requirement and a
> manifest requirement.
>

Agreed, but what if "missing" is from the perspective of removing a feature
that doesn't satisfy any requirement at all, one borne out of guessing at
goals without any research? It's always a good feeling when those silly
excise features can go away and make room for the functionality people
*really* need (both on the latent and manifest level).

- N

17 Oct 2006 - 1:19pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Cindy Alvarez wrote:
> Assuming a bit of tongue-in-cheekness from the original poster, it
> seems much more likely that he's referring to the type of "feature"
> where a clueless VP (or customer buying your software) swoops in,
> insists that the product needs online automatic ear waxing, and swoops
> back out. In which case, the user "not noticing" it's gone can
> support your argument that it really wasn't a very good idea in the
> first place.
huh? Just b/c the idea comes from a VP you want to dismiss it?
I would rather take the point of view that the "right" idea will come
from the most unlikely and least suspecting source.

Now that being said, i wouldn't build it w/o validating the business and
the user cases for the suggestion, but again, something not manifestly
said, is not the only means of limiting functionality.

Even tongue and cheek, I disagree with the presumption that "bloat" is
caused in this manner.

I think the better question is, "if a user asks for feature, should it
really be a feature." THIS to me is the real cause of bloat.

-- dave

--

David Malouf
Vice President
dave(at)ixda(dot)org
http://ixda.org/
http://synapticburn.com/

AIM: bolinhanyc // Y!: dave_ux //
MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com // Gtalk: dave.ixd(at)gmail.com

17 Oct 2006 - 1:49pm
leo.frishberg a...
2005

Odd, I interpreted Forrest's original query in the context of removing
an existing feature and no one "in the field" complains. This is closer
to Nassir's interpretation as well.

While it is crucial to understand how the feature got put in originally,
it is also fair to say that features may no longer be relevant as the
market needs change. Web sites upon occasion remove (or more likely,
move) elements as a strategy for determining their relevance. Not a
terribly good strategy, I might add, in the general case, but not a bad
strategy if there is reasonable agreement about the element's lack of
market need.

Leo

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Dave Malouf
>
> "Question 1-
> If a user doesn't notice a missing feature, is it really missing?"
>
Well, uh, yea. This is the difference between a latent requirement and a

manifest requirement. Often, the former is about innovating ideas that
the user/human would not think of themselves, but through good user
research techniques are discovered.

Waiting for a user to request a feature to me is a path to failure. Your

competitors won't wait.

-- dave

--

David Malouf

17 Oct 2006 - 1:56pm
Dave Malouf
2005

leo.frishberg at exgate.tek.com wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Odd, I interpreted Forrest's original query in the context of removing
> an existing feature and no one "in the field" complains. This is closer
> to Nassir's interpretation as well.
>
>
hmm? If it is "missing" then it was not there. Well, only Forrest can let us know what he meant. ;)

The statement doesn't make sense in the "remove" scenario to me. But heck, it's Forrest's statement.

-- dave

--

David Malouf
Vice President
dave(at)ixda(dot)org
http://ixda.org/
http://synapticburn.com/

AIM: bolinhanyc // Y!: dave_ux //
MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com // Gtalk: dave.ixd(at)gmail.com

17 Oct 2006 - 1:52pm
Josh
2006

I've found that gathering good information re: user behavior and user
expectation is the best way to solve this issue. Find out what they say they
expect, then watch what they actually do.

Another interesting related question is:

Can a "bug" that users like be considered a feature, and how do you convince
Cindy's swooping clueless VP to take the "bug" off the list?

The question assumes that the "bug" is an unexpected/unagreed to feature
change with no negative impact on the business model merely a negative
impact on "swooping VP's" ego.

Josh Viney
EastMedia Group

17 Oct 2006 - 4:28pm
Cwodtke
2004

The answer: there is no user! (Sorry, but the question just seemed so
koan-like...)

You have a novice
You have a intermediate (who is 80% of your audience)
You have an expert
You have the buyer
You have the veto buyer
You have the advocate buyer

Who's feature is this? And what happens to the business if it is not
there when sought out?

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a
university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on
pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain
himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and
speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

Dave Malouf wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
>
> leo.frishberg at exgate.tek.com wrote:
>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>>
>> Odd, I interpreted Forrest's original query in the context of removing
>> an existing feature and no one "in the field" complains. This is closer
>> to Nassir's interpretation as well.
>>
>>
>>
> hmm? If it is "missing" then it was not there. Well, only Forrest can let us know what he meant. ;)
>
> The statement doesn't make sense in the "remove" scenario to me. But heck, it's Forrest's statement.
>
> -- dave
>
>

--
Christina Wodtke
Principal Instigator

Magazine :: http://www.boxesandarrows.com
Business :: http://www.publicsquarehq.com
Personal :: http://www.eleganthack.com
Book :: http://www.blueprintsfortheweb.com

cwodtke at eleganthack.com

17 Oct 2006 - 8:59pm
Austin Govella
2004

On 10/17/06, Christina Wodtke <cwodtke at eleganthack.com> wrote:
> "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and
> speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

And sometimes you should take your cup, dash the porcelain on the
ground, poke the shards with your big toe, and look for something else
to fill.

(Like maybe a bell?)

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

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