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People buy the products with most features

Luke Wroblewski has looked at the dilemma of capability vs. usability. According to a Harvard Business Review article, people judge the quality of a product based on the number of features, if they have never used it before. After having used these products however, usability will start to matter more than features.

This puts product developers in a dilemma. In order to maximize initial sales, they need to add many features to their products. But in order to maximize repeat sales, they need to prioritize ease-of-use.


  • The Sweet Spot for Buying Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 22, 2006

See also: Simplicity vs. capability (7)  Research (129) 



(I haven't read the article yet, so it may actually say this somewhere)

It seems to me, that there are exeptions to this "rule".
Often people will buy a product (say, a Content Management System - no advertising intended) with a LOT of features. Maybe because it makes the product seem cool, or maybe people just think they are going to need all those features.

The next time they buy a similar product, they check out the usability first, and the features second. They learn what they really need, and focus on those things being easily accesible. The less used features are then considered expendable in most cases. Thus it can - in certain cases - be a good idea to have a product less advanced, but more accessible, than what your competitors have.

Tom Vonsild Jensen | November 24, 2006



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