The Danger of Outthinking Your Customers

We toe this line pretty frequently:

  • Feature is amazingly powerful and/or complex under the hood.
  • Team is tempted to expose some of the power/complexity in the UI.
  • Product conversation starts to wander, scope starts to creep, etc.

The situation usually arises during the course of discussing how the feature appears to the user.  Someone (usually me) suggests how it might be useful for the customer to see, use, etc. just a taste of the complexity and justifies it by fabricating a very clever use case or advanced implementation or a "omg - wouldn't it be sooo cool if?!?!" scenario.

This is often when the good stuff happens.  But this is also often when you might be outthinking your customer.

I suggest reminding yourself on a regular basis that your customers don't think about your product NEARLY as often as you do...and thus probably don't care about the complexity, nuance, etc. in the same way.  

They just need your product to work consistently.  And hopefully without much effort.