PS Audio: How many features to add – or put another way – how many features not to add

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Paul McGowan writes: One of the challenges facing any designer is how many features to add – or put another way – how many features not to add. The general thought is the more features a product has the more appeal it will have to the potential user – and that turns out to be a trap.

As we are right in the middle of working on what we call “feature creep” on our free music management program eLyric, the subject is near and dear to my heart.  We have hundreds of requests for features and since our goal with eLyric is to become the default standard for high-end music management software, the tendency is to simply add everything everyone wants.  That would be a mistake.

Think of the myriad of software programs you’ve opened up to perform a function (like writing a letter) only to scratch your head how to even get started, let alone master it.  My tolerance for such things runs about 1 minute – if I can’t figure out how to use a program in the first minute I am out of there.

The challenge is not how many features can we add but how few can we include and still accomplish our misson.

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