Last week, my colleague Dan wrote an excellent post on the Adaptive Path blog about the role that features play in product design and marketing. It was in response to a New Yorker column on how people decide to buy products because they have more features, but then return them because they can’t figure out the products because they are too complex.
When I originally read the New Yorker column (at some point on my vacation), my first thought was, “Well, that makes sense *now*, but is it changing?” This kinda dovetails with the essay I wrote for Core77. What we’re seeing, increasingly, is that the products are succeeding when not competing on features, but focusing on the gestalt of the experience that people are having with them.
I wonder if consumers are becoming more features-savvy, in the same way that they’re becoming advertising and marketing savvy. That we might be at a point of relatively low sophistication in terms of understanding exactly what makes us happy in the products we purchase, but that in 3 to 5 to 10 years, purchasers won’t be comparing the lengths of bullet-pointed lists of product features, but instead orient to some understanding of how using the product makes them feel.