Managing Software Features
For software that has been on the market for years, some features can get bloated. It’s important to revisit your product and ensure that your software is updated so that it remains intuitive and easy to use, even when the product has become more complex. In this article, we suggest five things that can help you to retire redundant software features.
1. Consider Planned Obsolescence
Firstly, you can consider planned obsolescence. This concept comes from the consumer product space where products are released with an intended lifecycle in mind. This might be two to three years, even though the product could potentially live much longer than that. The reason for this is that there may be plans in the future for the product to be upgraded or superseded by a better version.
The same can be applied to your software features. When you’re releasing features from your backlog, on your product roadmap, you want to think about what the lifespan of the feature is. Do you plan in two years’ time to upgrade or improve it? If you are, that’s a good way to release a feature and have a plan in mind when it gets to the end of that life cycle.
2. Prepare an Email Campaign
Second, communicate to your users that you are introducing new and improved software features and upgrades. Tell them to look out for this on your roadmap, and in the meantime inform them that some of the current features that they are currently using, will be upgraded soon. This not only prepares your users mentally for an improvement in the product but frames it as a positive rather than negative change.
3. Release Software Feature Training
Release some training about how to use your new software features that gives you a chance to show them off. These can be videos or even articles in your knowledge base. With those, you can send links via emails, directing your user to go and check them out. They’ll then know what to expect and they’ll know how to use them. This way it won’t be as scary when you release these features into the actual product.
4. Communicate Launch Timeline
Notify your users when the upgraded features will be rolled out. This gives them a deadline. If they haven’t started thinking about using them yet, with a deadline it gives them some incentive to start thinking about migrating from the older features into the new versions.
5. Roll Out Upgrades
Finally, roll out the upgraded features on the release date. You can also give the users that are having a tricky time adapting to the new versions of the software features a chance to revert back to the previous versions. Do this for a set period of time; it might be two weeks, it might be a month, but it gives you a timeline to migrate all of your users to the new versions of these features without losing or confusing users. For the ones having particular trouble, offer assistance by providing a paid service to help them upgrade their accounts.
We hope this helps you if you have a particularly messy product and you have tons of features. Think about how to retire those features and keep your product clean, tidy and intuitive. That helps you to improve your product, get more users and grow!
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Reach out to us if you need our help designing new features, redesigning old features or making your software more intuitive. Get in touch here! Additionally, you can check out our testimonials, read more articles and contact us on our webpage. We hope that with this article you can improve your product, get more users and grow!