Managing Software Features
Software features can get bloated for software that has been on the market for many years. 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 a lot more complexity. In this video we suggest five things that can help you to retire redundant software features.
1. 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 The reason for this is that there may be plans in the future for the product to be upgraded or superseded by a better version.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 is the lifespan of this feature? Do you plan in two years time to upgrade it 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
Communicate to your users that you are introducing new and improved software features and upgrades. Look out for this on our roadmap, and in the meantime inform them that some of the current features that they are currently using, will be upgraded soon. This not just prepares your users mentally for an improvement in the product, but also frames it as a positive rather than a 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. Maybe these can be videos or even if they’re just articles in your knowledge base that you send links from emails, sending your user to go and check them out. They’ll then know what to expect and they’ll know how to use them. 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. That gives them a deadline and if they haven’t started thinking about using them yet, at least they have a deadline now that gives them some incentive to start thinking about migrating from these older features onto the new versions.
5. Roll Out Upgrades
Roll out the upgraded features on the release date and also just give the users that still having a tricky time moving across to the new versions of these software features, a chance to revert back to the previous versions for a set period of time. This might be two weeks, it might be a month, but at least it gives you a kind of a timeline to migrate all of your users across to the new versions of these features without losing any users or confusing them. For the ones having particular trouble, maybe you could help them 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!
Need help improving your software features?
Reach out to us if you need our help designing new featutes, redesigning old features or making your sofware more intuitive.