Feature Creep

When creating a website, you may get carried away in adding features to your website. Website builders also generally offer the convenience of adding features to their website that makes you even more carried away.

However, you should pause and think for a moment: do you need all those features?

If your answer is no and you are still adding those features, your website will fall victim to what is called feature creep, a phenomenon where a product is difficult or can't even be used due to the complexity of the product.

You certainly don't want your website to suffer such a fate. To prevent that from happening to your website, let's take a look at the feature creep definition and the steps you can take to prevent it from happening on your website.

What is Feature Creep

Feature creep, also known as feature bloat, is a situation where your website has too many features, making it difficult for visitors to use and navigate your website. This is because every feature you add to your website will increase the complexity of your website. Of course, a complex website, in the sense that it can do a lot, is a great website. However, if your website is too complex, users, or even you, will have a hard time understanding how your website works.

Feature creep is common when a project is not handled properly. Over budget and messy schedules are the start of feature bloat. Stakeholders who also don't fully understand the impact of changing one thing in a project and want to keep adding features can lead feature bloat to appear and break a project.

Another Name for Feature Creep

Feature creep is a term often used for the phenomena described above. However, sometimes people use other terms to refer to the same phenomenon. The terms that are often used to replace feature creeps include:

  • Concept Creep
  • Scope Creep
  • Project Scope Creep
  • Featurism

What Causes Creep On Your Website

As previously explained, the creep feature is caused by a poor project handling. Moreover, there are some more specific reasons you can avoid to prevent you from experiencing something similar on your business website. Those reasons are:

• Unspecified Project Scope

A project that has no clear scope is very easy to grow too large without a clear direction. When a project has no purpose, it's very easy to add and remove features just to meet immediate needs.

• Poor Documentation

Documentation can help you preventing feature creep

In a project of any scale, documentation is essential. With documentation, one can see how far the project has gone; what features are installed and removed, and why. When a project has poor documentation or even none at all, it's easy to add a feature regardless of context, such as what has been done before, goals, and reasons.

• Too Many Stakeholders

Making decisions is a difficult task and it gets more difficult the more people have to make decisions. This can get worse when the stakeholders do not have basic knowledge about the project.

On the other hand, not involving stakeholders can also be bad because the stakeholders are in charge of directing the project.

How To Not Be A Creep

From the causes described above, you at least have an idea of what to do to prevent your website from being damaged by feature creeps. To make your website completely avoid feature creep, let's take a look at the detailed steps you can take to build your website.

• Focus on the Essentials

One of the reasons feature creep can occur on your website is because you don't have a clear focus on the process of building your website. This has an impact on adding or removing features for no apparent reason.

To prevent this from happening, you must have a goal or define the core of your website. There are several ways in which you can determine what is essential for your website:

1. Do Market Research

You can do research on your website visitors or your business customers. You can find out what things they need from your business, such as products, services, and of course, features on your website.

2. Make Priorities

Having priorities can help you to prevent feature bloat

After you get the data about your customer's needs, it's time to make priorities. You may not be able to meet all of your customers' needs in the features on your website. This is because there may be a conflict of features that your customers want, which if you implement it on your website it will actually cause feature bloat. Having priorities can help you to identify features that can provide a lot of value to customers and find ways slowly to accommodate all the needs of your business customers.

• Make a Guide

Your website may already have a purpose or core as a guide for you to develop your website. However, sometimes problems appear suddenly and you have to solve the problem quickly. You might be thinking about adding a feature to deal with that problem. However, is the addition of that feature aligned with your goals? What about the implementation process? Is the process well documented?

These things can happen as you go along the process of creating your website and there are chances of feature bloats arising from that process.

To prevent this from happening on your website, you need a document or guide that has been made previously with the consent of all stakeholders which contains steps that must be taken to add a feature. The guide can also contain the purpose of your website which can provide context for adding a feature.

• Perform a Quick Test Cycle

One of the fastest ways to learn is to do it. You can learn and know more about the needs of a website by creating the website itself and asking for feedback from people.

This can allow you to really prepare a website carefully because you already have knowledge about what a website does not need.

You can use a free website builder to try this trial cycle.

• Make a Simple Design

Simple design example to help you prevent concept creep

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

At its core, feature creep arises from the design of a website that is too complicated. A sophisticated website can indeed fulfill many of your business needs well. However, when the website is too complex, it will not be able to meet your business needs because no one can navigate it.

One of the answers to this problem is quite simple: make a simple design. With a simple website design, you can immediately start meeting the core needs of your customers while slowly building your website to meet your other business needs. As the saying goes, "A long journey begins with a small step." Start simple.

Those are the things you should know about feature creeps.

Feature creep, or concept creep, is a phenomenon where a product has too many features that make the product difficult or even unusable. There are several reasons why the creep feature appears. The absence of clear goals and poor scheduling can be the two main causes of the appearance of feature creep on a product. The process of working on these products can also be a source of concept creep where there are no clear guidelines and documentation in the work process.

You can prevent this feature creep phenomenon from happening to your website in several ways. You can do research about what your business customers want from your website. Why ask customers? Because your customers will visit and use the features of your website. However, you must realize that not all of your customer needs can be fulfilled. You may encounter conflicting customer desires or features that can change your entire website design. You can try to accommodate all the feature desires of your customers, but there's nothing wrong with not realizing the features that customers want to ensure feature creep doesn't happen on your website. Finally, you can start from a simple website design and slowly build on other features.

A simple website design can help you to avoid feature creeps. But, wouldn't a simple website not have extraordinary features?

Of course not. You can have a simple website design while still having amazing features by using Strikingly.

Make A Feature Creep Free Website With Strikingly

Strikingly is a website builder that is suitable if you want a website with an extraordinary appearance at an affordable price. You can create a website with a simple design while still having features that can help your business grow.

You can easily create a website using ready-made templates provided by Strikingly. You can easily edit the template you choose to create the right website for your business. If you are still not satisfied with the existing template choices, you can also find other Strikingly user-created websites that you can use as your website template. It also helps you to find inspiration and learn from existing websites what to do on a website to prevent feature creep.

Templates by Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly website

At Strikingly, you can find a wide variety of features that can help you grow your business.

You can easily open an online shop at Strikingly. You just need to add an online shop section and you can start selling products on your website. The online store at Strikingly also comes with payment and sales recording features that you can access directly from Strikingly. This makes you not have to add any more features that can cause bloat features to start selling on your website.

Online store by Strikingly user

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

You can also add the Live Chat feature to your website. This feature can help you to serve customers who are visiting your website. This feature also provides mobile and desktop notifications that inform you when someone has a question on your website's Live Chat feature. You can also easily spread the latest news about your business. You can use the newsletter feature provided by Strikingly and send up to 2000 emails. You can use a custom domain to send these emails to increase the professional brand of your business.

Live Chat Feature by Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly product

Lastly, and perhaps one of the most important, you can easily optimize the SEO of your website at Strikingly. You can easily write a description or information regarding your website that affects how search engines, such as Google, rate your website. Your website may be simple and have great features. However, if no one can find it in a search engine and visit it, your website won't be able to do much for your business.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your feature creep-free website and grow your business online today with Strikingly!