Discoverability of new features

This great article prompted me to write about my experience with developing features in an established product.

Product teams generally do not put in enough effort in measuring if new features are easily discovered or if they are being used by existing users. New features are only discovered if they are “surfaced” appropriately to the user. A lot of engineering effort goes waste on established products. Feature teams feel let down and product management feels that all their great work went to waste as new feature lie unused because they could not be discovered by the user.

Most engineering teams & product teams in general do not realize that feature discoverability is in their hands and not in the hands of the marketing departments. Waiting for marketing to get the word out about new features does not work for the following reasons:

  • Marketing is expensive and works in spikes
  • Marketing sticks to word limits and space limits when talking about new features
  • Considering the ever lowering attention spans – marketing really does not work anymore

So… if you want to do it right, decease build discoverability into the feature MVP itself. Talk to customers about how they would like to learn about new features and then try it out in wireframe walkthroughs before implementation.



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