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If you are an appreneur, you should be very worried about your app having feature fever. I am very frequently asked about dos and don’ts of mobile app development. This is definitely the top mistake app appreneurs commit while designing their apps, especially first ones. They get carried away by the idea of having too many features in their app to make it appealing to every one they can think of as a potential user. I will explain a few of the problems with this approach.

Bad User experience. If you keep on adding on new features to your app, you are going to have an app that is very difficult to use. Mobile apps as opposed to desktop apps work in a flow rather than on a central screen with menus, buttons and a small dynamic area. If there are too many features, the flow forks at many points and it makes it difficult to use the app. The whole point of having so many apps is that every app should serve a very specific need very well.

Resource wastage. As an appreneur, resources are always scarce. So don’t waste your time, money and energy in adding features. Focus on a small set of users who will be the best fit and try gaining traction in that user demography. They will tell you what features they need most when they need them. Once the app is out, try finding people who love the app as is, use it and provide genuine feedback rather than trying to please those who will never use the app but ask you all the things it does.

Branding dilution. Unless you are a big studio buying app downloads for millions, your app marketing should be based on a story that is told over several social channels. People have very short attention spans and you should show them something they can understand and like/hate it in less than a minute. The app should say what it does in the first look at the screen. This is almost impossible for an app that does a lot of things.

Technical problems. The more the features, the complex the architecture of the app and more the bugs you will have to deal with. Again this will lead to bad UX and wasting your time on bug fixes.

People might not those features at all. You might spend a lot of time, money and energy perfecting that share-to-linkedin button in a game, but the people might not use it at all. Look at what is being used and if people are not using something, take it out. It will help your app be leaner, faster and have a better UX.

A very good example to close this post will be a advise Paul Graham of Y-Combinator gave to Brian Chesky of AirBNB- build something that 100 people love rather than 1 million people kind of like (link).

So, does your app have feature fever, let me know in comments?

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