The Laziness That Kills Good Products 😑

Yashu Mittal

Over the years, you start hearing some phrases that keep coming up over and over in product or design meetings. They can be indicative of laziness, disorganization, or a poor process — so it’s actually important to address them. Here is my collection of the phrases I’ve heard, and how you can respond.

“Maybe we can A/B test it.” A/B tests consume a lot of time and effort. Do you really feel it’s worth investing that time? It may be a better use of our time to make a gut decision on this, or find proxy data that we can use now.

“Let’s add that into the settings menu” How many of our core users will actually need this? Can we instead show this feature only when we think a user would actually need it?

“Facebook/Apple/Google did it that way” Is it actually helpful to keep our designs consistent with Facebook here? If our users are truly expecting consistency, then that’s fine — but otherwise let’s think more about the right experience for our users.

“We don’t have analytics for that.” Ok, so what’s the plan for filling that gap in our analytics?

“Maybe we could build this feature idea later on.” No, it’s better to cut this altogether. We already have a ton of features in our backlog that are higher priority. It’s better to stay focused.

“My friends were complaining about our app this weekend, and they recommended we change X, Y, and Z.” We can add that to our mental library of anecdotes to pull from, but let’s not change our decision making process so suddenly.

“How about we trigger a notification to encourage our users to do X?” The world is getting fed up with notification spam. This will just get us blocked by the user. Let’s think a bit more about why they aren’t doing X.

“We don’t want to constrain ourselves. We’re building this product for everyone.” Making tough design decisions is an order of magnitude more complex without a clear definition on a few types of users to target.

“I think our users are going to like this.” Hey — you’re usually right, but in this instance, can you elaborate on how you know that?

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