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Designers, don’t say yes to every feature

When you're developing a product, it's tempting to approve all of the fun new features you and your team come up with.

Don't. Sometimes it's best to back away and stick with the basics.

Think about how Apple designs its products. Popular devices like the iPhone and the iPad, for example, do not have USB ports or slots for SD cards, even though these peripherals are common on most other competing devices. Though Apple could add such features if it wanted, they might detract from the design and function of the product as a whole. So Apple declines, and while this may bother certain tech writers, it has done little to dissuade millions of customers.

Let's consider the opposite scenario. Several years ago, Microsoft introduced an innovative new addition to their popular XBox 360 videogame console: the Kinect. Billed as an advanced motion detector, the Kinect promised to open up an entire new genre of motion-control games that require nothing more than visual input from a player's arms or legs.

That never happened. The Kinect was an optional feature, and as a result few gamers went out and bought one. Seeing little financial incentive, even fewer development studios spent resources developing games for the new technology, leaving it little more than an underused, yet expensive, investment for Microsoft.

Sometimes, you have to be careful about what features you add to your creations. Developers could often use advice from an outside group when it comes to making crucial decisions about new product design. This is where a company like Sozo Design can help.

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