How do people discover features in an app?

If we’re building a feature that only caters to 20% of our users then where do we put it? If we splash it in everyone’s face we’re just spamming 80% of the people who use our app.

When our app only did one thing our core feature was 100% obvious. Now we have five features and the same amount of attention gets distributed between them. At best, each feature can only be 20% obvious. The more features we add the less obvious each one becomes.

There are design principles that we’re using to skirt the edges here. We can cluster things together, space things apart, play with size and colour and contrast but all we’re doing is shuffling attention around. Let’s steal 5% of the attention from these bits and give it to this thing over here.

We cant make everything more obvious. Attention is a zero-sum game.

When we were small we could just stuff all our features into the navigation bar. That’s not an option anymore. If we want to keep things obvious we’re going to have to start saying no to things. This means making decisions about who our product is really for and what we’re helping them accomplish.

 
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