I've seen feature-itis strike, and sometimes paralyze, quite a few web site owners.
- you hear about a new web site feature and you must investigate it before moving any further with your web site
- whenever you see a feature on a competitor's web site you feel you must have it on yours too
- you spend more time investigating new things to do with your web site than you actually spend doing anything with your web site
- you often waste time or money on web site features that get little use
- you'd rather endlessly tweak a feature to get more use out of it than just abandon it
I don't know if there is a cure--I think certain personality types are just prone to it. But, rejoice! Symptoms can be relieved by realizing:
- Feature-itis is usually just rank procrastination dressed up in business attire
- Web site features alone will not increase your sales. You'll need good content, good people and good practices on the other side of those features--things you won't have time to develop if you're off to the next feature.
- Your competitor's site may look snazzy to you but you don't really know how well its perfoming compared to what they've put into it.
If you don't get hit with feature-itis, be on the lookout for related diseases: design-itis and Obsessive Optimization Disorder. I'll discuss those in upcoming posts.