Lost in flexibility
I often hear people in product and executive roles say, "Let's make this feature flexible and customizable." In my experience, this is a product/design smell. It often happens because the product team hasn't done the hard work of deeply understanding the struggles and deciding on a particular solution. Instead, they're passing that work to the customers.
We often hear, “Customers know best.” They know their struggles, desired outcomes, and context. But they are usually bad at designing a solution. It’s up to us to uncover the struggles and context, extract the causal mechanisms, organize the dots, and turn the irrational into the rational. It’s up to us to design an opinionated solution.
Product isn’t about solving a problem in every way; it’s about solving a problem in a way. It’s a pattern language we build for a particular set of problems and their context.
Don’t outsource the job of designing the product, to your customers.
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