How ‘keep it simple stupid’ helps avoid the feature creep that interferes with your core design and business value.

Dinesh C, an award winning global marketer, is currently overseeing design and business development initiatives at CarVi, a company working to create an affordable technology to make the roads safer for all of us.

If CarVi can create and design such a complex product, while keeping simplicity at the center of their focus, I know you can too. So I wanted to share their secrets, the nitty gritty details, of how they are doing it, and why it’s working.

Intelligence and Intuition for Your Vehicle

CarVi has a few things working against them really because their product is being designed for every vehicle and they also want it to be affordable for every driver… oh and did I mention the advanced technology aspect? Their product is essentially intelligence and intuition for your vehicle. When we start adding in these complexities, simplicity of design can quickly become, well, less simple.

Complex Products Can Be Simple

But in order for this to be true, you really have to be honest about your design. Your process of perfecting your design is one that will need verification of complexities. What I mean by that is this: Every complex aspect of your product needs to operate perfectly.

There is a big risk that a product that does too many things actually does none of them well and it usually lies in the problem of feature creep and not knowing the core value. In this case, for CarVi, that core value is to make the roads safer, something with no room for error.

Feature Creep: the ongoing expansion or addition of new features in a product.

I have watched feature creep burn a lot of companies because you’ve got one personsaying, “oh, let’s add this, it will be really cool” and then maybe another person saying, “it definitely needs xyz to be relevant” and before you know it, your product isn’t even the same product you started with. Or, it’s incredibly complex, the features don’t mesh well with one another, and they aren’t obvious either.

Core Values First + A Dedicated Team

Dinesh pointed out that there are two things you can do to keep feature creep from ruining your ideals of product simplicity, and he is spot on.

  1. Core Values First: Losing sight of your products core values will kill it. Solidarity, harmony is sensed by the consumer and if it’s missing, if it’s just a little bit off, you will be the designer of a dud. For CarVi, their main core value is to make the roadways safer for everyone. So while the products they design have complexities, they never lose sight of the simplicity in that core value. This allows them to remain hyper-focused on their core value, while creating products that are very advanced.

  2. A Dedicated Team: To really avoid having too many chefs in the kitchen, your design strategy should be implemented by a dedicated design team. Your design team should be clear on the core values, the design goals, and the features, and everyone should be working forward towards the same end goal.

Have A Smart Design Process

Make sure your design process is strategic and involved. You cannot afford to cut corners in this area. If your design process is lazy or lacking, your product will show that and it won’t matter if your complex features are simple or if your simple features are complex. At the end of your strategic design process, all features should be run through a litany of tests, to ensure their absolute accuracy and overall simplicity.

If They Can Do It, So Can You

Yes, there are challenges in staying simple with a design that carries a lot of complexities. But it isn’t an impossible task, as we can see from the model CarVi has implemented. If they can take such an advanced product and make it affordable, compatible for all vehicles, accurate, simple, and true to it’s core value… I know you can too.

Read the original INC article published on August 16, 2017.

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