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Why You Should Ignore System Features

The features are often your selling point. Whether you’re buying a car, a smart phone, or a piece of software, everyone wants to know what the product can do. However, the problem with focusing on the features of a new system is it ignores how the customer will actually be using it. Patrick Gray of explains that in order to build your features, you need to first look at use cases.

What are use cases? Well, it’s pretty much how it sounds. It’s a description identifying how a customer will interact with your product to accomplish a task. This might seem obvious, but consider Gray’s example. If you were selling someone a car, you’d need to find out what their primary use for that vehicle was. Do they need something built for speed or for hauling lumber? There’s a big difference between a sport’s car and a truck, even if they both have seat warmers and an awesome radio.

Likewise, identifying the primary use case will eliminate the need to meet impossible standards. If you ask the customer what features they want to see, they might say they want a system that captures hundreds of complex data points but requires no training. Impossible, right? Outdoing your competition with features alone is also impossible. Instead, concentrate on making your system the best use for that specific task that your customer needs most. Your selling points will follow.

About Rachel Ginder

Rachel Ginder was a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success and joined the team in 2013. She also helped with social media and research.

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