Can an app makes you fat?

Great post on Serious Pony about cognitive resources: Your app makes me fat. This post retells the story of feature bloat in terms of the cognitive effort it forces upon the people who use our design. As we add more features, we add additional friction to the user’s day, and not just while they’re using the software…we’re potentially depleting their cognitive resources they’ll need later on. Kathy says:

“That one new feature you added? That sparkly, Techcrunchable, awesome feature? What did it cost your user? If the result of your work consumes someone’s cognitive resources, they can’t use those resources for other things that truly, deeply matter. This is NOT about consuming their time and attention while they’re using your app. This is about draining their ability for logical thinking, problem-solving, and willpower after the clicking/swiping/gesturing is done.”

So, as the title suggests, the more difficult it is to use software early in the day, the less willpower we’ll have later on when we decide other things like what to eat. So reason number 8,432 to make every feature work its ass off to get into your product. Read the whole thing.

Also…glad you’re back, Kathy. 🙂

Published: August 12th, 2013