When you’re building a product, it’s easy to over-prioritize certain improvements – from your UI to your tech stack. This post shines a light on some of the tasks that you probably don’t need to worry about.
If you have a reason for violating these improvements, you might justified in doing so. It’s the people who don’t have good reasons for doing these that should think twice about implementing them.1
- Beautifully designed emails. Most people don’t want to receive a three-column branded welcome email with custom images and a high-res logo. The content matters more than anything.
- What your confirmation popup looks like.
- If you’re using WordPress or a no-code solution. Most users won’t know the difference. If they do, they won’t care.
- Arranging everything above the fold. Anyway, everything that you cram above the fold degrades the value of everything else.
- Your custom
<select>menus. Just let the browser handle this. Again, it’ll be more accessible.
- Your custom I/O switches. Again, they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Custom form elements can be a time suck. Just use a checkbox.
- If your app works on outdated browsers. Unless you’re developing for a certain type of market, build for modern browsers. Don’t delay a launch because you might get an Internet Explorer user someday.
- If it’s a progressive web app. Focus on solving the core problem at hand, and save this for later… if ever.
- If you’re using premium fonts. Just use something readable like a system font. Again, the content matters more than the beautiful design.
- Your logo. Logos only matter in specific scenarios – mobile app icons, Chrome extensions, etc. If you’re developing a web app, you can just write the name of your product in the upper left. The only person who cares about your logo is you.
- The sticky navigation bar. People don’t need your menu to follow them all the way down the page. They know where it is.
- Nearly all of your animations. Users aren’t going to buy your product because they saw a cool animation on the landing page. Sometimes, animations can give context to a certain action, but usually, you’re just trying to make your product look cool to build your ego.
- If you have a blog for your product. People will understand if you haven’t gotten around to making one yet.
- If you have lots of followers. When I launched MageTools about a month ago, I had ~30 Twitter followers. Now I’m starting to get more. You can build your audience any time – including after you launch.
- The cartoon illustrations on your homepage. Cartoon people with comically out-of-proportion limbs don’t help you sell things.
- That you have a media kit. Just ask people to email you for it – and create it then. Once it’s done, you can add it to your footer.
- That you’re using React, Vue, or [insert popular new framework]. Just choose the option you know best.
- If your application is perfectly scalable. Focus on making a solid core product instead of obsessing about scalability. You probably won’t need to scale, but if you do, it’s a good problem to have.
- If you write beautiful code. Sure, don’t write bad code. But don’t be a perfectionist either. Your time is better spent elsewhere.
- If you have a mobile app. A responsive site is fine for now.
- Your choice of payment processor. You don’t need to support every payment method.
- That you have an about page. You don’t need to worry about having a mission statement, team headshots, etc.
- That you’re using separate email addresses. You don’t need firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and so on. If you’re the one managing all of them, just use one email address. Separate them when it becomes a headache.
Good design is important.2 Good engineering is important.3 And developer happiness is important.4 But don’t confuse nice-to-haves with need-to-haves. If you’re trying to launch something, most of this stuff can come later, if ever.