Future thinking for features

Introducing a new feature should come with the full understanding of who is going to use it and how. Actually, "going to use.." is the point of time which often missed. Feature planning is always happening at the given time point towards the future. Strategically it makes a lot of sense to focus on the future of the feature, especially for designers.

The article does not consider the questions of how the feature used, or how it made. Those are the right questions but relevant for research and ideation. We are uncovering the overall design strategy problem.

Majority of stakeholders, in particular executives, project managers, and many designers thinking and feeling in the past. Opinions and memories constructed on past personal experience. Thus ideas and feedback might be obsolete and subjective. Experiences mainly formed from interactions with existing products and services. Meaning, features in the products imagined by someone else quite some time ago and built through several years, shipped to the world in recent months. So, the idea is not new and saying "let's do like them" is rolling the project several years back in time.

The backward-looking problem exists in many teams and should be replaced by forward-thinking. Forward-thinking is about defining and designing the feature that looks at the future of the project. The question is: "how it should look and feel in a couple of months, years after the release?". It swaps the efforts from going after the past to relevant and fresh. It makes not much sense to follow that someone imagined a long time ago and made it the way it was possible that time. Correct is to achieve a better version of what is needed. Future wise it is something like; "Facebook did it. What are they working on now to be relevant in the next X months, years?

Responsibility of the user experience designer, in case it is not set, to introduce the problem of backward-looking. The designer should redirect towards the forward-thinking approach. It is critical because the new mobile application, website, or system will go live after some time. At the point of release, the result will be already outdated.

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