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Start with features, not apps

Quick one: Ever thought we've been designing apps all wrong? Yup, that's right. We're like those people who build the roof before the walls.

Here's the deal: start with a feature, not a layout. Why worry about a top nav or sidebar when you don’t even know what you’re building yet?

Imagine this: building a flight booking app. Do you really need a flashy homepage right off the bat, or just a badass search function that gets the job done? Exactly.

Never forget this multi-billion dollar feature:


Or this one. Can it get any simpler?


So, next project, let’s cut to the chase. Build the feature first, slap on the app design later. Maybe we'll end up with less caffeine-fueled midnight coding sessions. 😅

Cheers to simpler and saner app design!

Check to find our when we launch.

Top comments (25)

grantges profile image
Bert Grantges

I would go higher - focus on the outcome you want to achieve for your audience, that will inform what requirements (or features) you actually need.

mfp22 profile image
Mike Pearson

I would go higher - focus on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, that will inform what entropy channels (or requirements) are inevitable in the grand scheme of things.

techtobe101 profile image
Tech Tobé

Ah, so good! I wish I could repost thisss! I truly believe my community could benefit from reading this ⭐

alxwnth profile image

It’s not features that propelled these two examples but offering a solution to problems. For google it can be summarized as finding information you need. For ChatGPT it’s not so obvious since it can solve a whole bunch of problems, but I’d say that the core one is how to interact with an LLM in a simple way (in this case through a chat bot).

opensourcee profile image

Agree!! "Features that solve problems", not any feature, like a button or something.

smit24 profile image
Smit Shah

this could be my this week's goal. build a feature first app. :)

ashishyadaav profile image

I have tried to his and it has worked everytime as a designer once features are established it's better to Design it with form & functionalities, nice Post:)

tabs150 profile image
Thabiso Pheko

I am currently building a lot of YAGNI features

opensourcee profile image

Thank you a lot for the reference, by the way. It's here for everyone:

Wikipedia YAGNI

Martin Fowler YAGNI

opensourcee profile image

I had to search it:

"You aren't gonna need it" (YAGNI) is a principle which arose from extreme programming (XP) that states a programmer should not add functionality until deemed necessary.

Yeah, resist adding it!!

opensourcee profile image

Curious... Is it because someone put them on the sprint? Sometimes it's outside our control indeed... but I hope they'll listen you!

offirmo profile image

I'm also building a lot of YAGNI but

  • it's for personal projects
  • I accepted that I'll never finish my projects, it's a hobby that's giving me pleasure, that's ok
  • hmm YAGNI is the best for relaxing ;)
wunmicrown profile image

Good perspective..

rixcrafts profile image
Richard Garcia

Good perspective..

asachanfbd profile image
Abhishek Sachan • Edited

It depends on the approach, if you want to just test your idea you start with a flashy homepage and don't start building features.

arbythecoder profile image

I love the perspective... Designs should be secondary but at least, let the app do the major work you said it will do.✌

ricardogesteves profile image
Ricardo Esteves

Well, valid point!

tromineo profile image
Monteiro Steil

Really good perspective!

amedi-imbira profile image
Stephen Amedi Imbira

This should be a revolution. #startwithfeatures. Haha
Anyway, thanks for this change in perspective. Let me try it out

qyrusai profile image

This. So simple, yet so true. Thanks for the reminder, and cheers to a full night's sleep!

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