Faced with this familiar problem, Gordon takes an elegant approach. Armed with his user research, he targets a specific style of food and narrows the menu to only a handful of desired choices. The new menu fits the needs of the patrons and eases the stress for choosing an entree. Even better — the staff has a clear and an achievable menu. No longer will they struggle to prepare…
This is counter-intuitive but true. It is actually easier to give your users more features than it is to have the discipline to strip everything away and just give them something they will actually consume.
As I read this I thought of the times I have eaten at the Cheesecake Factory. If you have been there you know that their menu is a thick spiral-bound book. It takes me forever to decide on something and once I pick something I immediately have buyer’s remorse thinking about all the amazing things I didn’t order.
Contrast that with a place like Red Robin where I know what I am ordering before I even sit down. My expectations have been appropriately placed in the hamburger category. The only stress there is guilt about the calories I am about to consume.
Neither of these restaurants is struggling to find business but I would argue that Red Robin has a better user experience (aside from the post-burger grease coma).
I have been thinking about anti-roadmaps lately. Instead of tackling the unlimited list of features that we could build next, how can we focus our attention on reducing and simplifying the features we already have? It is always easier to add to your product “menu” than it is to delete.