Internet Search Engine

Joshua from del.icio.us often says that lots of people are good at coming up with more ideas but very few people are good with less.  Less ideas?  Yes...   Narrowing down your service to its most basic features and elements.  Getting rid of the chafe.

When I wrote papers in college, I tended to be a bit wordy.  (I know, I know... right?   Me, wordy?)  I'd write a paper and then my first edit was to just cut the word count by 20% and say the same thing.  I'd go sentence by sentence replacing four words with three, just to squeeze under the target count.  It made my writing so much better, though.  More words don't always get your point across better.

With web services, more clicks and even sometimes more features, can confuse the hell out of a user.  When you develop a service, how about trying the following exercise:

  1. List all of the ideas for functions of your service.
  2. Rank them in terms of value to the user.
  3. Kill off the most useless 20% of the features.
  4. Take the remaining 80% and map how many clicks it takes for someone to actually complete them.
  5. Even with the most simple, try and kill off 20% of the clicks... or if its really simple to begin with, just shave a click off of everything.