feature fatigue


feature fatigue
n.
Mental exhaustion and stress caused by products that come with a large number of features.
Example Citations:
I really want a digital camera. In fact, I tried to buy one twice. The first time the sheer number of choices freaked me out and I ran out of the store. ... If I'm confused and dazed, I can't be alone.
And research is showing that I'm not. Professor Roland Rust of the University of Maryland has even coined a term for it—feature fatigue. And it's the result of companies making toothbrushes so complicated and loaded with features that they come with a DVD to explain how to use them. Feature fatigue is the inevitable consequence of feature creep, the tendency for designers and programmers to bundle every feature they can imagine into every single product.
—Jim Sollisch, "Buyer paralyzed by 'feature fatigue'," Chicago Tribune, September 8, 2006
Consider a coffeemaker that offers 12 drink options, a car with more than 700 features on the dashboard, and a mouse pad that's also a clock, calculator, and FM radio. All are examples of "feature bloat," or "featuritis," the result of an almost irresistible temptation to load products with lots of bells and whistles. The problem is that the more features a product boasts, the harder it is to use. Manufacturers that increase a product's capability—the number of useful functions it can perform—at the expense of its usability are exposing their customers to feature fatigue.
—Roland T. Rust, Debora Viana Thompson, Rebecca W. Hamilton, "Defeating Feature Fatigue," Harvard Business Review, February 1, 2006
Earliest Citation:
More personal and business users will suffer "feature fatigue", and stick with what works for them, rather than the latest technology.
—Steve Vincent, "Net profit," Bangkok Post, January 1, 1997
Related Words: Category:

New words. 2013.

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