Cut What You Love

The other day, I was trying to figure out why I’ve had so much cognitive dissonance in my head, regarding some of the features I’ve built for one of my side projects. In fact, I even started this post several days ago and had to go back to it, because I didn’t like the original title — “Removing Features You Love”. Having watched an episode in Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Hasan Minhaj put it more succinctly, saying that one of the most difficult things to do when creating your comedy routine is to “cut what you love”.

I’ve spent a great deal on my Supporter Badges, thinking they’d be one of the coolest features on my network. They weren’t as intrusive as your run-of-the-mill popups nor as seemingly innocuous as your 300×250 sidebar adverts. They were cool and pretty and round! But after several months of tweaking and testing, they just never took off. Additionally, removing them temporarily from mobile view actually increased every single metric (user engagement, time spent on page, bounce rate, etc.)! So, clearly, these badges were useless.

When you spend so much time investing into ideation, design and development only for it to go south, it’s really hard to cut it out. But when all data definitively suggests that this is exactly what you have to do, then you have to cut all ties. Pretty sure I’ll get better at this, but it’s a tough pill to swallow up front. Mahalo.