Question Of The Day- Full-Featured or Simply-Simple?

On September 13, 2008

I was over on Appigo’s Google Groups discussion earlier looking at some of the initial responses to their just released “Notebook”. Since the app just came out late last night (and as usual finding it via the App Store’s indexing of new apps was hit or miss) there aren’t a lot of comments. One discussion, however, did catch my eyes.

One participant wrote- 

“… great app; don’t ruin it by adding too many features!”

another replied-

“…adding features does not ruin an application, provided they’re added with proper planning and design.”

and a third wrote-

“An excellent example of this is Appigo’s own ToDo application.”

All three are right.

Too often apps become so “feature-rich” that you almost need a separate app just to learn how to use them. At the same time, “feature-rich” doesn’t neccessarily means bloated and confusing.

If the developer takes the time to think through how the app is actually going to be used (and then employs that as a guide rather than making it do as much as is possible) the app can be powerful while remaining simple.

And, yes, ToDo is a good example of this (there are many). Over the weeks since it was first released it has become far more powerful and useful while remaining a relatively simple app to actually use.

So, no, it isn’t an “either/or” or a “all or nothing”. It can be a “both/and“— so long as the developer takes the time and care to ensure that that is the case.

But it got me thinking- if it WERE an ”either/or” would you choose a single app that is complicated to use or a number of simple apps at the same time to achieve the same goals?

If you had to choose Simple OR Full-Featured which would win out???