My list of Product Feature Requests

image credits Intercom.com

I am a product developer and a product management enthusiast and I’ve been learning my trade at Product School. I like to explore new products, dissect them and try to see if they are serving the intended purpose. A product evolves from being a minimal viable product to a fully functional product over time based on a number of factors like user feedback, engagement levels, company priorities and usefulness. There’s a method to the madness of product development and product managers have to be really careful in deciding the importance of a feature to the product. This illustration beautifully explains how to avoid ‘feature creep’.

Whenever I feel that a product could be improved by adding a feature I make a note of it in my own private feature list. Today I decided to publish the list in this blogpost, fully knowing that some of these features are obvious or people could have looked at it and rejected it because they had data to prove that it will not help their product, their vision, or their customers. But one of the reasons I decided to publish this list is because some of the features I’ve listed have already been implemented by the companies, thus validating my thought process. I am naming these features as “Missed Opportunities”. I’ll also be listing the features that have not been implemented yet, and hope to keep updating this list and I am calling this as “Feature Requests”. Going forward, I’ll maintain the date created and reasons for adding the feature to my list.

Missed Opportunities

Youtube Channel Search : Earlier there was no way for me to search a video in a particular channel. I was frustrated by the fact that I had to scroll through the entire channel history to find the video I was looking for, so I added this to the list and now thankfully this feature has been implemented.

Channel Search shown in one of my favorite channels Veritasium

Uber/Lyft Intermediate stop request: I use ride sharing apps a lot and whenever I want to stop at an intermediate place to drop off a friend or quickly buy something before heading to my intended destination, right now there’s no way for me to enter an intermediate address. But recently Lyft’s VP of Engineering Peter Morelli confirmed on his Product Hunt live chat that they are introducing this very feature and I guess Uber might also follow suit.

LinkedIn and MOOCs integration: I had added this to the list in early 2014, after listening to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s talk about his vision for the next 10 years. I had envisioned that LinkedIn will create partnerships with all the major MOOCs like Coursera, Udacity, Lynda, Khan Academy etc. but of course LinkedIn went ahead and bought Lynda.com soon after. I did a side project on how LinkedIn can effectively integrate Lynda.com to it’s platform and I’ve published about it here.

Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn — saving links & posts: Users customize their timelines and feeds to reflect their interests but not always will they have time to click an article and read it completely. So, users needed a feature to save posts, links and come back to them later. In late 2014 all of these websites added this feature. I still think that they can improve on this feature, may be I’ll expand on it in a different post.

Facebook — ability to find friends in a group: Earlier there was no way to find whether a particular group had any of your friends. Now facebook orders the members and lists all your friends first before listing rest of the members of the group.

Feature Requests

Facebook — Find all the posts that you have done in a group: (Date Added :August 15th 2016) I actively participate in some of the facebook groups by sharing a lot of articles, videos, images and messages. When I want to search for a particular post that I had shared a few months/weeks back, there’s no easy way to find it other than scrolling through the entire history. It is the same if you want to find a particular post shared by one of the other members in a group. There should be a way to see all the posts shared by a particular member in a group and a way to easily navigate between weeks/months/years.

Facebook — Events overhaul :(Date Added :August 15th 2016) I really think that Facebook can give meetup.com a run for their money if they design and overhaul their current events section. Right now users discover events on their timeline if there’s an engagement by one of their friends or by ads and recommendations. The events section’s calendar and discover feature can be modified to filter the events based on one’s interest and availability. If they really execute this well, Facebook events can be spun out as an independent app just like how they did with Facebook groups.

WhatsApp — Pinned Messages in a group:(Date Added :August 15th 2016)WhatsApp is the most used messaging app according to Mary Meeker’s internet trends. It’s true in my friends circle as well, we share hundreds, if not thousands of messages everyday. One of the pain points I see in a whatsapp group is, when there are hundreds of unread messages, I usually skim through or sometimes I might skip reading them at all. There have been instances where I’ve missed important announcements, invitations or news in a group. So if the users had the ability to pin a particular important message to a group, just like how an individual can star a message and save, it would solve this pain point.

Netflix — Watchlist notification:(Date Added :August 15th 2016) Netflix’s contents are constantly changing, new movies are added and removed continuously. Users should be able to add an artist, whether a director, actor or a writer to their watchlist and they should be notified whenever one of their content is added or about to be removed.

Search Result on Netflix for an Artist

Snapchat — Discoverability: (Date Added :August 15th 2016) Enough people have already spoken about snapchat’s discoverability issue. I really feel that it has to add a search feature to find popular users/publications. In fact Snapchat is reportedly buying a search app called Vurb. I hope they integrate their search capabilities to improve discover feature. As can be seen in the below graph, Snapchat is single handedly competing against all of Facebook’s apps, if it fixes this issue, I think it’ll be even more compelling.

Image credits to Mary Meeker’s Global Internet Trends 2016

Conclusion

That’s all for now, I hope to update this list regularly. I would love to hear your feedback.