When you building a new product, website, or application deciding what features and functionality to include is a difficult decision to make. And the answer usually isn’t yes or no, it’s to how robust should the features be.
That is where the Kano model comes in, it can help you prioritize and determine to what level a feature should be built. Using the model you can classify features into one of five categories helping to ensure your team is getting the maximum ROI on their investment and time.
The key to using the Kano Model is having a good understanding of your customer persona. Once you understand who you are building features for you prioritize features based on how they fit into this model.
Users take basic features for granted but are required for them to even consider your product. When present users won’t notice them when absent users are dissatisfied. Furthermore, these are features users aren’t will to pay extra for. Make sure they are done well but don’t spend extra time or money over developing these features.
My car has a horn and I’m willing to bet yours does too. It was a standard feature — it was also something you couldn’t — and wasn’t willing to upgrade.
Overtime features will move from other categories into this one. Prior to the mid-1960s seatbelts weren’t standard in cars. But now you wouldn’t buy a car without them.
Features fall into this category when they are not desired by the user and the greater extent to which they implemented increasingly dissatisfied users (anyone remember Microsoft’s Word Paperclip?). It’s important to uncover what features annoy users and should be avoided.
Developing any of these features will have a negative ROI.
One dimensional features
These features can either be a positive or negative for your product. They can delight users when implemented well and dissatisfied users when implemented poorly. It’s worth your time to make sure these features are properly implemented.
My car has chrome accents around the gear shift. To my delight, it gives the car a more luxurious feel (while still being a mid-sized sedan). However, to my dissatisfaction, it does an excellent joy reflecting the sun into my eyes on those late summer afternoon. The car manufacturer was hoping to add a positive feature to the car, but due to poor implementation, it became a negative.
As the name implies these features are engaging and alluring. They are distinguishing features that set your product apart from others. If missing users likely won’t notice, but when present They become a selling point and differentiator.
On my car, if the window is rolled down and you pull the inside handle it sounds the car alarm. It’s a great feature to have, I leave the windows down on a hot day and worry less about someone breaking in.
Attractive features have a strong ROI and play into your competitive advantage.
Users are – you guessed it- indifferent about these features. They don’t move your product up or down in their minds. Your customer is apathetic to features in this category.
I have not idea what brand of tires my car has. It has no effect on my perfection of the car.
Indifferent features don’t add value to products and have little ROI.
Increasing ROI Comes From Understanding Your Customers
The key to creating a great product with a positive user experience is understanding your customers’ needs. From there you can categorize features into these five categories. Not all user needs are created equal so it’s important to understand your users’ motivation through research. From there you can prioritize your features to maximize your ROI on your time and effort.