After completing your research, engaging stakeholders and listing out your product’s features, you might find yourself wondering what your next step should be. Specifically, you might be wondering where exactly to consider in crafting your development budget. The best thing you can do is to implement the Kano Model framework to prioritize features and to build a product roadmap for the product’s success.

Professor Noriaki Kano developed the Kano Model based on a conceptualization of customer satisfaction in the 1980s. This particular model offers a way to designate existing or potential features of the product by determining how they will affect user outcomes, experiences, and satisfaction.

In the Kano Model, a successful product’s must-have features divide into these three categories:




Category 1 – Delight

A feature aimed to delight the customer when you place it in the product or service will fulfill a need for excitement. If you choose to not include this feature in the product, it will, however, not make a significant impact on overall success. To make a truly groundbreaking product, you’ll need to fully delight your users, but if you don’t have these features, users won’t know they want them. Most users do not know that they require a feature for delight until after they have experienced it.

You can probably think of lots of examples of delight features in apps you use regularly. Those features that aren’t strictly necessary to the basic functioning of the app but since they are there, you use them and enjoy the overall app all the more. For example, think of the “Radio” feature on Spotify that lets you find undiscovered music based on the music you currently listen to. This isn’t necessary, but it gives you a huge added bonus.

Category 2 – Performance:

“Performance” features are the bread and butter of the product and directly drive customer satisfaction. If you get the “performance” features right, you’ll see customer satisfaction. The performance features can be identified by what users are anticipating when they download an app or buy a product. This is the backbone of the service, and how well you address the customer problem affects how well your customers are satisfied.

Usually, when there are performance features it will cause the breakpoint to the features that offer a positive impact.

For example, consider why Google Drive offers storage at no cost:

Free storage is bound to produce a positive reaction.

The expectation of the users might be to get at least 4Gb space.

15Gb space will only bring positive satisfaction to the users.

Category 3 – Baseline

The “baseline” features are the ones that people only notice when they are done poorly, there is no nice way of putting it. Users implicitly expect certain features to be included in the product, and their satisfaction levels decrease when you choose not to add them or, worse, you implement them poorly. Since these are the features are expected by the users, including them will not cause any positive impact.

For example, nowadays, people expect to have the Bluetooth feature included on every mobile device. Neglecting this feature could lead to many customers’ frustration. There is no increase in the satisfaction levels because of having the Bluetooth. It has become a standard these days for mobile phones to have this particular feature.

Category 4 – Negative features/ features without impact

Lastly, beyond the three categories above, some features do not make any impact when you have them in your product. Likewise, certain features can cause a negative reaction when you choose to include them in the product. After carefully analyzing the features, you need to remove the features that fall under these categories.

Building a plan for UX

In its most rudimentary form, your plan for user experience should include:

Knowing your target customers and understand what they are looking for.

List all possible features, core and non-core.

Categorize these potential features by relying on the Kano Model breakdown.

After following these steps, you’ll be in a good position to craft a product development plan.

Start With Baseline Features

You need first to ensure that your product accomplishes the basic task-at-hand. When you do not get the basics in place, people don’t have a reason to use your product. It’s all well and good to have fun added bonuses, but if the core task your offering advertises doesn’t work, you are not addressing a real need.

You’ve probably had an experience like this, especially when it comes to technology. You may have downloaded something expecting results only to find that it offers limited entertainment value with no real purpose. Therefore, you need to set up the foundation necessary to build a great product by first developing the baseline features so that customers will want to use your product.

Prioritize the Performance Features

You need to analyze what can set you apart from the competition to determine the user experience and the performance features that you are planning to include. Avoid placing too much of your budget in maximizing the performance features in the product. Instead, you may plan on crafting a plan by doing the following:

To reduce the negative impact on the user experience, choose to add a right amount of features from all the three categories.

Create a positive impact, choose to add those features that your customers will value highly.

To create a positive impact, also choose to add those features that will help users to differentiate you from your competitors.

The fundamental principle you need to follow when you are investing money is to invest wisely in a variety of these features instead of burning the budget by trying to be the best in everything.

Use Delighters to Differentiate You From Competition

You need to ensure that the roadmap is in perfect shape. The only way you can achieve this is by creating your rudimentary product using the baseline features. Only then you have succeeding in accomplished something of value can you turn to focusng more on specific performance feature.

Once things are in good shape, you may choose to introduce the delighters as an added bonus. The best way for you to differentiate yourself from the competition is by using the delighters. You need to select a few delighters that work well with the performance features.

Revisit Your Roadmap:

Since you have a several different kinds of features contributing to your product, you have a functional offering that can later be enhanced by:

Additional baseline features to keep ahead of the competition.

Refining the performance attributes by choosing to bolster the current features or plan on investing in newer features.

Tacking on new Delighter features to engage your audience.

By using the Kano model on your UX design, you can select the features that will contribute to a well-developed product. You will be able to get a good ROI by using the budget wisely on those features that bring value to the user. With continuous research and recurring assessment, this is one of the best methods to build an excellent product.