Creeping Featuritis

What Does Creeping Featuritis Mean?

Creeping featuritis, a creeping featurism variant, is a continuously evolving syndrome in which features added to enhance product popularity result in increased complexity and reduced efficiency. Creeping featuritis is rampant in computer software and hardware.


Creeping featuritis is also known as feature creep and featureitis. A creeping featuritis spoonerism is feeping creaturitis.

Techopedia Explains Creeping Featuritis

Creeping featuritis occurs when added features exceed software functionalities and create overload. Gradually, a product’s original cohesive design is butchered and incongruously jumbled with proportionally complex features.

Although limited product changes are beneficial, creeping featuritis is problematic and creates long-term issues, as follows:

  • New users require assistance when learning how to use the product.
  • Newly incorporated features stretch development schedules.
  • Product costs incrementally increase, depending on features and associated complexities.
  • Unintended effects result in loss of revenue.

Creeping featuritis is avoidable. Development teams must focus on essential features and functionalities and establish fixed product designs during initial lifecycle stages.

When creeping featuritis is in process, it may be resolved or stopped by redefining user start-up options. For example, new users may begin an application with standard features, and advanced users may begin with the most current application version.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…