Creeping Featuritis

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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.

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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
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.