Product Design — Think 5 Years Ahead And Create Stepping Stones

Interesting idea found in BusinessWeek’s article “Staying Cool At Nokia” (paraphrased):

Think 5 years out and create stepping stones to the future.

Curtis refers to mobile phones but this can also be applied to web based products. The idea is not revolutionary but reality shows how easy it is to get tied up in short term issues (bugs, insignificant features, etc.). It’s important to have a long term vision for a product and stick to a plan on how to get there even if this means dropping some short term wins.

In fact, a lot of users are averse to change. Radical changes are refused without evening considering the advantages of the new version. Big changes can only be achieved through step by step changes. A nice side effect is that users get trained to accept change evolution.