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There’s an interesting article at Innovation Excellence, about the possible merits of ‘secret specifications‘ – not telling your customers what the precise specifications of the product is, and letting its quality speak for itself.

In a developer-driven environment, the list of features will resemble a change-log.  More RAM, latest version of jQuery etc.  This is all very handy for comparing against a competing product, but it ignores a very simple question:

How does this solve users’ problems?

By deliberately not listing the specifications, a business can force people to focus on the less tangible benefits.  How does it work for me?  This could work where the quality of the product is clearly superior.

But like the article says, this isn’t going to work in all situations.  If the user requirements talk about the importance of the end result, then it doesn’t matter how it works.  So when I’m buying headphones, I only care how good the music sounds, but when I’m buying a laptop, I do need to know how much disk space it has.

It would seem that if the product relies on human senses (touch, hearing, sight etc), then you could get away with not listing the specifications, and let the user decide for themselves.

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