We’re working on some new stuff which involves designing a screen for managing users. It’s a bit of an R&D project at this point, but it’s not that far away from being real.

We designed the UI and we liked the way it looked and worked, but then we started asking some questions. Why is this there? Why does that work the way it works? Why would someone want or need to do that?

When we questioned one specific UI element (which dominated the design), we found ourselves defending it with an “Imagine if someone wanted to…” That’s when the red flag went up.

“Imagine if…” is always a red flag. It doesn’t mean the imagination won’t prove to be right, it just means slow down, step back, and get back to what’s real for a moment.

Any scenario can be imagined. Any use case can be dreamed up. But is this something a majority of the people will really need? Is there solid ground beneath this feature or is it floating in fantasy land?

When we hit these bumps we almost always end up with the same decision: Kill it. We can add it back later if it’s a real problem. Until then, we’re just playing with our imagination. We’re better off with less to start. More can come later if it’s really necessary.