How to get your new feature adopted

Feature adoption

Feature adoption plays a big role in a product’s success, and having a well-thought-out strategy for introducing new features is essential for any digital product. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to build an effective feature adoption strategy for your customer’s user experience. We’ll cover the importance of understanding user behavior, how to determine which features are worth adding, and how to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to make smart decisions when introducing new features to your users.

1. Determine your goal

Determine your goal

Determining the goal of your feature adoption strategy is a tricky but critical first step. In the beginning that process needs to go through a filtering process that asks three basic questions:

How does this better the user experience?

Make sure that the feature genuinely improves the user experience. Feature adoption plays a pivotal role in keeping users engaged with the product, as it provides them with novel ways to interact and extract value. By introducing new features, businesses aim to enhance the user experience, meet evolving needs, and solve problems.

Does this improve your customer satisfaction?

A satisfied customer is a powerful asset. When customers find value in new features, they become more satisfied with the product or service. Higher satisfaction levels lead to increased loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, a competitive advantage for businesses. If the new feature is overcrowding the UI and making a clunky UX, odds are it’s going to damage the chances of feature adoption.

Does this make your product stand out (in a good way)?

Successful feature adoption can set a product apart from the competitors. However, with success comes attention, and this unique aspect of your product can soon become a target for competitors seeking to catch up. The rise of rideshare companies just a decade ago saw a sprawling battle of feature innovation. If it gains enough market traction, it can prompt your competitors to copy your feature. Imitation is the biggest compliment after all, right?

What are your competitors doing?

If a competitor’s feature(s) is fundamentally changing users’ expectations, it might be time to seriously consider adopting their feature. Only do this if it meets the first criterias. 

Once you have put the feature idea through this process, it will help define your goals and streamline your design process.

2. Do your research

Effective feature adoption is connected to thorough research. You’ll want to understand what your users want and need, and how they interact with your product. You should also determine how successful your current features are, and how they fit into the larger user experience. 

To get an accurate picture of your users, user research is essential, consider usability testing, interviews, focus groups, and other methods that might be better suited to your needs and the product. Collecting the insights from this research will help you better understand your user needs, motivations, frustrations, preferences, and goals, which can inform the development of your feature adoption strategy.

Note: the research phase will influence the goal phase. The goal is meant to be treated as a guideline, not a dogma. 

Now that you have your goals and research hand in hand, it is time to implement the feature.

3. Feature funnel

To understand how your new feature will be received, it is important to be mindful of the feature lifecycle or feature funnel. It provides a visual representation of the user’s progression from initial awareness of the feature to full adoption and utilization. The feature adoption funnel helps businesses understand and analyze user behavior and engagement at each stage, enabling them to identify areas for improvement and optimize the adoption process.

The feature adoption funnel typically consists of the following stages:


This is the initial stage where users become aware of the existence of a new feature. It may occur through various channels such as product announcements, release notes, email notifications, or in-app messages. At this stage, users gain knowledge about the feature and its potential value.


In the interest stage, users show curiosity and start exploring the feature further. They may seek additional information, read documentation, watch tutorials, or engage with product support to understand how the feature can benefit them and address their needs. It is crucial to capture and maintain user interest during this phase.


In the evaluation stage, users actively assess the feature’s usability, functionality, and fit within their workflow or requirements. They might experiment with the feature, conduct tests, or compare it with existing alternatives. Users evaluate whether the feature delivers the promised benefits and if it aligns with their expectations.


Once users are satisfied with the feature and recognize its value, they move into the adoption stage. Here, users start incorporating the feature into their regular usage patterns and workflows. They actively engage with the feature, utilizing it to its full potential and experiencing the benefits it offers. Adoption implies consistent and meaningful usage over an extended period.


The mastery stage represents the highest level of feature adoption. Users have become proficient in using the feature, maximizing its capabilities, and extracting optimal value from it. They have integrated the feature seamlessly into their daily routines and workflows. Mastery often leads to increased efficiency, productivity, and satisfaction for users.

It is important to note that not all users progress through the entire feature adoption funnel. Some, if not many,  users may drop off at any stage due to various reasons such as lack of interest, difficulty in understanding the feature, or not perceiving its value. By analyzing user behavior at each stage of the funnel, businesses can identify bottlenecks, areas of improvement, and devise strategies to optimize the adoption process, leading to higher user engagement and successful feature adoption.

4. Thumbprint Recognition

Let’s apply what we’ve learned to a real world example; apple bio scanner. 

Fingerprint scanners are so common, we don’t think about them (when they’re working). But they weren’t always part of the smartphone experience. 10 years ago it was pins and patterns to unlock phones. And then Apple changed everything. The release of the iPhone 5S in 2013, featured a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Like any feature, people were skeptical but eventually there was mass spread adoption. 

The positive user experience and enhanced security offered by fingerprint recognition led other smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung and Google, to incorporate similar features in their devices. Over time, it became a standard feature in smartphones across various price ranges and brands.

Fingerprint recognition improved the user experience and changed customer expectations so much that it became adopted by most competitors in a few short years.

5. Conclusion

It is important to remember that there may be unexpected outcomes. It’s crucial to evaluate user responses to your new feature. You cannot predict the exact outcome of any strategy – especially in a digital environment – so it is important to remain open-minded and be prepared to adjust the plan as needed. One last piece of advice; manage expectations. Users aren’t there to recognize your efforts or intentions, they are there to perceive and receive value. 

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.