Have you ever created a feature purely for marketing reasons and later found it was actually useful?

Hi, my name is Allen and I made a flashcard app called Fresh Cards.

In the process of creating the website to market the app, I realized one particular feature was hard to communicate because it didn't have a screenshot.

My app is all about the workflow. The way it works, you create cards, review some of them daily, and the app will figure out for you when you should review them next, all based on how well you were able to recall them in the lessons.

I had screenshots to show card creation and card review, but nothing to communicate that the app does some "magic" to figure out when you should review next. That last bit is really the key sell of the app and I didn't have a way to show you that value!

So it got me thinking, what if I add a simple feature just for the sake of this screenshot? At the end of each lesson, I already had a summary screen showing you how many cards you reviewed and how long it took. Why not add a little table showing you all the cards you reviewed, a "grade" beside each one, and then a due date for the next review?

I worked on adding the feature and it only took an evening or two. In the process, I realized even more the importance of this screen as feedback to the user. Without it, it felt like you were reviewing cards and the results of your review just vanished into the ether. With it, it felt like you achieved something.

Even more, I added a little bit of UX magic and showed a very quick progress bar indicating the app was "computing" your next lessons. In reality, that computation is instant, but as part of the user experience, I felt it super important to highlight that the app was doing some "heavy lifting" for the user. (A lot of us are familiar with how TurboTax uses fake progress bars in a similar way.)

When I was all done, I now was able to fit a piece into the marketing narrative that was missing before and it really made the app feel cohesive as a user. So, win-win!

Have you ever added a feature purely to help sell your product but initially thought it wasn't that useful? How did it work out in the end?

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