On Generative Features

Or, the Value of ‘Underspecifying’ a Product Feature

Example, please?

Remember when twitter had stars?

Why would you want to underspecify a feature?

The differences between designing for ‘paths’ vs ‘sandboxes’
Flagging topics in Slack for future discussion
Emojis for voting on categories!

First, the other extreme: Overspecifying

Generative Features (vs Specified Use Cases)

The distinction between Generative and Underspecified Features may be overthinking things, but…whatever.
Who could have predicted this!
Lost in the maze, together!

On the many uses of a pencil

“Don’t see yourself as a maker of media, but as a creator of tools. The use of which you can never fully predict. There’s two ways to handle this uncertainty: one — try to eliminate any chance of people messing with it, or two — embrace this uncertainty, and leave open opportunities for new play forms.”

— Kars Alfrinck, on his stance as a designer.


Speaker, educator, and design leader. On a mission to make learning the hard stuff fun, by creating ‘things to think with’ and ‘spaces’ for generative play.