It pains me to see products/UI that are, what I call, “Frankenstein” products. I’m not against company clones. It makes sense that if there’s a business/business-model that works in another country, then it’s almost stupid to not try to bring it to a foreign market. I’ve also seen that well executed “copy” products can really flourish and do evolve with a unique edge for the local market. The cliche/no-brainer example is Sina Weibo, which started as a Twitter clone, but implemented a great commenting/re-weibo’ing UI before Twitter did. Frankenstein products, however, are basically cloned from another product, but instead of iterating from thereon out to fit the local market, it continually ‘borrows’ features/UI/product direction from their foreign competitors. But what this usually results in is:
- Cluttered UI
- Unfocused product focus and direction
- The user doesn’t know “what the product is supposed to do”
- ‘Extra’ features become unused (see: Cluttered UI)
Basically: “Only do your one thing…” and do it well!