I'm currently working on a product that includes a few features and other sub-products that aren't always included in the basic package. These features are opt-in and the client would have to pay an additional fee to use them.

My question for this is . . . within the basic platform, would it be appropriate to hide or show the inactive features? Hiding them would benefit the user in being able to focus on their tasks without clutter or distraction, but showing them would give potential up sell opportunities and possible features that they may want (modal to contact as sales person, etc)

What's your thoughts and how should I display or not display something like this?

Thanks for the help! – Alexander


2 Answers 2


I think it depends on the type of feature you want to show / hide

Incase you are working on a consumer / creative app like say a presentation software or a cartoon maker or a video editor etc. (please excuse the silly examples) In these, the user can choose items / effects / characters / tools etc. In this case, you can easily grey out the PRO elements from the list and show a padlock. This will not be distracting and will motivate the user to buy your product.

This can also be seen in games. You can see this in FarmVille with the Grey Padlock Farmville Freemium

Now, if you're working on an Enterprise App and you are hiding feature like Data Import or Data Export kind of stuff, the usual deal I have seen is that the element is actionable (buttons are clickable) but it leads to a popup which says "Upgrade to PRO".

This example is from Asana and Private Organisations. Upgrade to PRO in Asana

But notice how subtle it is. I think the key is subtlety. I can edit this post to show you more examples if you want but if you can safely cover up the PRO features so that they come up using user flow but hidden in general view, its your best bet.

  • 1
    I really like the Asana example. I believe it's probably the closest to something that I'd need, but what about bigger features that are included? And not just subtle addon features.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 16:10
  • 1
    Maybe things that are included in one of the main navs?
    – Alexander
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 16:11

I feel you said it all. Is it more important for you to help the user focus or to sell him stuff ? The freemium model has the advantage of letting people know what they could have if they pay. It can make them want it. You can't want something if you don't know it exists.

  • I guess it'd help to know a bit more about the app. It's a B2B service where the only way users are able to access the platform would be to purchase it. It's honestly an upsell within a product.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 16:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.