At iTexico, we have been fortunate enough to work with many different kinds of projects, businesses of all sizes and especially with companies in their start-up stage. Every startup shoots for success and seeks to implement the best usability and user interface possible especially for their website and mobile app. Therefore, we often get asked the same question:
How can I make my mobile app or website better?
Of course, there is flawless answer for this question. Based on my software interface and mobile app design experience, I am sure of (and has been proven time and time again) is that the better the User Experience design, the better response from users.
UX Design for a Better Start
For a startup, design can make the difference between a simple delivery or a rich and engaging customer experience. It’s a competitive world out there; more innovative players are looking for opportunities where people are receiving a second-rate experience, especially on their mobile apps.
Eric Ries talks about it in its cyclical model for development in a startup: Build > Measure > Learn, then repeat again and again… so this model can be applied to design, use or build tools and creating scenarios, defining personas, creating early sketches and prototypes before you make the big jump and proceed to design. Think of it as validating your own design, over and over again.
What is the problem most of the time? All around the world people are developing something that users weren't probably asking for. How do we cross this chasm? We have User Insights and we want Great Experience + Successful Product = Magic. We can achieve this "magic" by doing these simple steps.
1.- Research: Empathizing with the audience you are designing for.
2.- Ideate: Brainstorm possible designs.
3.- Prototype: Build a representation of one of more of your ideas.
4.- Test your ideas for feedback.
By following these steps, you'll get closer to the right positive experience for your users. Remember, this follows their needs and queues and is not something based out of your assumptions anymore.
How important is design in a startup, especially those depending on software applications or mobile apps?
According to the Design Thinking Methodology, we can translate this into three components of a great brand.
~ Business: Viability. Validation, Business Models, Profit Margins, Lifetime value and Supply Chain.
~ Technology: Feasibility. Cloud, Web, Deployment.
~ Design: Desirability. Branding, User advocacy, User Experience, Design innovation.
Design is layered just like Technology & Business. I am going to show you the next:
Now that we understand the importance of UX, I can tell you that Startups need to embrace UX. Thinking that UX can be sprinkled on like magic dust whenever is needed or is a luxury is erroneous. Startups should allocate a portion of their mobile app or software development budget to UX/UI. Focusing on a better User Experience Design will directly impact on how good your platform, mobile app, website and startup will be.
Making something "pretty" it's relatively easy, making something pretty with great usability is a lot of work. If you are working in a Startup remember that a good way to sell and be successful is by having a good Business Model, Technology and the most import thing: a great product with great usability and design.
As Steve Jobs said once: "People think it's this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, Make it look good!... It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works".
About the Author
Ana Karen Ramirez is a Digital Artist. She has been involved in the area of User Experience Design, User Interface Design and Visual Design for more than 3 years. Ana is passionate about startups, always searching for innovation in our team and software development processes. She currently works at iTexico as a UX/UI Designer.