We are used to understanding design as a set of beautiful pictures, but is it so? What tasks does the design solve, and what should be the main stages in the designer’s work on the project? Our UI/UX specialist, Igor Zakharov, answers these questions by writing 6 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL STARTUP DESIGN.
A designer is not just someone who creates pictures. A designer is a specialist who understands the language of facts. Before starting work on the design, study and analyze the competitors, the market and similar areas. Segment your audience, create customer portraits, learn more about your potential users, their needs, and pain points, and conduct a small survey about how people feel about your idea. Then you can create mood boards, entryways, sitemaps, and information architecture. Usually, a product designer, business analyst, or marketer deals with this direction.
The designer must understand your expectations, goals and vision clearly, so you should describe your future project in detail. This way, the designer can understand tasks and quickly penetrate your project’s philosophy. A detailed description will force the designer to explore ideas, look for references and best practices, and develop various problem-solving techniques.
Minimum Viable Product is probably the best option for launching and testing your startup. But this does not mean you should sacrifice visual design for this stage. It must be perfect. The design on the stage of the MVP will not be the entire embodiment of your ideas, but it should contain the main elements from the beginning. The first acquaintance and emotions from the interaction are the most essential here.
That’s why you need an experienced designer who can visually incorporate trends and make a functional design.
What are hypotheses in design? Hypotheses are those assumptions that allow you to confirm the business value of the product. For example, we have an assumption: if we paint the button red and add an explanation on the side, the number of active clicks will increase. Such a hypothesis needs to be checked and, if it is correct, implemented.
Such hypotheses must be collected from when a customer learns about your services to when conversion or an unfavourable experience occurs. You have to draw the whole map of paths, empathy, denials and confirmations. It would be best to structure what is important, develop a plan for further actions and move forward. Your startup should start with those features that will help test the hypothesis.
A brand is the face of your startup. It is hard to reach users and be recognizable without a brand. No one can distinguish you from your competitors without a brand. You should adhere to uniform patterns of stylistic design, which will give you an advantage and position you as a balanced service.
With the help of the concept, the designer will be able to navigate the project. The concept gives an understanding of a defining idea and allows you to develop a single approach in design. This is the beacon on which the designer orients himself during work.
– Information Architecture
We must guide the user, give them hints and present ourselves, making them interested in our services. Information Architecture is that part of the work that will allow the designer to guide to action visually.
– Prototype and ease of use
Creating a prototype will allow you to understand the feasibility of placing certain blocks, elements, and texts. With the help of a prototype, you can test your product and once again check the correctness of the “ice funnel”, CTA (Call to Action), and architecture.
Work through the text content in several iterations: SEO, informativeness, expediency. Making unique photos, video materials, or illustrations is unnecessary – use stock materials.
Using ready-made components and libraries, the designer can work quickly within the framework of the available and tested elements. Design is a ready-made code; the difference is only in styles.
Test your design before starting work and catch problems early. You can make a mistake in anything: colour decisions, texts or pictures, compositional ideas, indents, oversaturation or empty spaces, etc. Just be careful.
At this stage, as in point 4, you should confirm, cancel or create new hypotheses based on actual data. Thus, you will gradually develop the service in the right direction.
After reading these tips, you’ve seen that analytics and research are essential in design. This may have surprised you, and, most likely, you had a legitimate question: “What about the beautiful? Where is the design?”
Remember that design should solve specific tasks and problems. It should be logical and functionally consistent. This is more important for the startup than a beautiful but inconvenient and illogical interface.