The idea of a start-up generally springs out of the desire to solve a problem the masses face. In the process, start-ups usually develop and code their products before fully designing them. In the race to acquire customers, the focus is always on features rather than packaging and presentation. But, the truth is, the success of a product relies on its usability. Let’s say you rely only on your assumptions or creativity or let your developers handle it; likely, your usability will not align optimally with your customers. That’s why start-ups must consider User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design elements when validating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The effectiveness of these design elements depends on the input and feedback of users/customers. Adopting a UX UI design strategy for startups from day one can help analyze the customers’ pain points and design products accordingly. Read along to get an in-depth idea of how investing in UX UI design for startups is crucial.
Importance of UX research in designing MVP
During the early days, it can be tempting to view UX design as an optional expense. But, this can result in devastating consequences as you’ll end up with a product that doesn’t cater to the needs and wants of the customers. Or worse, a product that customers don’t need.
Thorough UX research is vital in developing MVP (minimum value product) as it makes known what features are unimportant and what users want. Furthermore, pain points where end-users are likely to drop out of the adoption funnel are uncovered. Comprehending user motivations and obstacles is important before developing MVP as it impacts all aspects of product creation.
Additionally, the UX team can help test your MVP to reveal how users are utilizing the MVP, which will create more valuable iterations. The new iterations can even help you in deciding what product you should design next.
UX design is important to secure funding
Investment decisions are made by investors largely on confidence in a product and gut feeling. Early-stage startups mustn’t underestimate the value of embracing UX UI to make their prototype run intuitively and seamlessly. If your app or digital product has a clear use case, it’ll impress the investors.
In fact, venture capitalists are picking up on this trend, and VC firms can be seen hiring design partners to help them make wise investment decisions. And this trend is growing exponentially!
Furthermore, here are 4 reasons why investing in UX UI design is crucial from the beginning of your project.
1. User flows and Wireframes
User flows and wireframes are tools that UX designers use to map out the user’s journey. This will help in developing an intuitive app that caters to the needs and wants of the users.
User flows are flowcharts that visualize the entire path taken by users when using an app/product — from the point of entry to the final interaction. Wireframes, on the other hand, provide a 2D outline of a single page or screen. It is a skeleton of your app. It helps visualize elements- starting from pop-ups and buttons to texts.
Prototyping is one of the specialties of UX designers. It’s a draft version of your app or site that is a good representation of the final product without any coding. Thanks to prototyping, you can experiment and explore ideas and even check the usability and functionality of your digital product before spending a lot of money on full-blown development.
The prototype is used to clearly define the intent behind various features and find out if the overall design works together cohesively. Building a prototype can save you time, effort, and money.
3. Usability testing
Usability testing is another vital area where UX designers can help you. The most common usability tests are moderated testing, unmoderated testing, and guerilla testing. The purpose is to watch and observe a real user journey and get emotionally neutral and unbiased feedback regarding the prototype of your product. It is important to have various iterations of usability testing during the app development process. This makes issue identification easier and allows you to fix them before the launch.
4. Creating information architecture
A lot of information on one screen overwhelms users. They may even get lost while navigating through your app or website, which translates to a bad experience. Creating an information architecture (IA) can help in avoiding these underlying issues. It is a part of the UX design process and carried out by the UX team.
The main objective of IA is to properly label, structure, and organize content on an app or site so that users can quickly find what they’re looking for to complete a task. Through IA. UX designers find out how each item fits within the structure and helps users understand what they expect when navigating an app.
Investment in UX UI Design for Startups
1. UX saves money
A certain amount of risk is always present when starting a new business or design project. Thankfully, startups can set them up for success by investing in UX UI, as UX design focuses on research, testing, and analysis.
By preventing usability issues from the start, startups can reduce the app development cost. There wouldn’t be any need for future redesigns or amendments of bugs. Most of the bugs and other actual problems are detected and solved during the prototype stage.
Even though working in this iterative manner seems costly, it saves a lot of money in the long run and helps in building a successful product.
2. Increased market share and sales
408 companies increased their sales by investing in UX design as per a design study done in 2016. As years go by, the importance of design keeps accelerating at breakneck speed. Why do sales increase, you ask? Users recommend and use digital products they can navigate easily and complete tasks fuss-free. As customer satisfaction increases, so does revenue, and therefore, it’s only about time to capture the lion’s share of the market. And all of this is possible due to UX/UI design that focuses on your end-user's needs, wants, motivations, and frustrations.
3. Reduced bounce rate
There are several reasons why people bounce from one site/app to the other. Those reasons are slow loading, complicated navigation, difficult content, and a complex checkout process. However, since UX designers can help you identify those hurdles early on in the design and development stage, it becomes simple to identify issues associated with a reduction in bounce rate.
4. Avoiding costly redesign and project failures
To lessen the risk of redesign costs and project failure, the most effective thing is to invest in user-centered design. Furthermore, implementing user testing through the design process ensures design validation. This results in fewer bug fixes and reworks post-launch.
5. Improved customer satisfaction and better customer retention
A satisfying user experience creates an emotional, long-lasting bond between users and brands. There’s also a sense of motivation and engagement to use your app in the future and also encourage others to follow suit.
If users enjoy using your app/website, they will come back again and again. This results in improved customer retention.
The quality of user experience can be the difference between users completing a transaction or leaving your app halfway, between expensive redesigns and launching a successful app with minimal bug fixes. That’s the biggest reason to invest resources in UX UI design for startups.