How Good UX Designers Can Save Your Startup
As a startup owner, you know that you conduct most of your business interactions online, so providing a seamless digital experience to your potential and current clients is a must to develop your business.
These days, users of digital products think of a flawless, optimised user experience as a basic requirement, so failing to meet their needs is a bad idea considering the current level of competition.
However, with tight budgets and numerous other problems associated with managing a startup, entrepreneurs often overlook the importance of UX design.
This is a dangerous road to take because a great UX is no longer a luxury for startups but rather a necessity to reach business goals.
For example, a poor app UX such as confusing navigation, a lack of intuitive interface, and too many features can confuse the user and result in the app being in the trash very quickly.
In other words, you cannot overlook UX at any cost to ensure that your digital product makes an excellent first impression and delivers value with every use.
In this article, we're going to analyse the big mistakes startup owners tend to make and find out once and for all why compromising on UX is something your startup should avoid and what to do when a positive user experience with your product is at risk.
Why Startups Fail: Poor UX
Obviously, this applies to all startups having digital products such as apps and tools for online business management.
Many owners of these startups know that money is an issue for them, so they try to reduce the costs by hiring a graphic designer to work on UX.
However, a graphic designer, although necessary for web design success, may not do many things that a UX designer does.
Here's an example.
It's a known fact that 90 per cent of startups fail within the first several months.
While the reasons for this are numerous, the leading one, as shown in the below image, is a lack of market need.
According to Statista, 46 per cent of new companies go out of business because they fail to generate the need for their product.
In other words, this means that there's no customer for the startup's product, so chances for success are very slim in this case.
Obviously, being good at marketing, in a good market doesn't necessarily mean your product will satisfy that market.
Even having a brilliant graphic designer won't help you with generating a market need for your product because their job is to take care of the design part.
On the other hand, researching to define potential target customer personas before the development of the digital product's design is one of the primary responsibilities of a UX designer.
Before getting to actual designing, he or she will study what products, therefore, solutions, are present on the market to find out unique challenges and people who could need help with solving them.
They also study the needs and behaviour patterns of potential customers to make sure that the final design of a digital product can keep the users interested and engaged for as long as possible.
In other words, they make sure that every single step of the process is created by keeping the user in mind.
This involves not only design but content; it needs to contribute to overall design goals and contain messages that the target audience finds engaging.
Many professional writing companies such as Ratedbystudents have already started training their employees in UX writing to eliminate some of the most common UX mistakes in web design and successfully bring their content from being product-oriented towards getting genuinely customer-oriented.
Thus, a UX designer considers the needs of the users critical for the success and works on finding ways to exceed their expectations and maximise engagement.
It's not about describing the qualities of a product anymore but letting people know how those qualities can help them in taking another step towards their dream life.
A high percentage of startups failing because of that suggests that many of them may not have good UX designers working to generate a market need.
Besides, if you look at the above image with the top reasons why startups fail one more time, you'll discover that the second top reason is a lack of money.
Not all companies are created equal, and not all businesses manage to attract significant and steady investments.
A tight budget is a common reason why startups fail to hire a UX designer to help them meet their business goals.
How a UX Designer can Help Save Your Startup
Even though many people thought that Steve Jobs never listened to customers to create a great product, he actually was quite a market researcher.
In fact, Forbes describes that when Jobs returned to Apple in the 1990s, his initial views on customer experience had changed from “people don't know what they want until you show it to them.” and he began listening to them to design the company's products.
“You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology,” he even said in the 1997 Worldwide Developers Conference while explaining how to create best-selling digital products.
As the conference showed, the CEO of Apple Inc. believed that the only vital way to create a lasting product is to meld the technology and the customer point of view.
All right, what does it have to do with UX and startups?
A startup simply cannot afford not to listen to the target audience because it becomes impossible to build a product that people want.
As a freshman in the market, you are likely to make use of the word of mouth that your first happy customers will spread.
At first, this might bring an even better result than your marketing efforts.
Even Steve Jobs, who was perceived as a person who didn't listen to his customers, understood very well that a failure to research the market and convey the findings in the design was a sure-fire way to bankruptcy.
Since UX defines how good user's first experience with a digital product is, having a good UX designer to ensure that your app/website/tool is credible, clearly highlights the value to the user, features UX-optimised writing, and provides positive overall experience.
The process of UX design commences as soon as the concept of your website is shaped, making graphic design, content and web development an integral composition. Remember: UX, not a product's value, shapes the very first impression of your product.
So, to sum up, a UX designer's range of responsibilities includes such vital things as:
- Creation of the unique value proposition structure that differentiates a company's product from competitors. This is where the problem is defined that the product is aimed to offer a solution for.
- Creation of customer-focused content by collaborating with other UX professionals such as writers. At this stage, a good UX translates to comfortable and enjoyable content that encourages people to stay on your website, click through the blog posts and learn more about your products and services.
- Competitor analysis to define what products exist in the same niche and identify the opportunities to deliver more value to customers. Here you learn what features are most likely to work and what tends to be disliked, track common patterns in your sector and, of course, draw inspiration.
- User experience research and testing to improve the unique value proposition. You gather data, analyse it and form the picture of your target user: what person that is, in what context will they use your product and generally what they need from you.
- A UX design that is responsive, usable, and able to deliver maximum customer satisfaction. Content uniformity, website load speed, interactivity – everything to create the necessary impression.
UX is a Critical Element for Success
As you can see, UX design is not all about designing cute buttons and selecting attractive fonts to grab the attention of the user.
It's that approach for creating a digital product that establishes a connection and customer retention by allowing them to achieve their goals quickly and easily.
You want to make it simple enough, but not primitive, impressive but not striking, clear and understandable, yet not depressingly steady.
So, if your startup has a limited budget and needs to cut some costs, try your best to avoid considering UX design an afterthought and something that graphic design can easily replace.
Even if you succeed at saving on UX and getting away with it initially, the chances are high that this decision will cost in the long-term because of the poor conversion and low customer retention level.
Author Bio: Daniela is a UX writing enthusiast who thinks that user experience should be writing-focused. She shares her tips on UX writing to help online businesses realise the importance of this new discipline that combines copywriting and navigational writing. Daniela has contributed to numerous websites and currently works as an editor for Top Writers.