Does your startup need a UX designer?
The Role of a UX Designer in Early-Stage Startups
Did you know that in the past, 2018 year almost a third of startups failed only because their organizers ran out of funding? Of course, this is a weighty argument to think through everything to the smallest detail since the beginning (namely, at the stage of drawing up a business plan and recruiting the team), including the required budget. Of course, no project can do without a marketer, retailers, after all, without those who will directly manufacture the product. But does the team need a UX expert? Won’t UX agency services be a wane waste for a limited startup budget? Can you hire them later, upon need? Below we will discuss how can a UX designer make a startup better.
Who is a UX Designer?
To begin, let us define what UX design is. In fact, this is a set of activities aimed at increasing user satisfaction with a product or service due to its convenience, accessibility, intuitiveness, and simplicity. Thus, a UX specialist is the one responsible for drawing up and optimizing the presentation of a product or service.
This is achieved, as a rule, through end-to-end user testing. So, if ordinary users manage to perform both verbal and non-verbal tests seamlessly at the first try, it means that the development team created ideal conditions for high-quality UX.
UX and UI Design – Key Differences
If UX designer can be considered a specialist who is responsible for the “architecture” of the project (that is, how the user part of the project will be assembled, how understandable for a user it would be, how mutually unambiguously its components would be presented and so on), the only responsibility of the UI designer is to design the user interface part. Thus, it can be concluded that the UI design is only about the visible part of the UX.
What Does a UX Designer Actually Do
The work of UX adept begins with the assessment of the ways to hint users to discovering and performing actions designed to solve specific problems in a product or a service.
In addition, these experts compare the simplicity of the functionality of the developed product with existing solutions and also help in creating user portraits – the product’s failure is often caused by the fact that it is too difficult to use for the selected target audience.
Why Start-ups Fail: Brief Review
Based on last year’s statistics, let’s consider the most common reasons why startups failed.
The number one factor here is quite obvious – the lack of market demand. It was the main reason for the closure of 42% of startups in 2018. This is followed, as we have already indicated at the very beginning of the article, by a lack of funds (29 percent of startups were closed for this reason). And, finally, the third top reason is the wrong choice of staff.
It can be assumed that the choice of a qualified UX expert can affect all three of these factors to a certain extent while minimizing the risk of failure. This, in fact, gives the answer to the question: “Why you need a UX designer?”.
Key Reasons for a Start-up to Hire a UX Designer
So, what is UX designer role and what does a UX designer actually do? Here is a list of basic UX designer responsibilities in the startup business processes:
- research of user needs (market, target personas, etc.) before a new product launch;
- ensuring that every user can find what they look for in the product;
- delivering the positive experience to the final user;
- planning and analyzing design elements at every development stage with the aim to arrive at the most appropriate solution for the business;
- real user research to discover all the product’s issues and disadvantages.
Processes that Benefit from a UX Designer Participation
Despite the apparent participation of UX specialists in the engineering and formation of the products, the importance of their role in the development of the startup itself should not be underestimated. In particular, there are a number of tasks that may be solved much less qualitatively without the participation of the UX designer.
For any responsible CEO, it will be a great nuisance if by the time of the product’s release there would be solutions that would solve the same customer problems quicker and/or better. In turn, the UX designer can identify such points in the initial stages of the team’s work and affect the course of the product development.
Unique value proposition (UVP) formulation
The development of UVP includes focusing on the key features of the product (its cost, efficiency, status, ease of use). UX designer would help to find ways to make these features evident.
User testing and research
The list of UX designer responsibilities usually includes the maximally objective assessment of how much effort is expended by the user to use the product in proportion to its market value.
Development of user personas
The formation of a typical customer portrait includes several stages, one of which consists of describing their level of development (intelligence). You must agree that UX of the baby rattle should be much more primitive than UX of the space shuttle dashboard.
A UX adept is usually aware of all the typical faults that developers and UI designers can make when creating the functionality. Thus, they would ensure the higher quality of the resulting solution.
How to Hire a UX Designer
And now a few words about how and where you can hire a UX designer for your startup.
Qualifications, skills, experience
So, what skills should a CV of a really cool UX designer contain? Actually, it depends. Nevertheless, there is a “basic” set of practical talents that any specialist in the above position should possess to a degree:
- Practical knowledge of InVision Studio/Sketch/Adobe Creative Suite or some other screen design solution;
- Experience in wireframing and prototyping;
- Knowledge of the nuances and specifics of adaptive, mobile and responsive design development;
- Experience with versioning tools like Git;
- Understanding of the Browser Developer tools’ operation principles (in case of web development).
And, of course, a portfolio of successful projects. Without it, even the most impressive list of UX designer qualifications will be just an empty set of words.
Where to look?
There are several obvious places to look for the UX designer:
- Professional social networks like LinkedIn (in fact, some HRs successfully use Facebook for the same purpose but this is more common in Eastern European countries than in the US);
- Freelancer job exchanges (Behance, Freelancer, Dribbble, etc.);
- Thematic query search results (if you type something like “How to find a good UX designer?” into the Google search box, you will immediately get a list of many articles, most of which are posted on the blogs of UX/UI companies that you can cooperate with);
- Acquaintances (on the one hand, you are more likely to get a reliable employee, on the other – perhaps his level of qualification may not be high enough to fulfill your requirements).
For maximum productivity, we recommend employing all four methods in conjunction.
Why Does a Start-up Need a UX Designer
As you can see, the UX designer is an extremely important person for an early-stage startup, since they act as one of the leading architects of the future product.
If you want to find a truly creative UX designer for startup, which would right away guess the needs of your target audience and help you create a product that is exemplary in its intuitiveness and simplicity, contact us at Qubstudio! We will be happy to discuss with you all the details of the project.