In any environment, many critical decisions must be made when you are first designing and building your product. And with startups, tight budgets and aggressive timelines can force you to cut corners and quickly push out products that are not ready for launch. This can pose numerous issues later in your product’s lifecycle, which you cannot afford. Things like bad reviews, user drop off and dreaded re-engineering costs, schedule delays and scope creep are all things that can be mitigated by a good User Experience (UX) process and usability testing. Often UX design and testing are pushed out of the process due to schedule or budget. Other times, teams assume they are good enough at design that they do not need UX testing. Both of these are critical errors because consumer input is key.
User Experience is becoming more prevalent across the design and development space. In order for users to love a product it has to be intuitive, useful and easy to use. The quickest and easiest way to have that happen is by injecting formal UX design and testing into any phase of the process, but preferably as early as possible.
From the initial concept, UX design and testing can be used to avoid critical errors that can make or break your digital product. Some include:
- Creating a product that you think is easy to use, but is confusing for your consumer
- Designing for the wrong audience
- Engineering features that may not fully benefit your audience
- Not fully understanding the proper user flow and/or potential pitfalls in navigation or context
If your startup does not have the funds to hire a full-time UX designer, then your startup should look into the option of hiring a UX consultant. UX consultants can come in at any phase providing unbiased and professional expertise, which can prove to be invaluable.
Additionally, completing even the most basic usability testing can be a huge bonus for your startup. Usability testing can be done formally (less frequently) or informally (more frequently). Either way, it has your actual users testing the product, which leads to immediate feedback on what changes could be made to improve the product prior to launch. In the long-run, this feedback can save time and money because your startup is able to make these changes before it even makes it to engineering.
UX is paramount in product design because it dictates how consumers interact and respond to it. UX must shift from being an option for startups to being an integral step in the design process due to the immense impact it can have on time to market and the overall budget.
For more information about UX design and testing, reach out to us at Mediabarn!