We had organised a UX webinar last week and shared a few UX Design commandments and business insights into design. The topic of the webinar was “Design is not Skin-deep. A business driven approach to UX”. We had the privilege of sharing our design experiences and business outcomes achieved through UX. A big shout out to our client Sashi – the Co-founder & CEO of FanKave, who readily agreed to be a panelist on the webinar.
For the benefit of a wider audience, here are the 5 UX Commandments that we covered in last week’s session. They should help you in aligning UX design to drive business outcomes.
Commandment #1 – UX IS ALL ABOUT TIMING
As UX consultants, we work with startups who are at different stages of their business lifecycle. Many use our services to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), more like a prototype to validate their idea and pitch it to investors. The other set of startups are further down the road with Seed or Series A funding. Now one thing we advise in either case is that startups introduce UX early in their journey. By early we mean introducing design thinking right at a time when your business idea is fresh and fluid. It’s better to factor in UX at the initial stages of the product idea. It gives the design team a chance to strengthen your idea.
Commandment #2 LET THE UX TEAM PLAY THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATES
As a product owner you are already married to the product idea. The right UX design team acts more like divorce lawyers than design consultants. They will help you see your idea for what it is, and you may not like it. And it’s really hard for startups to do that, since they are sold on the idea. You need to understand one thing – that the design team making you push your boundaries is not your enemy, but they are trying to make your vision bullet-proof by questioning every aspect of it. Working with the uncomfortable kind of design teams is more likely allow you to derive business value out of design thinking.
Commandment #3 BRING ORDER TO CHAOS WITH UX
A startup is a volatile, fast moving, aggressive chain of thoughts and ideas. It is this randomness that makes a startup lean, agile and creative. The downside is that it also makes a startup prone to ambiguity and chaos. What kind of chaos are we talking here? Chaos are the loose ends flying here and there. Questions like who are we building this product for? Is there really a market out there? Is there a repeatable revenue model? What are the adjacent markets? And the list just goes on. Always align your design team to answers these questions.
If have a design team that helps you tie these loose ends, then you have successfully aligned design to drive business outcomes.
Commandment #4 DE-RISK YOUR BUSINESS WITH DATA
As a startup, you are very likely to ride your boat in rough waters. There are enough aspects of your business that are going to walk an unchartered territory. One of the key values you should reap out of the design team is de-risking your business. And this is where a design team with a data-driven mindset becomes critical.
In UX data is about people and their behaviors, and it is this qualitative data which has a lot more significance. For instance, has your design team validated the problem your product attempts to solve, through research? Have they validated your initial customer hypothesis with facts? Has the data actually brought in objectivity to your assumptions?
Bottom line is that the team should turn the founders’ initial hypothesis about the business model, market & customer into factual information.
Commandment #5 PREPARE FOR THE LAUNCH/BRACE FOR IMPACT
Whether you are building a consumer product or a b2b product, you need to figure out the early-adopters of your product or service. You need to be in control of things that are working well. And you will also need to be in control of aspects of your business that are not working. As a startup you need to be prepared to brace for impact at all times. So, how should you leverage a design team in such post-launch situations?
Because you gave the design team a chance to do ground research right from the early days, they should have built connections for you. As part of the research, they must have identified people who would be early adopters of your product or service. These are the people who don’t just believe in your product but believe in your vision. These are the people who are most likely to pay for the MVP version of your product.
In short, ensure that your design team doesn’t go into oblivion after the launch. Rather, the team should prepare an evacuation plan for you in case your flight refuses to take off.
These are some of the design related aspects that were covered in the webinar. To access the full version of the webinar click on this link.
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