Designing for Startups

The internet has gone viral with the designs of Apple. It is a benchmark for any other phones in the market. But they too, like many other startups, had a humble start in a garage in California. The first Apple product, “Apple 1” was quite antique. It was then followed by the dawn of the Machnitosh. And today the designs are just incomparable to any other design of its type. That’s the power of DESIGN!

This is what I often ponder about 

“Facebook is loaded with posts of so many founders looking for a co-founder with a strong technical background or a marketing background etc. How many of those posts have you seen that ask for a designer co-founder? Very very rare. Isn’t it?”
Startups are the best examples of resource management. And that’s how every big player once was! So here are the pointers you always need to keep in mind as a startup when you come up with your designs –

1. #Feature hell vs required features

“Too many pens on paper, spoil the story” and similar is the case with your apps – “Too many features spoil the app”.
This is quite an interesting study – A recent study showed that people use just 15% of the Evernote app. Now, this is not the challenge. The challenge is that every user has their own set of 15%!! This is something that many startups are facing today.  Experts call this a “Feature Hell”!
Designers and CEOs should always be firm on creating some amazing features rather than an extensive list of features.

2. #Feedback from real user is a MUST

Every bad UX was started with a good UX intention. So where did things go wrong? – The lack of real users’ feedback being a major cause. Let’s see an example

Now when “I” see this design, I get a feeling that when I play “Desiigner – Panda” some kind of popup would come up right at the center of the screen or a video would start playing. But what happens is quite different..

A bar comes up at the end of the screen and for a moment I could not locate where the song was playing..
User expects things to happen when they perform a gesture. And this feedback comes only when you share your prototype with real users.
An interesting thing about user expectations – ATM Machines are a silent device. The counting cash while delivering the cash is a pre-recorded sound, just to give a feeling to the user that the money is coming out. Interesting isn’t it?

3. Think outside the box

Alarm apps on mobile always followed a similar format until someone thought outside the box – RISE! Amazing to use and very thoughtful. Watch the video to see how it works –

This covers the complete screen beautifully which no one ever thought of. Being in a startup you have all the more freedom to think differently. Give it a try. It might just work out, like it worked out for many other entrepreneurs.
Hope this blog helps startups to design great products and apps. Do let us know how you found the blog. Leave a comment below or drop in a mail to

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Monika Adarsh 

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