Why Your Startup Must Have a UX/UI Designer
User interface/experience jobs have been blooming for the past few years. Before that, the job role ux/ui designer never really “existed.” Most of the ux/ui work were covered up by graphic designers, visual designers, or overall lead designers. A lot of tech startups tend to use a lot of their early funds to hire as many engineers as they can. Most of the early stage startups tend to forget that they ever need a designer.
Minimum is not enough anymore
If your startup’s product is a rocket science product, then maybe a good old web 1.0 looking MVP is enough for a good start, but if it is anything that involves mobile or user experience based, then you must have an early designer. Think about it, if your friend ask you to test his new web app and you notice that his web app looks plain and old school, what would you say? 8 out of 10 people might instantly reply to their friend stating that the interface is crap. Your friend can try to convenience you that this app does a lot of cool things in the backend, but you probably still would not want to try it out because it looks bad. The world is changing and technology is growing rapidly. 10-20 years ago, you could make any website without a strong design and encourage people to try it out, now people have better options.
That is why it is crucial to bring on an early ux/ui designer that will convert your leads into customers. The job of a ux/ui designer is more than just messing around on photoshop or illustrator. Ux/ui designers help solve user problems and figure out exactly where is the best place to place certain items such as call to action buttons. Designers not only design but they also put themselves in the customers shoes and eyes. The designer should be able to figure out what captures the customers attention and what technique the company can use to make the company convert.
Ux/Ui designers are also involved with mobile and responsive web designs. Most people surf the web with their mobile phones now, so having a responsive site is mandatory. Great and simple designs attract users and keeps the users on the page. A great early stage designer should make design so simple that the audience will never feel any frustration when using the app. A lot of startups focus on business development individuals, but can marketing/sales/bd professionals sell a product that looks terrible? They might be able to close deals if they are talented, but if you gave them a fully revised product, they will be able to close deals a lot faster.
In today’s startup culture, ux/ui designers are no longer just graphic or visual designers. They wear many hats and often times act as a product manager as well. A lot of top venture capitalist and startup mentors recommend that your team consist of one engineer, one designer, and one business person. To venture capitalist and investors, that might be the key to passing the team test.
Finding designers aren’t easy. Most of the bigger startups or companies will always be able to snatch top notch talents before you do. Best way to target ux/ui designers for your upcoming startup is to make them believe in your vision. Make them want to be apart of your team and make them want to represent your team. Check out this article on how to write a perfect invitation letter to find a technical co founder . The same concept can be applied for finding a designer. If you are located in Silicon valley, there are weekly Hackathons and Designer fairs that you can visit to seek out the best talents.