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What is UI/UX development for startups?

Beautiful wrapping sales well, we all know that. Turns out that the same works for the design of digital products. If you want users to choose your app over hundreds of others, you need to attract their attention and make them fall in love with the product very quickly. Recent studies show that the average user takes about 7 seconds to decide whether they like the app!

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    To attract and retain customers, companies need professional UI/UX development services. In this post, we will talk about the benefits of UI/UX and how every startup can use it for their digital products to succeed.

    What is the difference between UI and UX?

    UI design and UX design are the terms that often create a lot of confusion. Is there a difference between user interface and user experience? They may sound similar but they are not the same thing. Both UI and UX add to the positive qualities of your app. Here is how.

    User experience design

    The purpose of an app is to help the user achieve their goals: book a flight, order food, call a taxi. Designers have in mind the user’s needs and do everything possible to help the user to achieve their goals with minimum effort. Using an app shouldn’t turn into a tedious IQ test. For example, imagine you are choosing what food delivery app to choose:

    • The first one only needs your phone number for registration.
    • The second one makes you fill in a long form with many questions including your full name, address, email, phone number, etc. before you even place an order.

    Which one would you prefer to use when you are hungry and just want to quickly order a meal in between your business meetings?

    You would obviously choose the second option. It doesn’t require a lot of effort and doesn’t waste your time. Knowing how to break down the task into smaller subsets and never ask the user to do more than is absolutely necessary is the subtle art of UI/UX development. It is not about trying to guess what options users will like but using one’s professional experience and conducting thorough research for every element of the user interface.

    User interface

    UI/UX development for startups: UI elements

    The graphical user interface is the element of the mobile app that the user sees and interacts with directly. Some examples of interface elements are:

    • buttons, 
    • text fields, 
    • checkboxes;
    • sliders, 
    • search fields, 
    • tags,
    • icons.

    UI design focuses on making the user’s interaction with the product pleasant and easy. Think of some apps that you like. Be it Airbnb, Telegram, or Uber, their interface is always simple yet quite beautiful. 

    UI/UX development stages

    No matter if you decide to collaborate with a freelance UI/UX designer or a professional design agency, the process will go through certain stages. In our UI/UX studio, we have organized the process by iterative approach, keeping in mind effectiveness and flexibility.

    1. Research

    The first step of every successful UI/UX development is research. We conduct market research and study similar or analogous products designed by the competitors. This helps us to come up with solutions that are one step ahead of other players on the market. Moreover, this is the time when we familiarise ourselves with business logic and client requirements. If you have any style guides or references, provide them as early on as possible. This way we will manage to understand your requirements and needs much better. 

    2. Wireframes

    A wireframe is a skeleton of your app that shows how all the screens are going to be connected and what elements they will display from buttons and pop-ups to visual and textual content. However, the content is not added yet: photos, videos, copy, even colors and fonts will be added later. Right now, the wireframe serves to demonstrate the logic of the product and is in black and white so that nothing would distract us from the user flow. 

    UI/UX development for startups: wireframes

    3. Design concept

    Having analyzed all the information we have, we present 1-2 visual screens that reflect the style and the core user flow. They display the layouts and key elements and are a great tool for presenting ideas to the customer. Before going further, we need to make sure that our client agrees on the chosen direction, so we set up a meeting with the team. If everyone is happy, we proceed with the next step. 

    UI/UX development for startups: one of our design concepts

    4. Visual design

    Visual design is the process of adding animations, logos, colors, custom fonts. As a result, you get an esthetically pleasing clickable prototype that corresponds with your brand style and tone of voice. It can be passed to the development team for coding the functionality or used to demonstrate your idea to the sponsors. If you haven’t found a reliable software engineers team yet, we can also help you with finishing your app development. 

    Is UI/UX development necessary for your project?

    UI/UX development takes 1-2 months and costs additional money, that is why some startupers think that they can go without it. However, trying to save up money on one of the most important components of your application (the only one that the user can actually see and touch!) is not the best idea. Professional UI/UX design is not only about pretty visuals but the whole logic of the product. If you don’t want your clients to get frustrated, you need an intuitive design that only a professional can develop. 

    How does the design affect the app’s success?

    Research by Forresterhttps://www.forrester.com/report/The+Six+Steps+For+Justifying+Better+UX/-/E-RES117708about the ROI of UI/UX design shows that on average, every $1 invested in UX generates $100. This is an incredibly good investment. Moreover, they also point out that the top companies that invest in user experience outperformed the S&P indexhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26P_500by 35%. According to their research, a well-designed user interface increases conversion rates by more than 200%. In the meanwhile, if only you manage to boost your customer retention by at least 5%, saw an increase in benefit by more than 25%. Happy customers are likely to recommend products they like to their friends. According to Forrester, 23% of customers who had a positive experience told 10 or more people about it.

    Common pitfalls of UI/UX design:

    Now you know how important it is to invest in UI/UX design. But it is also important to do the UI/UX right. Here are some examples of how bad UI/UX development can fail you.

    • Assuming that you know what the user wants. There are useful methods to help you put yourself into your users’ shoes, such as creating user personas or writing user stories. Our biases sometimes don’t let us see things clearly: you can be a big fan of your project but it doesn’t mean that the users will love it too. Make sure that real people are consulted prior to the development process. Proven many times: they can surprise you with the insights you have never thought about. 
    • Prioritizing creativity over usability. Your app may look amazing and be unlike anything created before. But if real users fail to recognize its value, what’s the point? For example, quite often companies invest in creating customized fonts that users would associate with them. Coca-Cola is a good example of a recognizable branded font. But fonts that are too creative are often hard to read. Never forget that the product should be convenient for the user and design keeping users in mind, not the desire of self-realization. 
    • Implementing unintuitive navigation. All your users have years of experience interacting with digital products. They expect to find recognizable buttons in certain places and navigate through screens using common intuitive mechanics (such as scrolling or arrow buttons). Don’t try to revolutionize that because what you will probably result with is a product with poor usability.

    Working with an experienced UI/UX design team will save you from these common pitfalls.

    Benefits of good UI/UX design for your startup:

    If you manage to avoid common UI/UX pitfalls, half of the project’s success is already in your hands. Let’s talk about the benefits that good UI/UX principles can bring to businesses: 

    • Problems are cheaper to address. When you pay close attention to UI/UX from the beginning and consult with end users throughout the entire project, you can identify bottlenecks earlier in the project. The earlier it is, the easier the problems are to fix.
    • You get reliable insight as inspiration for new ideas. Get inspiration through end-user research and implement features your clients are really going to need. 
    • Your product reaches the market quicker. With a UI/UX prototype, you have a clear market idea in mind. What rests is to program the functionality. This can be done in 3-6 months, which allows you to streamline the delivery to the market. 

    Investing time and money in good quality UI/UX design will definitely pay off, in the meantime, giving you a competitive advantage.

    Conclusion

    UI/UX design for startups is an indispensable step to a project’s success. Elaborated business logic and attractive visual design increase the chances for your product to find its audience. Don’t try to save money on user interface design, conduct all the necessary UI/UX research and testing if you want to create an intuitive app that users are going to love. 

    With 250 startups under our belt, we’re happy to share the takeaways. Get our MVP launch checklist in your email.