Four common product design mistakes to avoid

March 14, 2023

In the competitive world of startups, having a half-baked product to market is not an option. You need a great product, one that is well-designed and encompasses all that makes the company unique. And it needs to land with a splash. To do that, many small companies are turning to experienced firms that understand product design for startups.

If your company is looking to bring a new product to market, then here are a few common mistakes to avoid, and how to make sure you bring the best product to market.

1. Going at it Alone

The secret to launching a successful product is knowing and using your strengths, but also finding ways to compliment your weaknesses. Too often, startups founders try to wear every hat possible and become entangled in constant struggle to deliver exceptional results, especially when they lack expertise in a specific area. When this happens to product design the results can be detrimental, for it will impact the product usability and the overall company growth.

It is important that founders understand the importance of user-centric design and if needed, get help from experienced professionals to bring their ideas to life and substantially shorten the product-market fit timeline. This will also allow them to focus on the other aspects of the business (related to the product), like product engineering, feature prioritization, customer success, etc.

2. Assuming You Are the End User

This is something that happens all too often, and is another big reason for product failure.  The founders are not the end user!  This is a powerful statement that should resonate with every startup founder. Many startups, eager to bring their product to life, focus on building the product, packing it with features, and neglecting the user needs and overall experience.  When the product finally goes to market, there is a chilling realization that users don’t want it and it doesn’t resonate well with them.  

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the point of view), today’s users are extremely demanding when it comes to product usability, and they consider their time learning to use a product highly valuable. Therefore, it is important to invest in outside experts that specialize in product design for startups, so you can ensure your product is user validated, optimized for the best user experience, and ready for the evermore demanding audience.

3. Confusing Design and Aesthetics

There is so much to product design than just pure aesthetics (like beautiful colors and an elegant font). Design should be the result of a comprehensive user research, data-validated, and aligned with the product vision.  The “design thinking” process is one of the concepts used by design teams globally to emphasize the importance of a user-centric approach to product development.  “Less is always more” when it comes to design, and a seamless user experience is the one that looks simple and clean. In many cases, it may even go against an aesthetic look, but what matters is how users will perceive it, or rather how the founders envision the users to perceive the company through the product.

4. Rushing to Market

Every startup founder wants the product to go to market as soon as possible.  The sooner this happens, the sooner the startup will generate revenue. And this holds true when following the lean startup development methodology (launch, validate, iterate, repeat). However, the more user-focused the product is, the less iterations and pivoting will be done. With a well-thought-out product design, founders can get a more accurate assessment of what feature changes or additions must be made, and not worrying whether their product is not aligned with users’ expectations due to major usability issues.  

Every startup has a limited runway, and every product iteration requires valuable resources.  Creating a user-focused design before the actual coding starts, will save a lot of time, effort, and money, and is has one of the biggest ROIs at that stage.  Working with a team that understands product design for startups can result in substantial time and money savings, often resulting in 3x-5x faster product adoption.

Product Design for Startups

If you are a startup looking for UIUX design for your idea, we can help.  Our team comprises of highly talented designers and data engineers, who work with you to understand the product vision, target audience, competitors, market, etc., and apply modern UIUX principle to create a truly data-driven design for your product.  At Vitrin9 we specialize in product design for startups and small to mid-sized companies. Let’s work together to create something beautiful and make your startup a success story.

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