Why Startups Cannot Afford to Cut Design Corners

User expectations are high and attention spans are short, so it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the finer details of starting up a business.

How Important Is Design for Startups Today?

‘Customer-first’ is no new-fangled way to do business in any industry. If we didn’t put our customers first, nothing would follow (well, for very long, at least).

In this day and age, the lines between industries are arguably blurring by the week thanks to the fact that customers are doing more and more of their business online and, of course, on their phones.

With such immediate accessibility comes the expectation of immediate solutions to problems, so it follows that the design and build of any customer-facing online presence is absolutely critical to success.

Online standards are high (very high) when it comes to audience engagement nowadays. We live in a time in which tech startups in Britain are mounting serious challenges to the traditional banking model and catching eyes (and customers) in the process.

Monzo is the de facto leader of the pack according to LinkedIn’s Top Startups 2018. It responded rapidly to a hacking crisis for British Airways customers in September by blocking 1,300 accounts and issuing new cards within two hours of the news breaking — all via its app (an app that is critically acclaimed, no less).

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It’s this new age of immediacy that we have come to expect as customers that is so crucial to a designer’s working methods and philosophy. Startup designers in particular have a weighty challenge in itself to cut through an astounding amount of noise to make a brand-new brand stand out. Indeed, it is often the design that makes a brand stand out, even if the product offering is uncomfortably similar to that of a competitor or two.

That’s exactly why these things cannot be rushed, but the pressure is most certainly on designers more than ever to help startups fly and not flop.

Is It Ever Ok to Fast-Track a Launch?

We all know that the process of launching a startup is never plain sailing. It can actually be quite chaotic at times. But that’s OK. That’s (kind of) normal. As long as one deals with problems constructively and logically for the sake of long-term gains.

What’s not OK is ignoring holes in the ship as you enter those choppy waters for the sake of short-term gains with pound signs for pupils in your eyes.

It might be a tough gig to launch a startup, but it’ll be an even tougher one to recover from a botched launch as a startup.

The clichéd phrase ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ is only a cliché because it’s true. Project managers or, at the very least, project owners are totally and utterly essential to the successful coming together, so to speak, of a startup.