Connect with us

Growth Strategies

Why Design Is Fundamental To Success Fort Startups

Inversk Review

Published

on

Companies like Apple are making design impossible for startups to ignore. Startups like GitHub, Airbnb, Square, and Fitbit have design at the core of their business, and they’re doing phenomenal work. But what is ‘design’ actually? Is it a logo? A word press theme?

It’s so much more than that. It’s a state of mind. It’s an approach to a problem. It’s how you’re going to be ahead of your competitor and win customers.

Take one step back and review your work as if it wasn’t your own, let others go over it, experience your product as if you were the one buying it, not the one who made it.

Detaching yourself from something that you have put so much sweat and hard work in is not easy, but product design is an essential tool on your way to perfecting your product and with it ultimately your brand and business success. After all, if your product doesn’t deliver on the promises you make, customers will not return.

There is a gap in the business industry, that often don’t take into account the user experience and due to the lack of options, the market has been flooded with products that at best are not user-friendly. As an entrepreneur always keep in mind that your product is only as good as it makes the customer feel.

The challenge is to be open and actively court feedback. If you continue making tweaks to your product as you go along, every negative comment your product receives could be what will set you apart from your competitors in the future.

Simply put, product design involves coming up with a product the market needs and wants, and the more the product is tailored to a smooth user experience, the more successful the product will be. All entrepreneurs want to create products which will have traction in the market. Taking user experience into account will more likely attract consumers.

It should be considered early on because it will ensure that the product has the characteristics and performance the customer’s desire, thus reducing the risk of creating a product that does not reflect the customers’ demands, while cutting the costs and helping establish a reliable and respectable brand.

How will users understand your product? How does it feel in their hands and how do they feel about using it? These are just a few questions that product design evaluations will aim to answer.

Tips on product design.

Having all this in mind, now let’s go through several steps offered by Growth Africa, on how to now practically go about it, especially, if you don’t have a design yet.

  1. Empathize- Use empathy to understand your client’s rational and emotional needs. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and objectively evaluate the service or product your offering.
  2. Be user oriented– Don’t make your products appearance your main concern, it’s the product usability that will create traction in the market, so ensure a user oriented design
  3. Test and Try- Don’t rush to the market without proper prototypes as these demonstrates the functionality of the product and ensure your product is ready for manufacture
  4. Observe- Pay close attention to how people interact with the product in its natural context (home, workplace) to understand and improve their experience with it.
  5. Humanize- Always keep in mind that customers are not just data; they are real people with real needs and desires, it’s important to take them into account.

 

Let’s look at some handy guide will help you understand design and provide resources to help you find awesome design talent.

Design is a method of problem solving.

Design is so many things, executed in many different ways, but the function is always the same. Whether its blueprints, a clever UI, a brochure, or a chair, design can help solve a visual or physical problem.

So what is “good design”?

This definition is not so simple. The best designs are notorious for seeming not designed at all – or ‘un designed’. It’s easier if we break things down a bit. If you know what to look for, it’s easier to identify good design when you see it; or perhaps when you can’t see it at all.

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and functionalist industrial design. Aware that his design was a significant contributor to the world, he asked himself an important question:

“Is my design good design?” Since good design can’t be measured in a finite way, he set about expressing the ten most important principles for what he considered was good design. (Sometimes they are referred as the ‘Ten commandments’.)

Good design is; Innovative makes a product useful, aesthetic, makes a product understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long lasting, thorough, environmental friendly and as little design as possible.

Good design can’t be achieved with glossy buttons or masterful wireframes alone. It’s a merger of all these principles into something that is meaningful and deliberate.

Just like a great business plan is nothing without expert execution, a great Photoshop mockup is nothing, for example, without careful consideration to UI or the user’s needs.

Objectified

Take a look at your current product – is design contributing in an innovative way? Does it make the product useful, understandable, and aesthetic? Is it long-lasting, or will it look outdated or break in a few years?

These are really hard questions to answer. Having a designer will enable you to work within these constraints and enable you in creating a product customers will fall in love with. Love is a really strong emotion.

Design has always been a strongly valued aspect of business, even 60 years ago. It’s totally a proven method even in business today.

How important is product design?

Product design includes both digital and physical products. It represents not only the aesthetic qualities, but what it does, how well a user thinks it’s going to do it, and how easily & quickly they can complete a task.

Think for a moment. How important is product design to you? How important do you think aesthetics and ease-of-use are to your customers?

How deep does design go?

Now we’re getting somewhere. Great design is taking root in startup culture, and it seems like many people are open to change. Not only do many entrepreneurs and engineers see substantial room to improve their own products, they overwhelmingly believe that designers belong on a founding team.

Startups + designers =?

For a long time, a pair of co-founders consisted of an executive and an engineer. It worked for Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple, just to name a few.

These companies have excellent designers today, because it’s a necessity they can’t afford to ignore. It seems like design is becoming more and more prevalent in new startups as well and more are pushing the envelope.

Design has become a key differentiator for startup companies to acquire funding, press coverage, and loyal users. So think through your product design carefully.

Comment using Facebook

Inversk Live is Kenya's most incisive and informative platform to learn about business news, technology, markets, companies, startups, leadership advise, curated business and industry opinion, and affluent lifestyles.

Startup

Lean Startup Strategy and How It Works For StartUps

Kimani Patrick

Published

on

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Lean startup is a method for developing businesses and products proposed by Eric Ries in 2008 at Silicon Valley.

The method helps startups to shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases and validated learning.  

Below are 4 ways Lean Startup can help your start up.

1. Minimum viable product

This is the version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

MVP tests your fundamental business processes and helps you to learn as quickly as possible to identify whether customers need your product or not.

Through the Lean Startup method, your startup will also utilize an investigative development method called the “Five Whys”-asking simple questions to study and solve problems along the way.

When this process of measuring and learning is done correctly, it will be clear that a company is either moving the   drivers of the business model or not. If not, it is a sign that it is time to pivot or make a structural course correction to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy and engine of growth.

2. Validated Learning

Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high quality goods. The unit of progress for Lean Startups is validated learning-a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when one is embedded in the soil of extreme uncertainty.

Once entrepreneurs embrace validated learning, the development process can shrink substantially.

When you focus on figuring the right thing to build-the thing customers want and will pay for-you need not spend months waiting for a product beta launch to change the company’s direction. Instead, entrepreneurs can adapt their plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute.

3. Work smarter not harder

The Lean Startup methodology has as a premise that every startup is a grand experiment that attempts to answer a question.

The question is not “Can this product be built?” Instead, the questions are “Should this product be built?” and “Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?”

This experiment is more than just theoretical inquiry; it is a first product. If it is successful, it allows you to get started with your campaign: enlisting early adopters, adding employees to each further experiment or iteration, and eventually starting to build a product.

By the time that product is ready to be distributed widely, it will already have established customers. It will have solved real problems and offer detailed specifications for what needs to be build.

4. Split Testing

A split or A/B test is an experiment in which “different versions of a product are offered to customers at the same time.”

The goal of a split test is to observe differences in behavior between the two groups and to measure the impact of each version on an actionable metric.

A/B testing can also be performed in serial fashion where a group of users one week may see one version of the product while the next week users see another.

This can be criticized in circumstances where external events may influence user behavior one time period but not the other.

For example, a split test of two ice cream flavors performed in serial during the summer and winter would see a marked decrease in demand during the winter where that decrease is mostly related to the weather and not to the flavor offer.

Winding Up

Lean startup method involves ways in which startups invest their time into alliteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers.

This helps them to reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures.

Published on 1st Issue of Inversk Magazine.

Comment using Facebook

Continue Reading

Business

Eddy Njoroge Elected The First African Boss Of The International Organization For Standardization

Inversk Review

Published

on

Eddy Njoroge has become the first Africa’s president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) after inauguration ceremony held on 21st Sept 2019 at International conference centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Eddy Njoroge was elected as president during ISO‘s general assembly in October 2018 held in Geneva, Switzerland.

ISO is an international standard setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. It was founded on 23rd February 1947 and it seeks to promote worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.

Eddy Njoroge has served as Chief executive of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN) and a board chair for Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). Eddy Njoroge took over from Canadian John Walker.

“I am fully prepared to champion use of standards in our everyday lives.” Eddy Njoroge affirmed. Eddy Njoroge has promised to spearhead participation  of developing economies on global trade by championing standards formulation.

“Standard formulation should no longer be a preserve of a developed countries that are later forced in developing countries denying them global market access. We will adopt a participatory approach that ensures developing nations are involved in standard formulation activities ” Eddy Njoroge added.

Comment using Facebook

Continue Reading

Startup

How to Scale Your Small Business for Greater Profit

Inversk Review

Published

on

 

It is the dream of every startup to grow. As your business continues to make profits, it gets to a point where you have to scale it. This is because your customers will continue to   increase and you will have no option but meet the growing demand for your products. Scaling is all about capability and capacity. Scaling is meant to empower your business for the task ahead.

If your business is unable to meet the orders, lacks the infrastructure needed for production and sufficient stuff, you might have a hard time keeping the customers happy. Scaling your business will support the growth of your enterprise and help achieve higher profits.

Below are the ways through which you can scale your small business.

  1. Invest in technology

If you invest wisely in technology, scaling your business will be successful and less expensive. Automation of processes, for instance, will reduce manual work and consequently save on costs. Also, the integration of systems makes the management of your business seamless: which results in the improvement of the company as a whole.

Technology systems like CRM, inventory, sales management, accounting, and HR will enable your business to accommodate higher volume in all areas.

  1. Secure the sales

Scaling your business means you are preparing yourself to handle more sales. At this point, you should work with an online marketing agency and embrace digital marketing. You can empower your sales and marketing team by having them take a digital marketing course in Kenya. It will all be for the good of your business.

Online marketing takes a targeted approach leading to the generation of more and quality leads. More so, you can employ marketing systems to track and manage leads. Having such a structure will help you sell more.

  1. Identify your competitive edge

Every business has something that makes it stand out from the competition. For you to successfully scale your business, you need first to   identify your strengths.

Conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities) analysis, you will be able to identify the strengths of your business. By SO Doing, you will have a more focused growth by investing in your strengths.

  1. Avoid shortcuts

Cutting corners will do your business more harm than good. As you look to scale your business, you should be ready to put in the work. Not only will shortcuts compromise your ethics, but your customers will also pay the price. Note that scaling is meant to have long term results. Short cuts will not give you that.

  1. Be involved

As your business grows, there is a need to hire skilled and talented people to handle different operations.

However, this does not warrant you leave. You need to be there. Being tuned in to your business will help you adjust together with your business. Also, it will be easier for you to identify the areas and processes that need to be changed for successful scaling.

As you do the climb, you need to be familiar and aware of every loose stone and foothold to make it to the top.

When scaling your business, you need to know that time is a precious commodity. You need to put it into good use. What that means is that proper time management should be prioritized.

While there are so many things to do, you need to distinguish what is more important and give it the          priority. Setting daily goals will help you plan better and keep you moving to the bigger goal. For your business succeed, you need to not only focus on growing but also scaling.

Article by Antonio Amos

Comment using Facebook

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 INVERSK MAGAZINE. Developed by ITIPS