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Nicole Schaller
Senior UX Designer & Product Owner
November 22, 2023
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UX – the secret sauce for tech venture startups in an early stage

For a technology startup embarking on the journey to success, prioritizing product development, management, growth, and financing is challenging, especially with limited time and resources.

Often, research and User Experience (UX) design take a backseat, but overlooking them can be costly. If a new digital product doesn't align with user needs and expectations, it risks failure. We'll explore how research and a UX strategy, even under constraints, are vital in the early stages of a startup's journey to success.


Find a Problem worth solving for the target audience

Founding a tech company should be based on an innovative idea. As a founder you are in love with your idea and business concept, convinced the world has just been waiting for your solution.

However, your solution will only be successful if there is a target group that has a significant problem or need that can be solved with your technological solution.

People don't want to buy a vacuum cleaner, but rather have a dust-free environment, impress visitors with a clean apartment or spend less time cleaning.

So, instead of jumping straight into developing features and building the solution, start by figuring out what your intended audience really needs and whether there is a significant market for your solution.

You can find out using UX research methods such as:

  • Hypothesis development and verification through interviews with the  intended target group
  • Benchmarking to find out which other companies are already solving this problem or parts of it
  • Personas to visualize the goals, needs and problems of potential target groups
  • User Journey Mapping to identify the relevant user touchpoints with the  product and thus focus on the features that are most relevant to the user

The experienced UX Designer decides at the beginning which method will be used and to what extent in order to quickly obtain the necessary information.


Get early validation, that your solution meets users needs

The first impression is crucial. A well-designed product doesn't just mean aesthetically pleasing user interfaces. It's about designing an intuitive, user-friendly experience to appeal to your target audience.

Users must be able to find their way around quickly and understand the unique selling proposition with the most important features of your product at a glance. If they like it, they will want to use it and recommend it to others.

Since a startup's budget is always limited, it is important get the validation from customers, that the solution solves the problem, before a lot of money flows into the technical implementation.

Example for Freya 3a App – from scribble to MVP

This is where prototyping and testing with real users comes into play:

  • Clickable Lo-Fi prototypes which show the idea and important features and allow users to interact with the product
  • Clickable Hi-Fi prototypes that also give an impression of the branding and appearance of the website or application
  • User Tests with real potential users to get early insights and feedback.

Based on this early feedback, iterations can be made to easily and quickly adapt and improve the product in the interests of the users. If, in the worst case scenario, the product fails the target group, this will be known before major investments have been made in technical development.
Another benefit of lo- and hi-fi prototypes is that stakeholders (investors, project sponsors in a corporate company or the management) get a simple but very realistic impression of the future product.

No secret: Integrate User Experience Design to launch smarter

Integrating User Experience methods in the early stages of a tech startup is a strategic move that aligns the product with user needs, saves on future costs, and captures investor confidence. It's an investment that pays dividends by ensuring the product is not just well-built but well-received, setting the stage for long-term success in a competitive marketplace.

Key Visual prompted with Chat GPT: Create an illustration in Ratio 3:2, Digital art in 3D style illustrating a shelf with bottles with sauces and one of them, in the front and center, with the label «User Experience». The other bottles have no label.