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Tech startups – relevance of user experience

, June 29, 2017, 0 Comments

tech-startups-user-interface-user-experience-marketexpress-inWhat makes tech startups succeed? Is it the idea, the features, ease of use, benefits or something else? Let us accept one fact upfront! Technology implementation is no longer difficult.

The same set of features can be packaged into an app and delivered to the customers very quickly by multiple teams. The top three questions the users need to answer for themselves are,

Why me?

Why now? And

Why this solution?

While the first two questions are taken care by marketing, the third question is about the implementation that appeals to the users and is easy to use. This is where user experience becomes very relevant to a startup.

The typical approach of tech startups has been to pack a maximum number of features into their application. This is driven by the need to be a better solution in the market and showcase a few marquee features in comparison with the competition. In this race to be feature rich and packing more functionality, the startups tend to overload the apps with obvious issues. They forget that they need to keep it simple and focus on the core benefits. In this process, even the user interface design and consequently the user experience gets derailed.

For a technology solution, the early adopters immediately download the new solution and start using it. They create the market vibes and viral feedback through social media and other channels. These people don’t bother about user manuals and training videos. They just love to jump on into using the new stuff and play with the application. To make them happy, the design and the major features should be more intuitive. This is beyond basic UI design and goes into the realm of user experience.

Imagine driving your new car on the highway and suddenly it starts raining heavily. You can see the wipers on the windshield but you are not able to switch them on…how would you feel? Imagine buying expensive coffee from a great outlet and in a couple of minutes, the cup starts leaking. Ever faced the problem of messy packing which spoils the product? These are the examples of user experience issues. While the root cause lies in the design, the effect and impact are more emotional and long lasting. That is why UX needs to be paid a lot of attention to.

What are the aspects of user experience which a tech startup needs to take care of? Ease of download, installation, setup, configuration, user registration and using the most important functionality.   As we can see there are many external factors which can influence the user experience and unless we consider them carefully and design for them, we will not be able to create the best experience.

We also need to consider the privacy and security aspects of the users while designing the application. Asking permissions without being too intrusive is another important aspect. Too frequent or too little, both can have issues.

One more challenge in the startup scenario is the frequent changes required to be implemented in the solution based on the market and user feedback. This means that the user interface design and user experience must work in tandem with the product development team. The concept of Lean UX can help in this situation, which can be implemented along with lean startup development methodology.

The biggest opportunity offered by the considering user experience during the startup phase is that the solution or application can be built considering the emotional needs of the users. This can build a great fan following for the solution which is vital for the success of any tech startup.

Last but not the least, the critical success factor for a technology product is its ability to influence the users to form a habit of using it every day. The more they use it, the more successful it will be. Obviously, a great user experience is an essential ingredient in this habit-forming phase. Users would love using any app which is a delight to use. It all boils down to the user experience at the end of the day. As we have examined, for a tech startup to survive and thrive, the great user experience is not just essential, but also critical success factor.