We’re starting this post with a quote from the tech guru, Steve Jobs, “There is a quantum leap between a good idea and a marketable product.” This is the focus of our post today because we are discussing how to design amazing digital products for startup businesses. Steve understood his audience. He knew who he was selling to. He understood why some customers buy and some do not. In fact, this entire theory of marketing was focused on finding out what people want and making it for them. That’s how he ran Apple, and it worked.
Now, a reality check: not every business is like Apple. Some software and hardware companies only focus on one aspect of technology. Perhaps they only sell to one industry or group of people who are looking for what they need. Whatever the case, the idea that Jobs had about knowing your audience and selling to them still applies.
In this post, we will take a look at the steps you should go through if you want to design digital products for startups and then discuss what you can do to connect with these people to increase your sales.
Know the pain points
First, you need to know what the pain points are for your target audience. Since our goal audience is the startup entrepreneur and business manager, we already know some of the pain points. They have a limited budget to work with. They need tools to do their job well. They need methods of reaching their audience in a way that connects with them emotionally, not just financially. They need to save time.
One thing that may help is to think about how it was when you first started your business. What issues did you worry about, fret over, or try to avoid as you started your journey with entrepreneurship? Did you need tools to save time during your business day? All of these things are likely just as important to the new startup business owner as they were to you.
Focus on your mobile customer
The statistics involving mobile users is mind-blowing. It is estimated that now, in the year 2017, there are approximately 4.77 mobile users. By the year, 2019, there will be 5.07 billion users. (Statista.com) This means that a vast majority of your target audience is coming in on mobile devices. Forgetting about this important growing group of customers is like leaving money on the table. Entrepreneurs do business now everywhere-on the road, on the beach, everywhere. You need to present tools that they can use wherever they are.
Designing for the Mobile Customer
To create a great mobile app design for these mobile clients, you should consider what is important to them. Some of the most important factors are listed below.
1. Quality of the app (what it can do for them)
2. Ease-of-use (customer experience and UX)
3. What problem it solves for the customer
Talk about the problem
When you create an app for startups, think about the problem they are facing and talk about it in your ads. If you create videos for your product, you should address the issue directly and talk about how your product will help with the problem more than your competitor’s product can.
For example, let’s look at the Mint.com app for a moment. This is a modern financial management app that millions of people love. But what makes it so great? For one thing, it saves them time. If you consider what the Mint.com app does, you will realize that it would take months or years for an individual to put all of a person’s financial information together in the way the Mint.com app does.
It also helps you organize your money and financial activities. This is another problem that it addresses since so many people are struggling with keeping to their budget or managing their money. So, the Mint.com app solves two problems: time management and money management. That’s why it sells so well!
Develop empathy for your buyers
A little psychology will help you build a great app for businesses, also. Empathy is a state of understanding what someone else is going through. As we mentioned before, thinking about how you once started a business and the struggles you went through can help shed some light on what your potential customer is dealing with. The more you learn about the burdens that your customers are experiencing, the more you will know what will please them.
Find your voice and be creative
There is a reason Apple has succeeded besides the genius of their founder, Steve Jobs that we mentioned earlier. It has to do with original and creative thinking. There is a reason that Apple’s motto is “Think different.” The approach that you take to your digital products should reflect an original product design that appeals to your users and provides them with something else than they had before.
The idea of novelty in both graphic design and the user experience is paramount to creating a digital product that your entrepreneur audience will love.
Improving the User Experience
One of the goals of creating a winning digital product or mobile app design is to think about how you can improve the user experience. Part of this is in creating an active user interface that makes things easy. There should be a small learning curve when using the app so that customers don’t get frustrated. The graphic design is also fundamental, as well. Make your app or digital software product easy to use and don’t put unnecessary buttons or graphics in the app.
Creating a customer journey is about considering the needs of the client and making your software or mobile app more of a voyage than just a tool to use for business. Making the app easy to use, accessible, and fun can help create the hype you need to launch a winning product.
Get rid of the word, “Perfect”
Perfection does not exist in the real world. It is one of those terms that only exists in the “ideal world” such as Candide lived in inside Voltaire’s famous book. Rather than striving for perfection (the unobtainable), think more about innovation. Innovation means that you are not only going to create a great product for today but that you are going to continue improving on the product for the advantage of your customer. Give up the unrealistic goal of perfection to create a real product that people will love in the “real” digital world.
Test your product before ramping up
One of the biggest mistakes tech companies make when rolling out a digital product is that they announce it and produce it only to find it has “bugs” that were not found during debugging or production. To avoid this, have a team of testers try it out for a few days then do a review of the app or software. This will save you a lot of grief, and this is an important aspect of what is called “lean UX.” It also avoids you spending too much money in production before the product is truly ready to launch.
Designing never stops!
It’s important to remember that, even when you think you have a great product, web design, or digital product design, there is always room for improvement. One of the features of a great digital product design or web design is that users love is the ability to upgrade to the next big thing. Always keep your eye open to help people make their businesses and journeys through entrepreneurship a smoother one.
You can always improve the user interface, the graphic design, or offer other additions that your customers will appreciate. Always keep learning, doing, and developing. The sky’s the limit, but, if you’re a software designer, you’re only halfway there!