In the beginning (there should be UX)

After some great conversations today it became even clearer to me that a startup founder who “gets” user experience and design will likely create a more successful product than one who does not. It’s not just because a great user experience makes a product more enjoyable and ultimately fun to use. It’s because this type of design thinking and understanding of the customer seeps into every other aspect of the product. Customer service, fluid interaction of back-end elements, copy tone and voice all benefit from a keen understanding of the user, their needs and pain points and the core benefits your solution brings.

The other upside of baking UX in early in a startup is the viral nature with which this focus will grow as the company grows. Each employee that is brought on will have to demonstrate an understanding and affinity for design and customer experience and will seek to drive that into their own area of specialization. Before long the startup is staffed with specialists who “get” customers and understand that whether they’re writing code, pushing pixels or selling the product, they have a direct effect on the customer’s experience.


About Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf is a lean thinking and design evangelist, spreading the gospel of great team collaboration, product innovation and evidence-based decision making. Jeff is an author, speaker and thought leader on the future of product development and design, often teaching workshops or giving talks on building cultures that support teamwork and innovation. Jeff co-founded Neo Innovation, a lean/agile product firm in NYC. Prior to that, he led the UX design teams at TheLadders and Web Trends. Earlier he worked with and led small teams of software designers at AOL. He is the co-author (with Josh Seiden) of Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience and the upcoming (Harvard, 2016) Sense and Respond (
This entry was posted in startups and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.