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 an agile product designer, teacher, writer and team leader. He is one of the leading voices on the topic of Agile UX and Lean UX. In addition, Jeff is the author of the O'Reilly book (2013), Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience ( He is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker, workshop leader & trainer. Currently Jeff is a Principal at Neo Innovation in NYC (
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