For early-stage companies and also those that are scaling, Death Valley is a challenging phenomenon to avoid. When a new business is founded, it takes time to set up operations and secure stable revenue streams. Since almost 90% of startups fail, the idea of traversing Death Valley is immensely overwhelming, but there are ways to enhance survival. Designing for your target audience is a simple way to evade failure. Nicole Dery, a seasoned design researcher and co-founder of Allelo, a purpose-driven experience design studio, has some insights on this topic.
All organizations, whether for-profit or not, must understand their company's purpose and how it connects to peoples real needs. If you’re a business selling luxury electric vehicles, you might be focused on providing high-quality and elegant design. Your target audience could be wealthy philanthropists and their needs include both performance and style features. You would need to have a deep understanding of these needs to design a successful product.
This seems like a simple process to be handled by the marketing team, but it’s not. A business can make incorrect assumptions about ideal customers or create products that don’t suit that demographic. Misunderstanding your customers costs revenue and jeopardizes your business while bad product design prevents people from using or enjoying what you provide.
Nicole asserts that User Experience (UX) is an overlooked part of this process, especially by early-stage companies quickly pushing products to market. As a UX designer and researcher, Nicole says that multiple barriers prevent the widespread adoption of a product or service, limiting the success of an organization.
Product design is one of the most obvious. Think of a product you use every day, but imagine if one of your favorite traits is missing. That would create a negative user experience and cause a business to fail. Another example of this would be, designing a beautiful door handle for a luxurious car, that your clients were not able to operate, the function is there, just poorly designed.
According to Nicole, many businesses don’t understand that cultural differences such as shared beliefs about a product or an industry can prevent widespread adoption too. For example, farmers who use pesticides may struggle to attract customers who feel that the industry is polluting the environment.
Addressing these problems can be confusing, but education is the first step to overcoming them. Businesses like Allelo do this through impact-driven design. From the beginning, designers keep roadblocks to adoption front of mind. Instead of building a product in a vacuum, they conduct user research, partner with experts, and connect the process to the measurable outcomes they hope to achieve. Embedding impact and user-centered lenses into the design process enables businesses to create marketable products that will improve society.
UX design is rapidly becoming a critical investment for growing businesses. Some of the offerings of UX include context-specific insights coupled with behavioral and social science research and custom front-end digital design. Additionally, strategies for eliminating barriers to technology adoption and de-risking investments are also provided by companies like Allelo.
“UX design is essential for developing a new business and enhancing an existing one,” says Nicole, “However, most business leaders need to be convinced of this. They see user experience and human-centered design as unnecessary for non-creative businesses to implement early on, but Allelo and other impact-driven design studios enable companies to reach success. Allelo works with climate tech providers and our design services enable clients to grow their businesses while expanding their positive social and environmental impact. Strong human-centered and user experience design also increase return on investment because businesses identify and predict consumer behaviors, preferences, and pain points.”
To unlock the power of UX design for your business, consider partnering with an experienced studio like Allelo. The agencies' talented team has developed robust and repeatable frameworks for designing for impact.
Allelo’s projects generally take eight to twelve weeks and they provide design strategy, team support and formation, and custom front-end digital design services. The company understands how to transform ideas into impactful offerings that please stakeholders and provide long-term benefits to businesses. Allelo’s mission is to build a more equitable and regenerative economy and climate through the power of design.
Name: Mia Mitchel
Email: [email protected]