Design’s Value Across Startup Teams

Deny
Deny
Nov 15, 2016 · 3 min read

While the number of people who recognize the need for design has increased in recent years, a lot of my conversations with founders today still revolve around the understanding of what is design and how it can add value to a company. Design’s direct contributions — user experience, interaction, interface, and visual design — are already understood. But there is more.

A small understanding of design will produce an aesthetically pleasing and easy to use product. But with a deep understanding, design can move the needle across your entire organization.

Here are some of the ways your startup teams will excel with design:

Leadership + Design

  • Leading with empathy: Designers can empathize with the stakeholders your business serves and push founders to understand if they are creating with the right set of beliefs and principles.

Engineering + Design

  • Reduce wasted cycles: User research and prototyping validates user needs, reducing engineering cycles on unwanted features.

Product + Design

  • Increase speed to learn: Designers can make new ideas tangible, allowing teams to better analyze their ideas, quickly test, and ultimately make better, faster, more impactful product decisions.

Sales + Design

  • Maximize customer value: Holistic view of the customer lifecycle creates insights and opportunities for engagement maximizing lifetime value (LTV).

Marketing + Design

  • Elevates perception of company: Aesthetically pleasing marketing campaigns and assets present a professional brand, building customer trust and loyalty.

Growth + Design

  • Design compliments growth efforts: Growth hacking uses principles of design thinking, user-centered design, and prototyping.

Recruiting + Design

  • Recruiting outreach: Design generates innovative recruitment campaigns to attract talent.

Internal culture + Design

  • Cultivating culture: Designers instill a sense of culture by making the intangibles of a company (mission, vision, values, personality, etc.) tangible.

I hope this is a starting point in understanding the broad applications of design and its strategic use in building a successful company.

Mohit Bhende, founder of Karat, an 8VC portfolio company focused on technical hiring, and I recently discussed this topic. He understands the importance of design:

“At Karat, we deploy Andy, our primary designer, into multiple initiatives outside of his core domain to instill design thinking, appeal for customer-focused experience and aesthetic into all facets of the company. In turn these create ROI in the form of better products and better business.”

How have you seen design create value in your organization?

Deny Khoung
Designer in Residence, 8VC

Thanks to Hana Kim, Sarah Harrison and Ugur Kaner for reading drafts of this.

8VC News

8VC seeks to enable industry transformation. In a wave of creative destruction, we believe emerging platforms will replace the decades old technology infrastructure behind many industries, promoting greater innovation and global prosperity.

Deny

Written by

Deny

Director of Design @8VC // Founder @whitespacecrew // Almost always hungry.

8VC News

8VC News

8VC seeks to enable industry transformation. In a wave of creative destruction, we believe emerging platforms will replace the decades old technology infrastructure behind many industries, promoting greater innovation and global prosperity.