I work for a startup and I am helping them to build their product. Past six months they have been iterating over the ideas to what to build and now they have finally have some ideas.

When I joined them they had this idea for building the app on it and they hired me as UX designer for their startup. I got totally lost within the two weeks of my job. I feel like I don’t know how to design UX for a product. May be, I really don’t know how to design.

So I would like to know how to design for a startup.


Since this question casts too many question and I have been asked to be more specific so I am adding it here.

Question How to start designing if you have been given just the idea of a product without any detail? The first step I want to know.

I guess it is clear now

  • 3
    Designing a good UX is the same regardless if you are doing it for a large company, a start-up or just yourself. There is a lot to this question so you may need to narrow it down to one specific topic. A start-up company may be a different kind of user placing priority on different processes than an established brand but I think that is yet another question entirely.
    – DaveAlger
    Apr 2, 2015 at 12:29
  • Go pick up a copy of Laura Klein's "UX for Lean Startups". I think it'll help.
    – adrianh
    Apr 2, 2015 at 13:59
  • You guys saved me I think. I was about to write a long comment on one of the answers, and I could almost guarantee that he would be annoyed.
    – Majo0od
    Apr 2, 2015 at 15:05
  • 1
    You need MARKET research first and foremost. Alas, it appears you are suffering from a typical start-up ailment: A couple people with a lot of money have a lackluster idea and they're expecting magic. Essentially, they're asking you to invent the product.
    – DA01
    Apr 2, 2015 at 17:25
  • 1
    @Majo0od I said a lot not all and note the OP mentions the need for getting VC funding. I am, of course, generalizing a bit, but it's a very common scenario these days. A lot of startups are in the business of trying to be bought more than creating a product.
    – DA01
    Apr 3, 2015 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


First off, take a breather my friend! I have recommendations for you.

Firstly, identify the market. Who are they selling to? The demographic, the age, novice users or not, gender, etc. Figure out who they are. From that, build your personas (ex: "John doe is a middle aged man who rarely has time to check his desktop computer, and that's why he's always on his phone - he's always on the go. He's a novice phone user, who has the best internet money can afford. He uses what he finds on your product here to share with stakeholders...").

From building your personas, you can now identify who the product is geared towards. Now comes the more in-depth discovery phase. What are these people looking for? Why are they using your product? Start outlining IA (information architecture) of your product and start designing from there. Look at what competitors are doing and how you can be different. How can you be the same. Look at examples of designs of products that are similar to yours. Take from others and use that to create something of your own.

Do simple wireframes of your product (if it's a web product). If it's hardware, work on some prototypes after sketching. You need to work on iterations of the work with your team.

After iterating with your team and creating a rough product: user test it. Get in some of the users and see what they think about your product. See what they like and don't like. Then build off of there. Once you figure that out, potentially think about launching a beta or a MVP (minimum viable product - this means something that's bare minimum but works and withholds what your clients/users will need. You can then build off of this, but at least your product is out there).

That's as much as I can help you without this becoming a huge in-depth answer. The point is, UX is not a guess. UX is not abstract. UX is designing with thought and research backed by your work. You can do this. All you have to do is research and work from that.

Hope that helps and you got this.

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