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Startup Design

Gearóid O'Rourke
February 06, 2014

Startup Design

Delivered at Seedcamp Week '14 Product Day.

Gearóid O'Rourke

February 06, 2014
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  1. STARTUP DESIGN
    Seedcamp — February ‘14

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  2. STOP LOOKING
    FOR ANSWERS

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  3. DESIGN == DECISIONS

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  4. GAH — ROAD

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  5. 1. DESIGN CULTURE
    2. DOING IT

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  6. 1. DESIGN CULTURE

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  7. “Most people make the mistake of thinking
    design is what it looks like... That’s not what we
    think design is. It’s not just what it looks like
    and feels like. Design is how it works.”
    — Steve Jobs

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  8. “Our product is our brand”
    — Thomas Watson, Jr

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  9. • If it’s “how it works” then design is
    not just the designer’s job
    • Build team capability and interest in
    design from the start

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  10. • Fact: Design is fractal
    • What are your touch-points?
    • What is your attitude?
    • And your team’s?

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  11. • Design is not fluffy. It can be your
    biggest competitive advantage.

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  12. • Competitive advantage through
    design culture
    • Fact: You can’t clone culture

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  13. 2. APPROACHING
    DESIGN

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  14. DESIGN != MAGIC
    Do some research

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  15. • Design needs good inputs to have
    good outputs.

    • Research should be the first step of
    your design process.

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  16. • Talk to potential users.

    • Determine their needs, the
    strengths of those needs and how
    they are currently attempting to
    address them.

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  17. By doing X we expect to Y to change
    GOT AN HYPOTHESIS?

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  18. • Looking for change based on action
    • Target experiments based on goals
    • Common agreement around both

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  19. • Stops “ my idea” issues
    • Sets up an agreed reference point
    • Makes design work measurable

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  20. Do it as a team, accept what it is
    SKETCH TOGETHER

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  21. • Design is everyone’s responsibility
    • Kill “over the wall” thinking

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  22. KILL IT DEAD

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  23. • Sketch together, do it often and do it
    early, understand what it’s for
    • Pair up: designers, engineers, sales,
    marketing, you

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  24. But build it better
    BUILD LESS S**T

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  25. • We all agreed on MVP... right?
    • MVP != poorly designed
    • Poorly designed == no learnings

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  26. • You need to say “no” more often
    • 5 Ferraris or 150,000 Fiat Pandas?

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  27. • How many touch-points?
    • How well designed are they?
    • Are they fit for purpose? Is the tone
    right? Are they converting?

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  28. DESIGN != MAGIC
    You have to test, close the loop

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  29. • Great designers love data and love
    feedback — makes our job easier
    • So test everything

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  30. • Fact: Design is foremost about
    effectiveness, not prettiness...
    • Don’t test looks. Do test
    functionality, implementation
    • Did we falsify our hypothesis?

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  31. • Qualitative: Interviews, card sorting,
    guided user testing
    • Quantitative: Click tests, A/B tests,
    heat maps, usage stats, funnels

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  32. GIVING CRITIQUE
    Honest, kind, and based on fact

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  33. • 99% of what you’ll do will be wrong
    • If you’re going to be wrong that
    much, giving critique is important

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  34. • Critique, not feedback.
    • Make it about the hypothesis.
    Experiments are about finding truth,
    not about being right

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  35. • Be honest and direct
    • Stop saying “I think…”
    • Start using numbers, but give
    everyone access to them
    • Sample set of 1 == crap

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  36. • Nobody feels comfortable
    • You don’t have to give an opinion
    • You do have to ask questions

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  37. 1. DESIGN CULTURE

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  38. QUESTIONS?
    [email protected]
    @gearoidorourke

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