Developing product at a startup can be hard: there are often severe time constraints, resources are limited, and there is constant pressure from stakeholders to get your product to market. Many companies believe that for these reasons it's impossible to get a product design workflow in place – it would simply take too much time. It is precisely because of these constraints that it is so important to get a repeatable process in place early on. If your team focuses on describing your user experience through stories and sketches, as opposed to full fledged mock ups of a single screen of your interface, then the odds increase that they can ship a product that delights your customers, reduces engineering cost because a clear specification of product requirements exists at the outset, and your stakeholders will be happy because your team ships a better product more frequently. This route starts the process by describing why your team should focus on user stories from the outset, segues into an outline for a great process for startups developed by Jake Knapp of Google Ventures Design Studio, and finishes with some tips on validating your designs with users.
by Curt Hasselschwert
Web cartographer, knowledge enthusiast and space monkey