4 UX Design Realities Every Digital Entrepreneur Should Internalize

What does design have to do with entrepreneurship?

Everything.

Entrepreneurs envision, dream up, contemplate, plan, execute, conduct due diligence, and then pour all of that into a physical manifestation of their original idea using design.

Since products are designed to solve problems – and entrepreneurs come up with the solution to these problems – design has everything to do with entrepreneurship.

Without getting into the intricacies of UX/UI design itself, here are 4 UX/UI design realities every digital entrepreneur should internalize:

Design for Usability. Not for fashion Awards or Ego-Massaging

Don Norman – VP at Apple, entrepreneur, author, speaker, academic, co-founder of Nielsen Normal Group, IDEO Fellow and a member of National Academy of Engineering – weaves his thoughts into a single post titled The Design Dilemma: Dismay Vs. Delight and shares his insights on the contrasts in work styles (and hence output) of a designer and an engineer. Designers work to produce delight while engineers work to produce pragmatic solutions.  For websites then, what works?

How about a bit of both?

Jacob Nielsen of Nielsen Normal Group explains his 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design.

Usability of websites relates to words, language used, user control while dispensing freedom, consistency, standards, minimized bucket of errors, flexibility, practicality, efficiency of use, and finally aesthetics.

The World Is Flat. Design is Going That Way Too

Minimalism always had a rebellious charm about it. With Minimalism, complexity seems to shrink back to the delight of human interactions with machines, websites, books, and even everyday products.

According to Luke Clum of UX Magazine, Flat Design is seen as the “sophisticated and versatile cousin of minimalism”.  While you should read Luke’s intriguing post on the significance of Flat design, here’s the takeaway:

“Flat design embraces the real limitations of digital experience. It does away with the imposed limitations of Skeumorphism and helps you – and your website visitors – embrace the beauty of stripping away illusory decoration.”

Flat design brings cleaner code with it. It’s the perfect answer to the bewildering list of growing screen sizes and adaptations. Flat design is the perfect match for great UX while it doesn’t eat into utility and design itself.

Use Text. But Use Video and Audio Even More

Did you know that verbal communication is a “joint activity”? While speech production and comprehension are two different, individual processes for the human brain, an fMRI recording of brain activity – during an experiment by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America – revealed that neural coupling underlies successful communication.

That explains why video is such a rage and that also drives home the point that while using text for websites is de facto, video takes user engagement to a whole new level altogether.

Design is about looks. Marketing, however, decides character

Sandro Pasquali – inventor, teacher, and a leader at the forefront of Internet-based application development – had this to say in response to a question “What’s The Difference Between UI and UX Design?” on Quora.

The reply:

Design simplifies a problem. UX simplifies a solution.”

I concur.

But a marketing aficionado and a hustle junkie that I am, I couldn’t help but think:

“What really helps after you dress your website up?”

The answer: marketing.

Design does bring utility, aesthetics, and user delight to websites but none of this is going to matter if no one ever visits your website. You’d still need marketing to roll the dough in. You’d still need traffic, visits, high and sustainable levels of engagement to stay in business.

Designing for great UX/UI is part of the story. Marketing plays the other part. Thrown in a hundred other things in between and your business begins to take shape — the kind of business that changes the way we look, feel, touch, and use products.

How do you go about design? What part does it play in your entrepreneurship journey?

This article was written by Ashwin Satyanarayana. Ashwin Satyanarayana is an online marketing strategist and is the founder of Fetchprofits, an end-to-end digital marketing services company. He is a passionate blogger, technology evangelist, and an incorrigible world traveler.