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Startups: This is How Design Works (A Guide for Non-Designers)

Doris Yee

Design is a state of mind. It’s an approach to a problem. It’s how you’re going to kick your competitor’s ass. Companies like Apple are making design impossible for startups to ignore. Startups like Path, Airbnb, Square, and Massive Health have design at the core of their business, and they’re doing phenomenal work. Check out this guide.

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  • Paris Marron

    I agree with the argument that design can be a competitive advantage in the business landscape. Even products that enter a business late, for example, Apple in the mp3 player market, can overhaul and take a lead in a market with some good design.

    • Doris Yee

      Damn. That's a nice point. I once gave a small talk that opened with the evolution of Apple since 1975, before its rainbow days and silver/chrome revolution. One small gesture or change can make things get noticed, things to get questioned and tested...and even if critical, we can hopefully only get better via design.

  • Douglas Sellers

    Is this just to say that design is part of the process and shouldn't be discarded any more than engineering should be discarded?

    • Doris Yee

      But I don't think there are places where engineering or development is ever discarded. Wouldn't you agree? At least at places where I have worked, design is typically the first to sacrifice time in the process (not that I'm saying it's a bad thing). However, I am saying design is not just a today-and-tomorrow thing. It's ain't just the jelly on toast. It will alter the way the entire bite is taken.

      • Douglas Sellers

        I think QA is actually the first thing to get discarded, then design, then engineering. You are right though, engineering is almost never discarded. I thought that was the point of the article, that design should never be discarded much the way that engineering is never discarded.

        • Doris Yee

          I agree with you there about QA. During QA - both devs and designers can change things on the fly to better accomodate an idea that is now living on an actual interface prototype too. I think we all just need to learn "the dirty" on every part of our process. Learning more about Rails, playing with it, understanding the high-level structure of our own backend has never amazed me more. I only wish I knew about it earlier in our process instead of now. There should be a "This is How Dev Works (A Guide for Non-programmers)".