UX Design Checklist for Startups: From Idea to Success

masza articleBy Maria Krupskaya

Table of Content

    Let’s say that you have a great idea. You’re already imagining how you will make thousands of customers happy, and the smallest thing left is to design and develop a product. However, the truth is that many startups are closed directly after the launch. The reasons behind it are many: users not liking the product, interactions not working properly, no space in the marketplace, and a great deal of others. So how do we avoid this?

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen how some projects did not use their potential and were closed soon after launch. But I’ve also seen the ones that showed great potential from the start and even earned money at the MVP stage. Only if you take the time to build a strong foundation and focus on your users will you be well on your way to creating an exceptional product that people will love!

    I want to share with you this short checklist based on my personal experience that I gained throughout the years of working as UX/UI Designer and a Team Lead. These are the things that I learned from customers’ behavior and my own failures and victories. Following these ux checklist tips will increase your chances of bringing your startup to life and pushing it from idea to success.


    1. Validate the idea

    You should clearly understand the main goal and key features of the project.

    I advise you to start your design process by writing down all the problems your app should solve in a very detailed and accurate way. Form hypotheses. Remember: the correct construction of tasks is 50% of the success of the solution.

    Ensure that your app solves a real-life problem and that you can monetize it. Building products that nobody wants is one of the SaaS Software Development Challenges that can lead to the startup’s failure if not dealt with correctly.

    Conduct market research and evaluate the market size. Make sure there is a place for your idea and that you introduce features to your app that will highlight your product and attract users. It’s crucial to do this since 42% of startups fail because there is no market need for their product. Evaluating the market can not only help you determine if there is a market for your idea but also if there is a real-life problem that your app solves. Developing a new product isn’t easy and needs a lot of your time and resources. Be sure you want this and be ready for a long and interesting journey :)

    2. Identify your target audience

    Get to know your target audience. There is no place for “cool” ideas in our world without a clearly defined target market. Identifying and understanding your target audience will help you personalize the app experience, which in turn can increase user engagement and loyalty. This is one of the crucial aspects because as CleverTap’s survey shows, 87% of app users say that personalization has a moderate to a major impact on their decision to engage with an app.

    If you ignore this step, you risk creating a product for everyone and for no one. My advice is to conduct user research and focus on a specific group of users, get to know them as closely as you do your mom or sister, and find out what they like, what services they use daily, what causes them stress, and what gives them joy. Best design practices include focusing on a particular person that you want to reach.

    Here you can work with users’ archetypes or personas.

    You can also try to build your target audience with the Miro ready-template.

    Instead of trying to satisfy all the needs and desires, focus on your core function and make it perfect for your target audience.

    It’s important to keep your users in mind at every step of the way, as they should be the driving force behind every decision you make.

    3. Learn about your competitors

    If you want to create a successful startup, you need to understand your competition.

    Who are they? What are they doing well? What could you do better?


    Competitive analysis is essential for any startup. It allows you to understand the landscape, identify opportunities, and make informed decisions about your product or service. There are a few ways to approach competitive analysis. First, you can use online resources like Google AdWords and Google Trends. These tools will give you insights into what people are searching for and how popular certain keywords are. Another way to approach competitive analysis is to look at your competitors’ websites. What features do they have that you don’t? What kind of content do they produce? How does their design impact the user experience?

    Finally, you can also talk to your target market directly. Ask them what they like and don’t like about your competitors. Find out what they’re looking for that you’re not offering. This feedback will be invaluable as you develop your own product or service.

    Research shows that 56% of businesses conduct competitive analysis before launching a new product or service. This shows that competitive analysis is common among successful startups and can help inform product development decisions. It’s also important to note that since the mobile app market is highly competitive, with over 4 million apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and with 60% of the top 100 apps on the App Store having at least one direct competitor (according to a study conducted by Apptopia), understanding your competition may prove crucial for your app’s success.

    Here is a useful link.

    4. Choose a professional design team

    Design is one of the most important aspects of any startup. A good design can make your product more user-friendly and appealing to customers, while a bad design can drive them away.

    A study by Forrester Research found that companies that prioritize UX design have a 228% greater return on investment than those that don’t. Choosing a professional design team with experience in UX design can help you create a great user experience (UX) for your product. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a design team:

    1. Make sure they have experience in UX design.
    2. Ask to see examples of their work.
    3. Make sure they understand your vision for the product.
    4. Get a sense of their process and how they work with clients.
    5. Make sure they’re a good fit for your budget. Once you’ve found a design team you’re happy with, be sure to brief them on your product and what you’re hoping to achieve with it. The better they understand your goals, the better they’ll be able to help you achieve them.

    Experienced UX Designers know which industry standards and industry trends you should follow in order to succeed. They will easily identify both the strong aspects of your app and all the potential issues that could arise once your product is launched and used by users.

    At this stage, in my opinion, you can achieve the best results by doing Product Discovery Workshops that are led by a qualified and knowledgeable team of designers.

    5. Follow a complex UX approach

    When it comes to UX design for startups, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every startup is different, with its own unique set of challenges and objectives. That’s why it’s important to follow a complex UX approach that takes all of these factors into account. The first step is to understand the problem you’re trying to solve. What are the pain points of your target users? What are their goals? Once you have a good understanding of the problem, you can start thinking about possible solutions.

    Next, it’s important to prototype your ideas and test them with real users. This will help you validate your assumptions and make sure that your solution is actually solving the problem. Finally, once you have a validated solution, it’s time to focus on the user experience. How can you make sure that users have a great experience using your product? What kind of onboarding do they need? How can you make sure they’ll keep coming back?


    A survey by UserTesting found that 52% of users said that a poor user experience made them less likely to engage with a company in the future, which only goes to show that only by following a complex UX approach, you can be sure that you’re taking all of the necessary steps to create a successful startup and ensure that users will stay with you for a long time and try your future products.

    6. Develop a Minimum Viable Product

    In order to validate your startup idea, you need to develop a minimum viable product (MVP). Use a prototype, design mockups, or an MVP for fundraising and getting first adopters’ feedback.

    This MVP should be the simplest version of your product that can be used by early adopters to test the feasibility of your concept. Your MVP should have just enough features to allow early adopters to use it and provide feedback. It is important to note that your MVP does not need to be perfect, and it is not meant to be your final product. The goal is simply to test your concept and get feedback from users.

    Once you have developed your MVP, you can begin testing it with potential users. This will help you validate your idea and make necessary changes before launching your final product. According to a survey by StartupBlink, 42% of startups fail because they run out of cash, which leads me to believe that by developing an MVP and testing it with users, you can reduce the risk of wasting time and resources on a product that does not meet users’ needs or does not have a market fit.

    7. Work on Branding

    The first step in promoting your startup is to work on branding. This means creating a unique name, logo, and identity for your company. It’s important to make sure that your branding is professional and consistent across all of your marketing materials. Studies show that users form an opinion about a website within 50 milliseconds of visiting it. This means that your branding and website design can have a significant impact on users’ perception of your startup and influence their decision to engage with your product or service.

    Once you have a strong branding strategy in place, you can begin working on other aspects of marketing your startup.

    8. Work on additional features


    As your startup grows, you will need to work on additional features to keep your users engaged. According to a report by CleverTap, 71% of app uninstalls happen within the first 90 days of usage. This highlights the importance of continuously updating and improving your app with new features to keep users engaged and prevent them from abandoning it. New technologies are being introduced to the market almost every day now making all the other designs outdated really quickly, which means that you cannot afford not to follow the trends and not to use these technologies yourself.

    Here are some things to consider:

    • Develop a feature roadmap: What features do you want to add and when?
    • Prioritise features: Which features are most important to your users? -User feedback: Ask your users what they want to see next!
    • Design and implement new features: This is the fun part!
    • Test new features: Make sure everything works as expected before releasing it to your users.
    • Monitor usage: See how your users interact with new features and make changes accordingly.

    9. Maintain and improve UX after the launch

    After your startup launch, don’t forget about your UX! It’s important to continuously improve the user experience of your product or service. Here are a few ways to do that:

    1. Collect feedback from users and implement it. According to a survey by Qualtrics, 68% of users say that a company’s customer service and willingness to listen to feedback are the most important factors when it comes to brand loyalty. This highlights the importance of collecting feedback from users and implementing it to improve the user experience.
    2. Use analytics to track how users are using your product or service and identify areas for improvement. A report by McKinsey & Company found that companies that use customer analytics to inform decision-making see a 126% profit improvement over their competitors. This means that using analytics to track how users are using your product or service and identify areas for improvement can have a significant positive impact on the success of a startup.
    3. A/B test different versions of your product or service to see which one performs better.
    4. Stay up-to-date on UX trends and best practices so you can always improve your own designs. A study by Forrester Consulting found that companies that invest in UX UI design services see a return on investment of up to 9,900%. This means that investing in UX design and continuously improving the user experience can have a significant positive impact on the success of a startup.

    If you’re interested in learning more about different ways of retaining users and reducing SaaS customer Churn, I wrote an article in which I introduced the most important tips that will bring you success: 7 Tips to Reduce SaaS Customer Churn Rate.

    Thank you for your attention!

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    masza articleMaria Krupskaya