You can find hundreds of stories about failed startups and the complex reasons why the founders’ fairytales didn’t have a happy ending. Timing, product-market fit, competitors, overfunding, underfunding, weak management team are only some of the most popular reasons why startups fail.

If you have the chance to monitor their journey from the early days though, you’ll soon spot a pattern. And I’m pretty sure that in 90% of the cases, the reason why many startups don’t make it past the third year is the same.

I’ve been designing digital products for clients for almost 15 years. I have the…

Can You Estimate the Value of Branding?

The short answer is — yes.

The long answer — yes, you can.

Everyone working on a product, digital or physical, knows the huge impact a strong visual identity has on their company recognition and product adoption. The challenging question is not if, but when to invest in building a strong brand around your product.

Traditionally, in the startup ecosystem over the past 20 years, branding has been left as an afterthought. Founders have been naturally focused on building their MVPs and proving product-market fit before they invest time and money in their…

It’s no secret that churn starts during the onboarding. You’re much more likely to delete an app you’ve recently installed than to become a regular user. Think about all the products and applications you tested and played with, and how many of them you actually use today. On average, only 11% of apps manage to survive for 12 months on a user’s device.

That’s why investing time and resources in an immaculate user onboarding is so critical. …

Why is storytelling in design so important? The short answer is — storytelling evokes emotions, emotions make people act, and when it comes to acting on a webpage or digital product — it most certainly means improved conversions.

People care about the stuff they care about.

You read this right. They don’t care about what you or your company are passionate about, they’d only pay attention if your product strikes a chord in their hearts and it could be seen as a plot point of their personal story. …

A successful design project starts with a clear design brief, outlining the project objectives, deliverables, and timeframe.

If you want to kick off the conversation with freelance designers or design agencies you have shortlisted for your project, you need to give them enough information about your project to start the ball rolling, without overwhelming them with dozens of pages of product details, market research and deep thoughts about your industry.

We receive dozens of enquiries a month and we know how a useful design brief looks like. And by “useful” we mean a good balance between the information a design…

What is a growth designer? Most emerging specialities would first become a buzzword that techies love to throw around or use to define themselves. Growth Design is no different; it’s been around for some time, and we now come across companies hiring growth designers and design teams being “growth-driven”. With growth being a discipline on its own, it’s time to finally formalise the term and give growth design a formal definition. So what is growth design?

We scrolled the internet for days, read hundreds of articles and job postings, and listened to dozens of podcasts about growth design. …

UX is a discovery process. We often argue that user experience doesn’t start and finish with a project. As long as your product is live, the UX process never ends. When it comes to digital products, there’ll always be room for improvement and growth opportunities worth exploring, so the design process is an inseparable part of the growth journey.

When it comes to usability and design principles though, there’re proven and tested rules we could apply without hesitation. Why would you reinvent the wheel?

Check out our selection of 16 UX and UI tips and tactics that deliver instant growth…

Photo credit: bamagal

In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to design over 100 digital products in a variety of industries. It’s been an amazing professional journey and an exciting learning curve — every product is unique and comes with its UX and UI challenges, objectives and product mission. Not everyone is trying to save the world, but surely every startup founder is aiming for the stars. And I love it! Working with ambitious people is what’s pushing the industry forward — designers, engineers, and marketers get better, SaaS tools get more sophisticated, etc

The more interesting part is that opportunities…

Strong keywords and quality backlinks are still important SEO factors, but in 2020 all Google cares about is if users genuinely like your website and engage with your content. In other words — have you done a good job with your UX?

As the SEO expert Neil Patel puts it “Google wants to rank sites you want to see”. If you can’t win people’s attention and your website doesn’t match their search intent, you’ll have a hard time with SEO.

Fast, easy to use and content-heavy websites will rule the SEO game in 2020 and beyond. Sounds easy, right? It’s…

Design is always evolving and similarly to fashion, old trends often come back. For example, flat design was the king of UI and UX in the last decade, but it seems it’s finally (and regretfully for all UX experts!) taking a back seat.

Since we do this for a living (cough, cough) and we live and breathe design, UX and growth, here’re our predictions that we believe will be hot in the world of design in 2020.

How do we know this is true? …

Stef Ivanov

Founder & Lead Designer at Pony. Worked with 150+ startups. Clients backed by YC, Techstars, Seedcamp and more. Give some love and tap〚 Follow ⟧ 🙏

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