Agile Design for Startups – A Fresh Approach to Creating

In a competitive environment, the ability to adapt is a essential quality for a company. For that reason, many companies have started to embrace the agile approach for designing their websites and apps. The traditional approach of getting a product perfect or nearly perfect before launching a website or a product does have its place. After all, a well designed website or app that runs as perfectly as can be will probably be met with acclaim, creating a momentum that sets itself for success in the marketplace.

But the traditional approach to creating is not ideal for many companies, especially for companies with small budgets and a lack of resources for figuring out what their audience wants to the tee. The agile approach is perfect for these types of companies as they don’t have to commit everything to creating a perfect final product. They can adapt as they go until they hit the mark and then focus on expanding the product once they’re sure that it’s a clear winner.

This approach has many applications. The majority of the focus has been on product development, namely in the app industry. Companies are able to quickly churn out multiple apps to see how they fare and learn what kinds of improvements or fixes need to be made. The public serves as their R&D department and they can slowly fine tune their products until people start to embrace it. If a particular product collects negative reviews through its multiple iterations, the company can easily rebrand the product/service name and create a new launch.

The agile approach is all about communication. The research, design/development, marketing, and customer support teams all need to be in constant conversation so that they know what needs to be done. Then, the information must be structured in a way that allows all the teams to play their respective roles to improve on the product in an organized way whether it’s changing the graphic design or fixing various bugs. For many companies, the agile approach is a never ending process.

Agile design also has a place in visual branding for startups. Startups can collect and study the feedback and use it to change their graphic design, site structure, layout, etc. Many startups don’t have the marketing experience or the resources to create the perfect branding campaign or design the perfect website. A lack of clear direction can also limit the progression of a startup if the main focus is on creating the perfect website and campaign.

Applying agile to startup design, whether it’s for a website or visual branding campaign, can help startups overcome the hurdle of inexperience or a lack of resources. A combination of feedback, analytics and metrics can be used to learn what needs to be changed and have that information quickly communicated to members of the team that can make the necessary adaptations and improvements. Failures can be quickly overcome, campaigns can be precisely optimized and the strategy can be easily restructured.

So is agile for you? While agile has many benefits, there are still many companies that still object to it because it completely breaks away from the traditional approach of doing things. If you are operating a startup, then it might be beneficial for you to be open minded and see how agile can work for your company. It might not show the kind of results you’d immediately see with the traditional approach, but the chances are high that it will pay off for your company in the long run.

Goran Paunovic

Goran Paunovic is a creative director at ArtVersion Interactive. Chicago based web design company and full service creative agency.

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