When Designing a Platform, Don’t Forget the User

October 21, 2016

7:30 pm

The inherent beauty of design thinking is often lost when new platforms are put together. While designers and developers spend months building a single platform, they can get lost in the minutia of everyday tasks, often missing out on the big picture. They forget to answer a single question that can drive success in any startup: What is the user experience and communication plan to drive user behavior?

When posited this question, designers and developers typically respond in the same way. “The platform works, so our users will figure out how to use it.” Unfortunately, that is never the case and forgetting the user in your development plans can be damming to a budding startup.

The key is to look beyond the founder’s emotional attachment to the product and point out the potential blockers. As you can imagine – this is not easy. When judgement is your biggest concern, startups will often focus on what’s easiest to fix: programming, design, UI, UX, and data science. But as soon as a startup begins looking at the forest for more than just a single tree, they’ll be able to zoom out and tackle the issues that need solving. 

No matter how easy your platform is to use, you cannot drive user behavior without considering how you want people to behave. We are in the midst of a tech evolution. Between machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, data science and the Internet of Things, a lot of innovation is being stacked on top of itself. With all that tech, it’s important to remember that the customer is always right.

The agile mind of future generations can not be underestimated by startups hoping to succeed. The marketplace and business world have struggled to understand Millennials, but the first true 100% immersive tech generation is the Centennials, which means all this tech is going to need to adhere to their specific needs.


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Martin is the co-Founder of MasterMindset.co. They help clients to master the mindset of their market to enable growth, engagement and personalisation. The service is part human, part machine, 100% science. You can request a free market intel report on their site. He is a serial Entrepreneur who has founded companies in Creative Science, Consulting, Sales Training and created a Social Network.

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