Guest Blog: Simplicity – A disruptive strategy for scale-ups

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Guest Blog: Simplicity - A disruptive strategy for scale-ups
In order to achieve this you have to align your whole team (not just the design or product teams) around the user. By making everyone aware of the users’ needs and why decisions are being made, everyone can contribute, will be focused on the right thing and user-centred outcomes will be much easier to achieve.

 The easiest way of bringing this change to your organisation is building in process to expose all business functions to users on a regular basis – this can be as simple as showing the results/highlights from user interviews, tests or focus groups in a meeting to ensure everyone gets a chance to review and feedback on customer actions. You’ll be amazed what discussions and changes can be made as a result

2. Do ONE thing well

As the old adage goes, don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. By focusing on building the business around a single, well defined purpose you reduce the risk of diluting your proposition over time.

When it comes to designing and building new features you’ll waste much less time creating things that don’t work or that your users don’t want. Thorough testing with your user base at each stage of evaluating a potential feature will help to validate whether the feature actually provides value, or whether it will simply introduce unwarranted complexity.

3. Use the power of the prototype

Every business should consider themselves and their product a prototype in perpetuity – always experimenting and developing your offering (standing still is the equivalent of going backwards). And whilst very early-stage startups will be using prototypes from sketches, right through to digital prototypes and building MVPs, the mentality should be no different for larger organisations. 

Prototyping and testing new ideas with users before jumping in and shipping them brings several vital benefits for scale-ups too:

Learn and iterate faster: In a world where whoever can learn the most, the fastest, wins, prototyping is an essential tool for retaining and extending competitive advantage. It allows us to test ideas quickly and at pace.

More cost effective: The faster we fail (or notice our mistakes) the quicker those mistakes are to fix and the less money/resource we waste. As your business scales, you have to maintain and work with all the legacy features you built early on, so make sure they’re providing value.

The user guides your direction: As designers it can be so tempting to project your own assumptions and ideas about how a product should work. Prototyping allows you to keep focussed on the user, letting them guide the direction of the product by rapidly iterating on what does and doesn’t work for them.

If you’re interested in prototyping, you can check out our in depth guide to prototyping here. 

Simplicity is a disruptive strategy, but sometimes it takes radical change to bring about radical results:

Breaking-free from the traditional, steady route can seem daunting in itself, even more so if the development involves a complete overhaul of your digital presence and the rejection of features you’ve already put time and effort into. 

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