The Perfect Startup

#SaaS #Design #Branding

An interview with five startup heroes giving tips and reflections on how to get your SaaS (software as a service) startup off the ground.
by Morten Sørdahl, Co-Founder getleap.io
(4 min. read)

Introduction

Starting a company has never been this easy – or this difficult. So how do you make it and set yourself apart?

We have gathered a dream team of passionate individuals from the Danish startup scene, each with an amazing track record in each of their fields. Look at this as your “advisory board”.

They all received the same framework, to ensure the feeling of collaboration. They had to imagine they were part of the founding team of a SaaS company and answer questions related to 3 stages in the first year of the company's existence. They wouldn't be able to read each other's work but rather give personal input from their work-life and previous mistakes.

We would like to thank all five for helping out with this content piece, and to give their work the maximum limelight, we have decided to split this content into five-pieces.

I hope you'll like it and feel free to reach out if you have any feedback.

Quick disclaimer: No company is the same, and our goal is not to give you a fact sheet to work from. On the contrary, we want to entertain and hopefully, on the way give you some valuable takeaways.




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👋🏻 The Team

Design and Branding

Erika Baltusyte is a creative wizard at Templafy with experience from great companies such as Typeform and Phase One.

Initial phase
What experiences can you share around designing a prototype?

The prototyping stage is all about testing, identifying what’s not working, iterating and then testing it again. It’s so important that the time spent on prototyping is time well spent, in order to identify and fix the mistakes early to confidently move towards the final solution.

Building an engaging, clickable, more tangible prototype makes it easier to get different stakeholders (developers, product managers, etc.) involved in the process and enables them to provide moretailed and accurate feedback.

However, there is no need to spend time creating unique UI components just yet, there are so many free resources available that can easily serve the purpose at this stage (e.g. Adobe XD has free UI libraries ready to use)
Launching the first product
How will you and the team succeed with the first product launch?

This is a perfect time to start creating a basic design system, unique UI components, grids, etc. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but it helps to stay consistent moving forward.

Daily status updates

Launching a platform involves multiple stakeholders. I find sprint sessions with daily project status updates to work the best at this stage. Sitting in the same room with people that live and breathe the same ideas and projects, lowers the chances of miscommunication, speeds up the decision making process and keeps everyone aligned and focused. It’s not always crucial to have a full team of in-house experts in one room to launch a platform. Outsourcing can also be just fine. Though from my experience, it is both much more effective and budget-friendly to get the experts of their area (freelancers, agencies etc.) in your office for a sprint session focused on their actual deliverables while also making sure that they really understand your product and the problem.

Scaling the business
How can you ensure a good user experience when designing ex. App & Platform

Consistency is paramount at this stage to ensure a great user experience. First of all visual consistency: this is where the design system, UI elements, and grids created in the previous stage can help to speed up the app creation process.

Consistency in communication is also crucial. Collaboration and alignment between different product teams (both working on the platform and the app), product marketing and brand managers ensure that product communication and visualization through different touch-points are consistent, logical and straightforward. This helps to create strong brand recognition and seamless user experience regardless of what part of the product they would be using.

Extra
Which three vital 3rd party solutions/products would be most important to you/the team?
  • I would say Figma / Adobe XD for collaborative workflows when designing and prototyping.
  • Slack of course for fast and efficient communication (who am I kidding, it’s definitely for all those gifs we all overuse 😀)
  • Communication. As cliche as it sounds, communication really is the key to well-performing teams!
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