How Do You Design Your Web App After Reaching MVP?

How Do You Design Your Web App After Reaching MVP?

Today, we answer a question from Rackless client Collin on ‘Design’. Let’s look at Collin’s question:

Hey Micky – we are pretty close to having the very basic functionality built and it’s almost time to make the website look pretty for Version 1. Will I need a different designer for the skin/HTML? – Collin

Congratulations, Collin on getting to this point! We love success stories at Rackless! We’re delighted your Rackless software developer, Isha, has been able to deliver to you a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). That is a huge milestone so be sure to pat yourself on the back!

I want to answer your question in 2 ways, today. First, I just streamed a live video via YouTube sharing how we addressed this same opportunity at Rackless you now face. To see that video, click here. Secondly, I want to go a step further and build on my answer from the YouTube live stream with a new idea. This idea I am hoping you can run by Isha, your Rackless software developer, to see if she would be up for it.

Live Stream Recap

Before I talk about my new idea, let’s recap what I shared in the video. At Rackless, we are fans of Figma. Figma describes itself as ‘helping teams create, test, and ship better designs from start to finish.’ We agree with this description.

Collin, given your technology experience and creativity, I strongly feel that if you learned to use Figma, you could advance your skills as a Product Owner and maintain the momentum you have achieved. Trying to add a 3rd party designer to the process I fear would increase your budget and slow your momentum. The most successful product owners we have seen have some level of experience designing. In the video, I mention 2 types of design:

  1. Graphic Design: This is the type of design that occurs when you are designing a logo, letterhead, and a billboard. The tools of this trade are often Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator. We recommend engaging these professionals when your budget allows. Tip: When you do engage a graphic designer, negotiate upfront ownership of all source files. Graphic designers refer to these files as vector files. We seen clients hire graphic designers to later learn the designer retained ownership of the copyright and source files. When working with a software developer, you need the source files to convert the design into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  2. User Experience (UX): This is the design skill all good product owners and software developers possess. When you go to a website and log in, you expect to first be asked for your email address/user name and then the password. If you as a product owner asked for the password first, then you would be designing a bad user experience as it would confuse them. So if you have designed a webpage where a user enters information, you have the basic knowledge of User Experience.

User Experience

At Rackless, we recommend that the User Experience be owned and driven by you the Product Owner. If we look at a web app as far as software development and User Experience, both those components make up over 80% of the work.

So how do we make up the remaining 5 to 20% of the work that requires graphic design? We recommend you borrow inspiration from websites and web app you admire. Take a screenshot of those apps and websites you like and recreate them in Figma. From there, share the Figma files with your Rackless software developer to implement the design into your product.

Revolutionary Design Idea

Now for a revolutionary idea. Are you ready for this? Take a screenshot of web apps and websites you admire and mark them up to illustrate what you like about them. After that, send them to your software developer in a ticket asking them to implement the design in Figma for you! Mind’s blown right?!!?

So by doing this Collin, you and your software developer will be able to collaborate on the design using the design you already admire and want in your own product.

In conclusion Collin, we recommend you work closely with your software developer in creating a design for your product just like you have designed the features and User Experience that got you to the MVP in the first place. In other words, continue doing what you and Isha are doing because it is working.

I hope that answers your question, Collin! We look forward to seeing the amazing products you are able to build with your Rackless software developer Isha!