User Experience Designers jump into projects at different times, especially depending on the company you work for. Sam, a UX/UI designer, has made his way helping various startups with their foundations, frameworks and more. We caught up with him to see how startup UX can vary from the typical processes, his answers might surprise you.

Sam recently finished up at a startup talent ecosystem software, Adepto. He had the opportunity to set up the design process from start to finish because startups need you to wear lots of hats.

“I really enjoy the strategy and research side of UX, so you can make sure you’re solving the right problem and designing the right thing.”

Basically, if you haven’t done your research, come up with a plan and design to solve a user problem you may be wasting your time. But, how can you be sure, even after all of your research, that you’re actually solving the problem you intended to? Most UXers have a standard rule of thumb that they follow to help guide them in their choices. For Sam, this is the Double Diamond approach.

“I look at the first diamond as me; strategy, research and development of the research.”

Of course, with Sam being predominantly in the first diamond, he generally has a team with him that fills in the blanks. Knowing exactly what the problem is, is probably the most important part of the research. Once you have this, make prototypes that solve this problem and test, iterate and test again.

Immediately, a lot of companies response to user testing is “we don’t have the time.” Sam says “You invest a lot of time and money into your development, so it’s cost-effective to confirm your assumptions before building.” We completely agree with Sam, development is too important to get wrong, so why not make sure you’ve got it right?

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Top tips from Sam on running your user test

Leave your ego and bias at the door
There’s no point in going into a user test with biases. The best way to approach any user test is with a completely open mind. Be prepared for someone to criticise your masterpiece, not understand your thought processes and pretty much lead to a complete change. Now, this may not happen at all – but at least you’re prepared for the worst and you’re open to change.

Define your testing method and hypothesis
Before going into your test know what you want to get out of it. Don’t be too rigid in your testing. Let your user have the freedom to explore and immerse themselves in your design – that’s when you’ll get the best results.

Share the results with the whole team
The diversity of thought and discipline can lead to better solutions. It’s important to get your whole team involved and share all the results with them. Each team member can explain the different views and decisions made on the design. The more minds on the project, the more results.