The ability to be convinced that something is “worth it” is reliant on that’s something’s ability to present themselves in a professional, meaningful, and appealing way. Design is a cornerstone for any large corporation for that very reason – it sells their product. A start-up should never consider design an afterthought or a “future plan.”
One reason to bring in design as early as possible is because of competition. Chances are, you aren’t selling a completely original product so you need to be able to compete. In terms of aesthetics, you will stand out. Users care about what they see, what they feel, and what they experience. (However, that being said there must be an equilibrium between strong design and a strong product.)
Starting with an appealing brand and website will minimize the amount of “convincing” you will have to do. The consumer will already be convinced you are selling something professional and worthwhile. This way, the only job you will have to concentrate on is staying true to that promise.
Design is not only a brand though, it is a state of mind; a state of mind that tells you to think outside the box. It becomes a method of problem-solving. Good design is innovative and makes a product relevant and useful. It is thorough and makes a product understandable. It is unobtrusive, honest, and long-lasting.
Design encompasses a variety of different aspects; print, interactive, user interface, user experience, and industrial design and is the key differentiator for companies to acquire funding, press coverage, and loyal users. A sense of pride follows good design when you can say “that is mine” or “I work for these guys” and “look at how great we are.”
Strong design for startups will not only offer something of value but will also utilize strong messaging, eye-catching branding, and the ability to position themselves among a field of competitors.