A quick design lesson from Grow: Why looks matter for even the most bootstrapped of startups

Among the fresh faces in our creatives section, The Workshop, are art directors Stephanie Barbon Ravn, Sophie Barbon and UX designer Søren Øbro. They previously designed visual treats for clients like Nike, Pandora and The Danish Film Institute. At Rainmaking Loft they’re looking forward to collaborate with startups in an informal and we’re-growing-together-kind-a-way. Very logically … Continue reading A quick design lesson from Grow: Why looks matter for even the most bootstrapped of startups

Among the fresh faces in our creatives section, The Workshop, are art directors Stephanie Barbon Ravn, Sophie Barbon and UX designer Søren Øbro. They previously designed visual treats for clients like Nike, Pandora and The Danish Film Institute. At Rainmaking Loft they’re looking forward to collaborate with startups in an informal and we’re-growing-together-kind-a-way. Very logically they call themselves Grow. Although they considered the name Always Be Batman. Here they share what they know about design after years at big agencies + plunges into independent passion projects.

Let’s start from scratch. What is good design from a startup point of view?
Søren: Good design is a coherent branding, which gives users a clear idea of why and how they should use the startup’s product or service.
Stephanie: All websites look alike today, so you need something extra to stand out.
Søren: Templates are indeed everywhere and they save time, but you have to tweak them, so the overall result has a level of originality.
Sophie: Traditional agencies start with an offline approach – they think business cards and letter heads. We think about a company’s digital presence first. Do pictures, choice of colors, icons, and the logo fit each other? And do they look beautiful on every kind of screen?

The bootstrapped entrepreneur might think: I can’t afford a designer. Why should he or she talk to you anyways?
Stephanie: It does not have to be a full-on design process. Often we go in for one or two hours and advice some hands-on-fixes for the look and feel of a company.
Søren: The exciting thing about startups is that a small proposal – changing a single font for instance – does not have to be approved by five middle managers. Startups can get far faster.
Sophie:  And whatever budget you have, you can still optimize key elements. Like the call-to-action-button in a web shop flow – does it stand out properly?

How do you prefer to approach a new project?
Stephanie: I often start at the blank canvas with a very minimal brief from the client. That makes my creativity run freely.
Sophie: It’s my preferred mode of operating too.
Søren: For me it’s a bit different; I add the most value, when there is some stage of a digital product that I can test-run from the user’s perspective.