By Susan Haigh
Last updated: Feb 15, 2023
If the world’s most successful CEOs attribute their success to iterative experimentation, and design is now at the core of software success, then no-design is the future of work. Here's why.
It’s safe to say that mobile apps, web apps, and software in general are dominating our workplace and running our lives.
However, for software to be easy to use and provide value, it must be well-designed. We all increasingly expect to use digital products with beautiful interfaces and a frictionless and intuitive experience.
Don't you also have friends that choose their bank based on the quality of the mobile app rather than on interest rates and fees?
Design is now among the top drivers of software success. In fact, excellent design has become the silver bullet for companies to win over and retain customers.
Time and time again, we see companies that have put design at the forefront beating out their competitors nearly on this point alone and by a long shot. Upon conducting a thorough study, McKinsey found that companies with the strongest commitment to and execution of design principles achieved 32% more revenue and returned 56% more to their shareholders.
And this can be observed across many sectors, from consumer packaged goods to medical technology to retail banking, among others.
Companies, therefore, need to think about design first. Those serious about providing the best services or products to their customers can succeed by prioritizing and emphasizing design.
Many companies already get this; the case for beautiful design is clear, yet they struggle in the execution.
That's because, to thrive in a competitive software market, design must be interwoven into the fabric of all operations, rather than exclusively handled by professional designers.
At present, however, we often see design being done by, well, designers – and only designers. While a seemingly plausible solution for delivering a quality app or web experience to customers in the past, it’s now not.
Companies can’t expect success with design handled by designers alone for three main reasons:
1. The bandwidth of designers is limited. Creatives are historically overworked. Excellent design takes time. If they’re involved from the ideation stage all the way to the final product, companies are wasting designers’ precious time on tasks outside of their zone of genius: back-and-forth corrections, endless iterations, miscommunication of ideas, inefficient correspondence, meetings, and more.
2. Hiring is hard. Companies across the board are indeed expanding the number of staff designers. The ratio of designers to product managers and designers to developers has drastically shifted with more and more designers. However, unless you are Google or Apple and can easily attract design talent, hiring the right people is really hard and the shortage of talent is only getting worse.
3. Tooling is complicated. Amazing design tools exist on the market, such as Figma, Adobe XD and InVision. However, these are all made for designers who understand pixels and vector manipulation, among other advanced concepts. These tools involve a steep learning curve and years of experience – so much so that some are willing to pay $13,000 for a mere three-day Design Thinking Bootcamp at Stanford in hopes of expediting the process.
More people — not just experts — need to be involved in order to keep up with the rapid pace of product development now intertwined with the creation of excellent design.
Similar to how Canva enables non-designers to create graphics, Uizard – the first ever no-design tool for mobile apps, web apps and software – enables non-designers to create beautiful product designs.
Our company, Uizard, is the product design tool for non-designers, empowering employees at every level to be inspired and think smarter and faster, drive game-changing strategies, and identify new ways to co-create and innovate.
Richard Kreger, CEO and Founder of Pepper, a startup from Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 batch, used Uizard to test ideas quickly and develop his minimum viable product (MVP). “Uizard is intuitive and easy to use, and there's a low learning barrier. It might not be as powerful as Figma, but I don’t need that. I'm looking for speed and flexibility over pixel-perfect design," he said. "I'm trying to crank out an MVP as quickly as possible and communicate exactly what it is that I want. If I can skip the designer? Fantastic.”
Kelvin Fosu is a Humanitarian/Educator and also Founder at AnyBodyCanDevelop (ABCD), a non-profit organization that aims to democratize education through the use of intuitive software. Fosu also uses Uizard.
“Most of the students come in with no background in design and code. Uizard enabled them to create something quickly, even if they are missing that technical background," Fosu said. "They could just start putting things together, and already have their business or product idea visualized. Using Uizard has opened my students and me to endless possibilities as to how to have a quick but professional mockup in a short time. By democratizing design, Uizard has helped us democratize education.”
Uizard has made no-design prototyping – in other words, design ideation, communication, and iteration – possible without the need to be an expert designer. No-design prototyping enables a culture of continuous experimentation and leads to the development of the best digital products and services.
The most successful tech companies today rigorously and obsessively listen to their customers and incorporate their feedback into everything that they do and create.
Instead of the 10,000 hours rule as a precedent for world-class performance, we now live in the age of the 10,000 experiments rule. “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, and per day,” Amazon's Jeff Bezos once said.
The more employees that can get involved in design experiments early on and often, the better the design of the product will be in the eyes of who matters most: customers. Similarly, Meta's Mark Zuckerberg once explained: “One of the things I’m most proud of that is really key to our success is this testing framework… At any given point in time, there isn’t just one version of Facebook running. There are probably 10,000."
When non-designers are empowered to take part in design, the people closest to the products, solutions, and services will finally have the necessary tools to think through improvements and pitch the next best practice or idea.
Uizard equips people across all seniority levels and disciplines to do what they never could do before: bring their ideas to life and contribute to the next generation’s best-designed inventions.
If the world’s most successful CEOs attribute their success to iterative experimentation, and design is now at the core of software success, then no-design is the future of work.