Want to Build a Recession-Proof Business? Rethink Your Design Strategy

ux designers working on wireframes and user journey map

Work long enough in the tech industry, and you will inevitably experience a downturn.

Some will remember the bursting of the dotcom bubble in the late 90s. The Great Recession throttled the growth of many startups in 2008 and following years. And now, in 2022, we’re seeing signs of an economic slowdown that’s already sending ripples (if not waves) through the technology world.

Industry giants like Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft have lost trillions in value this year, and it’s becoming commonplace to see layoffs and rescinded offers at companies that were blowing and going not that long ago.

But you can still build a recession-proof business, one that allows your company to continue on its trajectory even as the larger economy struggles. One of the secrets of surviving economic turmoil is quite simple: great design.

Your company can use great design to get more than its fair share of users and to thrive when others are sinking. Here are three ideas for achieving the design that your product deserves — and that your company needs to maximize its potential.

1. Establish a Direct Line From the Design Team to C-Suite

Your design team needs a mandate from the C-suite in order to do great work. Getting that mandate should be as simple as showing executives the numbers.

Research indicates that UX investments deliver a 9,900% return. Where else in the business can executives find that level of ROI?

The C-suite should provide the resources that design needs to do its best work: the headcount required for projects, contractors to help fill gaps, money for testing, etc. In turn, the design team should provide regular updates to executives and invite key leaders to demos.

This direct line from the design team to the C-suite increases the chances of success, streamlines internal process changes and empowers the business to move forward faster.

2. Tighten Collaboration Between Design and Engineering

Design and engineering teams are traditionally siloed within tech companies. Designers are often creating and conversing, while engineers are often coding away in dark, quiet rooms.

There’s nothing wrong with either approach to getting the work done — as long as both teams are finding time to collaborate.

Design and development should be working hand-in-hand from the start of any given project straight through to its end. Regular touchbases, status updates, brainstorming sessions and demos allow for the efficient implementation of the design team’s iterations.

When design and engineering work closely together, projects achieve two important goals:

  1. Lower total cost of ownership.
  2. Increased lifetime value of an asset.

3. Build a Product Roadmap With Marketing in Mind 

Marketing can only create GTM strategies for the product it’s given. If that product includes boring, bland design, it’s that much harder for marketing to share messages that connect with a target audience and inspire it to take action.

The opposite is also true: A compelling product design sets marketing up for success, helping to build a larger audience, drive more trials, and generate more conversions and revenue.

So build a product roadmap with marketing in mind. What will the product’s design look like to prospective customers? What about the design will make them want to learn more? How can design help create a cohesive experience throughout the funnel?

Marketing’s success means the company’s success. Maximize the chances for ultimate success by considering how a product’s design can benefit marketing efforts.

Get the Design Your Product Deserves

The design and development processes can be time-consuming, messy and filled with challenges. At SingleMind, we work with tech companies to save time, clean up messes and overcome challenges. We can help you:

  • Design and build apps from scratch.
  • Rescue projects that have gone off the rails.
  • Add capacity to your internal team whenever needed.

We believe in and appreciate the connection between design and the ultimate success of your business. If you have a project that demands outside help from a team of experts, get in touch to schedule a brief conversation.

Cort Buchholz