Before you start. User eXperience Research (UXR)

user experience research

ℹ️This article is not about design or prototyping. It’s about deeper things, like the idea of your product and its philosophy. We call it Product Development.

When you came up with a new brilliant idea of a startup the first thing that you want at this moment - start bringing it to life. As soon as possible, because it’s so bright and sexy! If you are reading this article, probably, you know the state what I’m talking about. 

But hold your horses, buddy. Let’s start with the planning. Do you remember Lean Startup mantra? Think, Build, Measure. “Think” is going the first. Before the development process you, as founder, have a lot of work. That’s why when I hear, “I’m a non-tech founder, there is nothing to do for me now during MVP development”, I always smile. The most part of founders didn’t make their homework, but they say this. Ok, kids, this is your homework for today.

Founder’s Homework
(or user experience research):

  1. Define what experience you want to give people
  2. Identify the benefits of that experience
  3. Research how people currently get the benefits today using other systems/products (tech and non-tech related)
  4. Map out every step of those competing systems
  5. Identify what type of people is attracted by each system/product
  6. Review how each system may deliver a great or terrible experience at each step of a person using it to obtain a benefit
  7. Make educated assumptions about WHO will find the benefits of YOUR system the most valuable
  8. Define why your system is different and better than the others
  9. Outline your system and how a user would flow through it
  10. Write your vision statement, mission statement, values statement, culture statement
  11. Write your Executive Summary.

Only now, you can do the real serious UX design. Using all from the above, you can create the documents that will act as the blueprints for developers:

  • Product Requirements Document 👉

  • User Stories

  • Wireframes
    (complete wireframes: every single screen, depicting every single UI element in every single possible state)

  • Clickable Prototype

Please, note where are the wireframes in this list of tasks. It’s only 14th on the overall list! This article is not about design or prototyping. It’s about deeper things, like the idea of your product and its philosophy. We call it Product Development.

Product Development

What’s next?

Shop those documents around to potential development firms. They will give you very accurate estimates on time and cost to create your app.

Trying to get estimates before you do your homework — is a waste of time.

You're leaving FAR too much room for interpretation. No single person will give you the same estimate for your idea. It's like trying to get a building constructed without blueprints. It's like getting a movie made without a script or storyboards.

You need all these to get accurate estimates! Accurate estimates are the only ones that matter. So, don't waste your time until you have everything else done.

But it's not all

These documents could also be leveraged to attract co-founders and angel investors. Just looking at your documents — they will be able to understand the whole idea and its potential. Remember, never show someone everything or more than they need to see. You don't need NDAs or any of that crap. Just practice common sense and avoid giving away your secret ingredients of a recipe.


Hope, this article will help you to prepare your founder's homework properly. Doing this work right — will save you time and money.

If you have any questions and suggestions - feel free to write us.
Be cool!