SaaS business

Product Adoption Process: How It Works and How to Fix It


mins to read

One of the most common requests we receive at the Eleken design agency is to redesign SaaS products that don’t make users say “wow,” but make them leave and never come back.

Take the example of the Handprinter. The company reached out because the previous version of their platform was unable to convert visitors into users. In about four months, through UI/UX, we managed to fix the breaches in Handprinter’s new product development and consumer adoption process. 

In this article, we want to help you better understand the way your customers adopt your product so that you stop losing them along the way. 

Product Adoption Meaning (and Why You Should Care)

How awesome it would be if your Ideal Customer fell in love with your Ideal Product, at first sight, and forever. However, love at first sight exists in fairy tales, love songs, and Disney animations, but not in the world of SaaS.

It takes time and effort for both you and your customer to move your relationship from meeting each other to building long-term relationships. The process by which users become aware of a product, realize its value, and start using is called product adoption.

The broken adoption process for new products reminds dragging water in a leaky bucket — no matter how many potential clients you acquire, most of them disappear before the adoption stage, leaving you with nothing.

How Product Adoption Process Works

The AIDA formula, coined over a century ago, breaks the adoption process marketing into 4 steps: attention, interest, desire, action. To give you the feeling of how the AIDA can be applied to decision making, here’s a recent story of one croissant.

  1. Imagine you are walking home when a new sign grabs your attention. It's saying that a bakery is opening in your house.
  2. You go up the stairs to your room and google the bakery's offering — you're interested and wish to know the details.
  3. The next morning, half-asleep, you drag yourself out and suddenly you catch a scent of fresh-baked croissants. For the next couple of minutes, a croissant becomes your only desire and you follow the scent.
  4. You break into the bakery and ask to take your money and give you a croissant.

Four steps for the croissant adoption process. 

All good, but I bet that your product is more complicated than a croissant. For selling complicated software products, we've got an AIDA modification that consists of six stages. 

What are the six stages of the product adoption process? Let’s unlock them one by one.

1. Awareness (Introduction Stage)

Before the first stage in the new product adoption process, potential users are definitely unaware of your brand. They may be also unaware of the solution it offers for a certain problem, and they may not even know about the existence or importance of such a problem.

At this stage, the consumer looks for a crisp and clear answer to the question "what is it, and how it can be useful for me?" 

Here's how Basecamp introduces its audience to the problem it solves. 

the first stage in the new product adoption process
Image source: basecamp.com

Before Basecamp, you’re sitting in a wind tunnel with projects, emails, and questions flying at you. After switching to Basecamp, you get more work done, quicker, and better.

Okay, Basecamp, sounds interesting. Tell me more.

2. Interest (Information-gathering Stage)

“Interesting”, I think, and next: “how does it work?”

I collect information from your landing page, customer reviews, media publications, ask your customer support or colleagues that already use your services. I try to find out everything about features, functions, alternatives, risks, prices, colors, and shapes.

If the answer is unsuitable, information is irrelevant or unavailable, or difficult to understand, high chances are that I’ll leave you at this stage. It’s not you, it’s always hard to explain innovative products in an intuitive way.

Moreover, those products are usually for multiple audiences. In the Handprinter’s product design process, for instance, we discovered three types of users: individuals, companies, and communities or organizations.

Handprinter’s product design process

It makes your job harder, since any product that is optimized for one group is missing out on a group of another, or overloads it with irrelevant information. 

Check out how Canva breaks the tie by asking their newcomers one simple question. That information helps them personalize the following experience.

What will you be using Canva for? Teacher, Personal, Charity, Small business, Student...
Image source: canva.com

3. Evaluation (Consideration Stage) 

‘To be or not to be’, I ask myself. That is the question. Time to consider whether trying the new product makes sense.

The voice of reason says from one shoulder: It will help me to reach my goals and break down silos. I should try it, I don’t lose anything after all.

Inertia says from the other shoulder: The product looks interesting, and it probably solves the problem I have, but I don’t want any changes in my life. What if something goes wrong? The old way of doing things is still good enough. 

Look how Zuora forces its users to choose the changes and give its products a try.

how Zuora forces its users to choose the changes
Image source: zuora.com

“The subscription economy is here. The way we do business has fundamentally changed.”

It's the first line of the video. Next, Zuora shows that the change is inevitable, using reliable data. It shows how the change will rock the world, and what opportunities it provides for those who are ready. 

Opportunities =  79 trillion dollars waiting. 

Ready = adapted Zuora’s solutions for subscription-based business.

Okay Zuora, I’m with you.

4. Trial (Sampling Stage)

From what I hear from you, the product is worth trying. But I want a test-drive

I get a free trial, or even freemium — a free experience with no time limit. Such a SaaS pricing strategy is called to remove any friction from getting end-users to sign up and try the product before they buy. Paywalls should come only after I’ve seen the value in the product.

the best way to understand canva is to try it
Image source: canva.com

How do you say, Canva? 23 seconds to learn, no payment needed? Oh, Canva, what are you doing with me. You win, I’ve signed up.

And here comes the million-dollar question: how do you convert free users into paying customers?

5. Adoption / Rejection (Buy or not Buy Stage)

If everything goes as planned, I feel your app’s value, come to you and say: “take my money and give me your new adorable feature!”

But it happens that something goes wrong — companies acquire massive amounts of freemium users, but never able to convert those users into paying customers. How can something you give away for free bring you revenue?

It all comes to upsell. Take YouTube. People can watch unlimited videos for free, but there’s one irritating thing that makes watching uncomfortable. The thing is advertising. It’s not irritating enough to abandon YouTube at all but makes me pay a couple of dollars every month to forget the advertising exists.

youtube upsell strategy
Image source: youtube.com/premium

6. Post-adoption (Surprise!)

If only you’d sell refrigerators, you’d call it a day after the adoption stage and make a cocktail party in this honor. But having a SaaS business, you have to sell the same product to the same user all the time. It sounds like Groundhog Day, doesn’t it?

For SaaS, adoption never ends at the moment of purchase — I can easily top up your churn list next month given that your competitor offers a better product at a better price. 

The first few things you teach me to do with your app is something simple — to help me get the most out of our product as soon as possible. But most likely those features are not unique and don’t make me stick with you. Any competitor, a better price, and I’m leaving.

The next logical step for your post-adoption strategy then is to think about your stickiest features — something deeper, more sophisticated, and, therefore, harder for adoption. Those features are where your true value lies, they make your app difficult to reject and replace.

Here’s how Slack manages to introduce its in-depth features.

how Slack manages to introduce its in-depth features
Image source: universalclass.com

Onboarding tips are conveyed through interactions with the Slackbot, which teaches you how to use the platform as you go. For instance, when you share a Google Docs link in Slack, you get a tip on adding integration with Docs to make sharing more convenient. 

Wrapping Up

Okay, now how that generic product adoption curve can help you succeed? 

If you want to change adoption curve, you first have to track it. You may sit with a Customer Success team and try to apply those 6 steps to your specific consumer adoption process. 

Next, why don't you collect customer usage data? Data about churned customers may give some insights on the red flags that prevent product rejection. Data about renewals will provide some common patterns correlated with successful upsell. 

There’re a few ways to track usage data: 

  • Instrumentation of your product from within — to track and analyze user experience.
  • Real-time data collection — to see specific activities, like pushing the “submit” button.
  • Asking your clients about their experience directly, giving them a call, or making a survey – to get feedback.

As you collect the data needed to see where users convert and dropoff, you’ll be able to fix points of friction to understand users better, make them move faster to immediate action, and improve customer experience.

If you guess there’s a design problem, let’s talk about it. Maybe we can help you with that.

Where do you start?

Okay, now how that generic product adoption curve can help you succeed? 

If you want to change adoption curve, you first have to track it. You may sit with a Customer Success team and try to apply those 6 steps to your specific consumer adoption process. 

Next, why don't you collect customer usage data? Data about churned customers may give some insights on the red flags that prevent product rejection. Data about renewals will provide some common patterns correlated with successful upsell. 

There’re a few ways to track usage data: 

  • Instrumentation of your product from within — to track and analyze user experience.
  • Real-time data collection — to see specific activities, like pushing the “submit” button.
  • Asking your clients about their experience directly, giving them a call, or making a survey – to get feedback.

As you collect the data needed to see where users convert and dropoff, you’ll be able to fix points of friction to understand users better, make them move faster to immediate action, and improve customer experience.

Once you've got user data up and running, you can understand your adoption process better, reduce churn and grow your business.

Dana Yatsenko


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SaaS business
min read

9 UI/UX Design Principles to Make Customers Get Chills from Your Product

Imagine you are a host of a party meeting awaited guests. You want to make the best impression possible and get many useful connections, so you thought out all the details and did your best to ensure everybody enjoyed the party. Apply the same situation to your website. Is your “home” ready to provide people a smooth and delightful experience? Have you taken care of your visitors the way they want to keep on collaborating with your business? Are you sure you did everything possible to help users take an expected action? 

If you are wondering what is the relation between all said and the UX design, I would say  - direct. The same as you decorate your house and make necessary arrangements to host a party, prepare your website or app to meet the customers through a well-thought and friendly user interface. Our skilled designers would prove that, besides creativity, a user-centered design should adhere to the fundamental UI/UX design rules to help a company achieve business goals.

This article gathered nine user interface design principles that will nudge your website guests to leave you their visit (read - credit) card details and push “purchase”.

So, let’s figure out what makes UI design good.

Principle 1: Meet users needs 

In other words, the main principle you should build your design around sounds like “put the user first.” UI/UX design is customer-centered, meaning you need to consider whether your design satisfies customers’ needs and helps users achieve their goals. It’s crucial to walk in customers’ shoes and understand what they’re looking for when interacting with your website or app. 

A UX designer and a design director of Mailprotector Jeremy Nigh said that the “U” in UX doesn’t mean “You” but “User”. Whatever excellent you think your design is, the actual customers may feel the opposite. Try looking impartially and reveal through UX research and UX audit what your customers really need.

The image saying that to understand what users actually do on your website, you should conduct user testing

As UX design’s primary purpose is to help users solve their problems, usability is one of the paramount user experience principles.  Each design element, be it an icon, button, or image, should have a meaning and lead to a specific action you want users to take. Then it will be a good decision to run usability tests during the prototyping phase, long before your product goes live.

When designing, it’s also important to take into consideration the user’s context. It’s the location where a customer interacts with the design, the device, time, emotional state, and other people influencing the customer’s behavior.

Principle 2: Speak customers language

The statement above refers to both words and visuals we use in a product’s interface. Take for granted that nobody will spend extra time on guessing what an author (you) wanted to say with niche jargon or technical terms only your developers can get the point. 

The image displays two mobile screens with some app opened. On one of them, categories are named in a more understandable manner than on another one
Image credit: Springboard

You should avoid (or at least reduce) ambiguity in UX-copywriting and graphic elements. 

Here are some tips on how to make your design language readable and understandable:

  • Define who your audience is - what they need, what they’re searching for, and what goals they want to achieve by interacting with your product
  • Build your design template focusing on the typography, page layout, and infographics
  • Choose communication style and tone of voice your audience would better accept

The system should speak a real-life language. Just imagine how often you answer “OK” when somebody asks you “Are you sure?” Not often, right? The most common reply would be “Yes”. Then, use it in your system messages’ copy.

the image of system message "Are you sure?" and the options of answers "Ok" and "Cancel"

Visual metaphors should also correspond to real-world experience. The concept of a recycle bin icon on Mac, for example, would be easily caught even by those who had never seen any PC before. 

The image of two recycle bins

Principle 3: Organize content clearly

This principle is talking about information hierarchy that helps users easily navigate through the website or app design. When you come to a random website, more likely, you will see the navigation bar showing the main sections like About, Products, Prices, Contact Us, etc. These sections make up the primary hierarchy. If you hover over one of them, the sub-sections appear, announcing what you will find when diving deeper into the website.

The image showing website page hierarchy

The more logical you arrange your site map, the easier it will be for customers to navigate, and the smoother user experience they will eventually have. 

What is also worth mentioning is the size of target buttons and typography. The bigger-sized buttons ensure efficient interaction reducing the risk of performing the wrong action. And well-thought typographic choices can significantly improve a website’s accessibility facilitating perception of written information.

The image showing different size buttons and a finger trying to press smaller and bigger button
Image credit: XD Adobe

Principle 4: Don’t overwhelm, be simple

To put it another way, every design element that doesn’t assist in users’ goal achievement should be a subject to elimination. The unnecessary information distracts customers from their primary purpose wasting cognitive and operational resources. The pioneer who adopted a less-is-more design approach was Apple. From 2007 when the iPhone was introduced till nowadays, Apple follows the principle of simplicity in their products and website’s design. 

MacBook Air landing page on Apple website

Another example of less-is-more philosophy in design is iA Writer, an app looking like a plain sheet without any distractive content or information. The simple UI allows writers to concentrate on the creative process, making it easier to get into the flow yet providing users with helpful tools to improve their writing.

The screens from iA Writer explaining an app capabilities
the screen from iA Writer app explaining an app capabilities

Principle 5:  Keep design consistent

When people start using a new product, they expect it to be similar to what they have already experienced before. This way, users may reduce the cognitive load they encounter trying to learn something new. Design consistency follows the idea of so-called transferable knowledge. Microsoft adheres to this concept making design consistent throughout all products. For example, using Microsoft Word will help quickly adopt Excel or PowerPoint, which have similar UI concepts. 

The Microsoft Word  and Microsoft Excel navigation panels

Being comfortable for users, design consistency makes the design process easier for UX and UI designers as well. There is no need to continuously create new solutions when starting to work on a new product. 

Consistency in UI embraces:

  • Visual consistency - all elements should look the same within one product
  • Functional consistency - all objects should work in the same way, preventing users from becoming confused with unexpected changes in item functionality.
  • Expectations consistency - using hundreds of different websites, users form certain expectations as of how interface components should work or look. If you destroy their expectations with a super creative design solution, users will “thank” you with frustration and a high bounce rate.

Also, don’t try using new UI/UX terminology - stick to wordings most people are familiar with.

Principle 6: Give feedback to users’ actions

Is there anything on Earth more frustrating than pushing a button on a website and having no idea what is happening? The great UX design should always inform customers of their system status and action progress. 

Say, you started downloading a file and naturally expect the website to show you some sort of progress bar or a countdown to understand how much time is left. In its essence, the design feedback is a dialogue between humans and machines. The design may respond by altering the target button’s color, shape, or any other visible changes. Or, for example, you can show how many minutes are left to complete the task. To illustrate what I’m talking about, look at the GIF below. Do you see the button’s color is changing? That’s how the system is interacting with users. 

The GIF showing how a button color is changing in a reponse to users' action

Relevant error messages are as important as feedback. Users will have a better experience if, together with explicit communication of an error, you will give them hints on how the problem can be solved. Stay polite, helpful, and upbeat. 

Mailchimp error message

You can also create preventive messages warning users about possible issues. For instance, Gmail uses pop-ups to notify customers about missing attachments.

Gmail preventive message warning that a user seems to forgot to attach a file

A good design is sending comprehensive error messages, whereas a great design is trying to prevent errors.

Principle 7: Allow users to control the process

People like feeling confident that everything is under control. When we know that our mistakes can be easily fixed, this gives us more freedom to explore new options and inspire us to be courageous and creative. The top-of-mind option that gives control in our hands is Undo. This function is critically important for text and graphic editors, where the creative process implies multiple changes to achieve perfection. 

Also, Undo is helpful when users perform an action by mistake and want to backpedal it. For instance, Gmail sends a notification message offering to undo just deleted email.

Gmail "Undo" option

I’m sure the possibility to rewind the wrong action saved millions of lives (definitely, mine is on the list). Thanks to Apple’s notification asking if I was sure to permanently delete the items in the Trash, I rescued the files that cost me tons of time and nerves.

Apple's MacOS notification asking if you want to permanently erase the items in the Trashs

Principle 8: Make interaction a no-brainer

Whether your user is an advanced expert or a no-clue newbie, the interactions with your website or app should be comfortable for both. For those who start using your product, tutorials and explanations would be helpful. For customers who are already familiar with the functionality, you should offer shortcuts to shorten the path to the mostly-used actions.

MacOS shortcuts for the mostly-used actions
MacOS shortcuts for the mostly-used actions

Principle 9: Mind accessibility

In the modern world, where we celebrate our differences, accessibility has become a must for digital products. It’s a designer’s responsibility to ensure that people with various impairments, temporary or permanent, will have a hassle-free experience interacting with a website or application. 

When designing a product, it’s crucial to build it for users with poor vision (who are blind or can’t distinguish the colors), who have motor, hearing, and cognitive impairments (like, for example, dyslexia). 

We have a separate article on our blog dedicated to inclusive design examples, so if you find this topic interesting, take a look.

To complete the above principles list, I’m adding here some more UX design rules and UI principles our experienced designers follow in their projects.

Top UI/UX principles from Eleken designers

  1. It’s critical to build the right navigation in the interface and outline the navigation hierarchy
  2. If you can leverage visual objects like style and patterns - do it. It will keep the consistency and will relieve a headache of your developers
  3. Don’t put a dozen buttons on one screen. Limit yourself to one primary button, a couple of secondary ones, and hide the others
  4. UI design is all about managing customers’ attention. The good design doesn’t need onboarding - it will lead customers to an action we want them to take
  5. Be simple and follow the less-is-more approach. At the same time, don’t oversimplify and remember that there are things that should be complicated
  6. Mind accessibility (especially colors and fonts). We make design for everyone, not only for youngsters with the perfect sight.

By the way, you can learn more about accessibility in UX in our next article.

We hope the information in this article will help you create a great UI design for your digital products. And if you ever need a helping hand - let us know; we are here for you.

SaaS business
min read

How to Design a Prototype to Secure SaaS Funding

The question that interests most startup founders is “How do I find investors for my idea?”. We’re not investors, but having provided UX design services to a number of startups, we know one thing: finding investors is easier than convincing them to invest in your product. Here is how investors answer this question on Quora:

How do I get funded for a new startup? 96% of all companies seeking funding, never get funded. So, the short answer is, in most cases "you don't"

We are more optimistic, though. Everything is possible when you can show investors more than just a great idea. Today’s story is about how you can use a prototype to fund your startup. Understanding the benefits of prototype brings founders closer to understanding investors.

Three reasons why you need a prototype to secure funding

1. Financial

Every startup founder tries to find out what investors really want. We’re not in the position of knowing all their motivation — but what we do know is that investors want to be sure that the startup's idea will turn into a product and set to the market. That’s why they are less likely to support founders that have nothing more than a great idea.

That is not to say that idea is not important: surely it can impress investors. But when the founders show that they have already done some work on the product, the investors would be even more impressed. It is a sign that the project is serious and their money won’t be wasted (there have been sooo many cases of founders spending money without delivering any result, even though venture capitalists (VCs) are not very willing to talk about that).

The amount of work that has to be done differs depending on every stage of funding. At the seed stage, for instance, investors expect to see a prototype, at series A and later, some revenue and good financial and marketing KPIs are a must. Today, we will talk about prototypes and the seed stage. However, having some kind of prototype at the pre-seed stage would significantly increase the chances of getting the funding.

2. Psychological 

No need to understand human psychology well to know that it is better to see once than hear ten times. Investors may rather rationalize the reasons behind their choices and say that KPIs and business plans are more important than the look of the app. But it’s a fact that a good pitch and a good-looking prototype have a big influence on the final decision.

3. Security

Another reason to prepare a prototype is copyright issues. If you have a unique idea that is not yet copyrighted (or is not subject to copyright yet), there is always a possibility that someone would appropriate it and get it to the market earlier with another team. Many people say it’s a myth, while others say it happens for real. It’s always better to be cautious.

Does the prototype need a good design?

You wouldn’t expect an objective answer from a UX design company, right? But to be honest, we have to admit that getting funding at the seed stage without a good prototype design is possible. Because we are optimists and we believe that everything is possible. If we rely on our own experience, on the other hand, we’ve done some good design for startups and they got funding. Nobody knows if they would have gotten it without that good look.

If you got lucky at the seed stage with a meager design, getting through series A with the same would be much harder. Good design has a big impact on the success of the company. And these are not just the opinion of a design agency — you can see real stats proving the value of great design.


In recent years, some experts have noticed that getting seed funding from VCs is becoming harder and harder. Be it instability in the world economy or some other shift, the result is that many people look for other sources of funding, such as bootstrapping or crowdfunding.

Did you know that Mozart used to do crowdfunding back in the 18th century? Lacking money for a tour, he asked fans to contribute. Each of the 176 backers received a concert manuscript as a reward

Is it a good idea to crowdfund a SaaS product?

On the one hand, SaaS products are a good fit for crowdfunding. Apart from raising funds, the benefits include the audience of potential users who would be willing to test the product and give feedback. However, we can say that crowdfunding is not the most popular funding method for SaaS startups.

First of all, let’s split through different kinds of crowdfunding. There are three types that can be used for a startup:

Donation-based — people pledge because they believe in the product and genuinely want to support it. Would suit projects with strong social impact, but wouldn’t work for most typical SaaS. GoFundMe is an example.

Reward-based — classical crowdfunding platforms, where backers are offered rewards depending on the size of the donation. For $10 you get a thank you, for $20 you get a thank you mention on the website, and for $30 you get a thank-you letter in your mailbox. Works best for physical products and art projects, however, the software is also accepted. The most popular are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

Equity-based — this kind of platform is better adapted to startups in comparison to the rewards crowdfunding, which suits art projects and material projects best. It suggests people to support a product and get some equity in return. Basically, it is crowd-investing, only instead of having one investor or a VC firm, you can get a huge number of small investors. Examples: SeedInvest and Fundable.

Let’s start with classical rewards and donations crowdfunding. On Kickstarter, one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms, the software makes less than 1% of all funded projects. Is it because fewer projects are applying or because it is hard to succeed? We don’t know. The only thing we can say is that there were successful cases of apps funded through crowdfunding platforms and you can be one of them, too. Some examples are 4Privacy, Zero Codes Ypsilon, and Momentum Planner.

Why do people still go for crowdfunding? It is a good way of raising money while maintaining control over the business, and testing the idea: would people be willing to pay for such a service? Some startups prefer crowdfunding because it fits their values.

Now, let’s try answering some other questions related to prototypes and funding.

Is there a need for a prototype for crowdfunding?

To publish a project on equity crowdfunding platforms such as SeedInvest, startups have to go through a strict selection. The amounts raised are much higher than on rewards-based platforms, and therefore a stronger control is necessary. The minimum amount is $500,000 and the investors’ risk is much bigger. Also, for B2B startups equity-based crowdfunding is way more feasible than other types.

To be accepted at SeedInvest or a similar platform, an MVP or a prototype is required. At the same time, not all of the products show what it looks like on their page. It’s more common to see a data-heavy pitch deck than mockups. People who invest thousands of dollars are interested in numbers. And the job of checking the amount of effort invested in the project is done by SeedInvest during selection.

However, seeing images or a video showing a working prototype makes the product page way more attractive. Just by looking at the first page of SeedInvest we can see that products with well-designed prototypes have raised more funds than those without. Coincidence or not?

Here is an example: a mockup-proof photo from Flextal, a hiring platform.

The rules of Kickstarter clearly state that products need to have a functional prototype to be listed on the platform. They have a history of projects who promised wonderful new technology, gathered millions of dollars, and only after realized that the product would cost a few times more than expected.

It is even prohibited to use photorealistic renders of the products, so that backers wouldn’t be fooled. Still, the crowdfunding model involves a large percentage of the risk. Around 10% of the projects fail to deliver the result.

So, how does Kickstarter check if the prototypes are functional? They don’t. Only if the project looks suspicious or somebody reports it, it can be suspended or removed from the platform. It is more important for material products, while with software projects the rules are softer. When presenting startups on Kickstarter, many just upload images or videos where you can’t tell if that is a mockup or a prototype. As a result, it may look better on the page, but has less practical value behind it.

People pledging $50 to get a subscription in the future like to see how it would work. Pitch decks will not interest them much. Here is an example of a good prototype gif by VGC Illustration, a drawing app.

VGC drawing app prototype

We’re focusing on prototypes in this article, but keep in mind that crowdsourcing platforms require a lot of effort to succeed. If you are not ready to communicate with the investors or adhere to the deadlines, think of other funding sources. Otherwise, you’ll get into one of those 10% of projects that don’t deliver the result and disappoint the backers.

SaaS crowdfunding went wrong
(this message was posted somewhere in June)

How to make your prototype appealing to secure funding?

If we were in a workbook for startup founders, we would say that prototypes are the fruit of a design process that starts with empathy and user research, and goes through some iterations before the development has even started. But we are not a workbook and startups often tend to be messy and spontaneous environments that follow their own processes — and that’s their strength.

So, we’ll just tell a story of how we built a prototype for a company that needed it to secure funding. Tromzo, a code security app, came to us for their first prototype. The founders were developers themselves. The empathy stage was done internally and they already had a code prepared.

Developers explained to our designers how the app should work and translated back-end code into front-end. We had little time to make the prototype. User testing was not necessary, so we focused on the visualization of the main screens. Here is the dashboard (it used to be called Polaris back then).

Image credit: Tromzo

The design was minimal, but usable. The founders helped us to understand what the UX design for developers tools should be. If you are curious to learn more about the process, read the full case study.

To make a long story short, Tromzo successfully got funded after building a prototype. Now they are at the next stage, added new features and the design evolved as well — here is how it looks now. 

Tromzo (Polaris) prototype
Image credit: Tromzo

Prototypes should be taken as the first draft version and are subject to a lot of alterations when the product grows.

The secret ingredient to a prototype that appeals to the investors

If you want a piece of advice on how to make a product prototype that would shine on your pitch deck or a crowdsourcing page, here it is: focus on the main and cut out all the rest. When you are looking for early stages funding, time is precious.

And from our side, we assure you that design is not one of those things that can be cut out — even at the early prototype stage. Contact our professionals to get a consultation on where to start!

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