Design Is Important

Sure, you could have a beautiful back-end built with Node.js, Express, MongoDB, and Redis while leveraging three large EC2 instances all behind elastic load balancing, but if your front-facing website looks anything like Netscape’s, it’s probably a good time to find a designer (or a new one).

Users don’t care about your stack and what goes behind the scenes.

They care about using your product to solve their problems while feeling good doing it. Make their experiences as pleasant and seamless as possible. Good design should ultimately lower the barriers to usage and help users do what they need to do with the least amount time.

There are always exceptions, of course, such as craigslist, but I think in this day and age, having a well-designed website and product is a requirement for startups to be taken seriously.

Next time I attend a hackathon, I’ll definitely find a designer to tag along.