The Role of a Designer in Early-Stage Startups. –

It’s been over 6 months since I joined Helium (previously OneMedical). I’ve learned a lot within this times, giving my quota as a Designer in an early-stage Startup making great strides in healthcare. During this same period, I have tried to keep up with the startup/tech ecosystem, constantly observing and learning, and this is why I’m sharing.

Prior to working for startups, I always thought the work of a Designer in a product-focused Startup was solely to design the product — the UI and UX as most people would call it. You probably think or thought the same right? ✋

UI Designer
UX Designer
UI/UX Designer
Visual Designer
Product Designer
Digital Product Designer
Front-End Designer
UI/UX Graphic Designer
UI Designer and Developer

…and the list goes on ?. Those are just a few job titles you see on startup career pages, and often times at the top of a long list of requirements you see stuff like:

“Experienced in frontend development (HTML5 & CSS3) with the ability to understand limitations of Javascript-driven UI (like Reactjs).”

It turns out that “User Interface” and “User Experience” design are not all of it. There’s so much more involved when you’re a Designer in an early-stage Startup. The hard reality for Designers is that Early-stage Startups are about generalists, they need magicians and most of the time; just one or two (Designers). You know Jared Erondu? One of the top 50 Designers in the world. Jared happens to be the only Designer at Lattice as at the last time I checked, even though they’ve raised close to $10,000,000 in funding. At Helium, It’s just 2 of us, even as a YC Startup with some funding. Startups!!! ?

Author: Precious Madubuike

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