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UX design for startups

Mastering UX Design for App Development: The Power of MVP and Testing

UX design for startups

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, startups face fierce competition when it comes to app development. To succeed in this competitive environment, startups must prioritize user experience (UX) design from the very beginning. A well-crafted UX can be a game-changer, attracting and retaining users, and ultimately driving the success and growth of a startup. In this article, we will explore the importance of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and testing in UX design for startup companies.

The Significance of MVP:

When it comes to developing an app, startups often have limited resources and tight budgets. This is where the concept of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) comes into play. An MVP is a stripped-down version of the final product that includes only its core features. By releasing an MVP, startups can quickly gather user feedback and validate their assumptions while conserving resources.

User-Centric Approach:
By focusing on the core functionalities that deliver value to users, an MVP allows startups to prioritize user-centric design. By understanding the needs, pain points, and behaviors of target users, startups can create a seamless and intuitive user experience from the ground up.

Rapid Iteration:
MVP empowers startups to iterate and improve their product based on real user feedback. This iterative approach enables the team to address usability issues, refine features, and make informed decisions about the app’s future direction. Regular iterations based on user feedback ensure that the final product aligns with user expectations and increases the chances of success.

The Role of Testing in UX Design:

Testing is an integral part of the UX design process. It enables startups to identify flaws, make data-driven decisions, and optimize the user experience. Here’s why testing is crucial for startup app development:

Usability Testing:
Usability testing allows startups to observe how real users interact with their app. By watching users navigate through the app, encounter challenges, and provide feedback, startups can identify pain points, areas of confusion, and opportunities for improvement. Incorporating usability testing early and often helps avoid costly design mistakes down the road.

A/B Testing:
A/B testing involves comparing two or more versions of an app’s interface or functionality to determine which one performs better. By testing different design elements, layouts, or even copywriting, startups can optimize conversion rates, engagement, and user satisfaction. A/B testing provides valuable insights into user preferences and helps refine the UX design to maximize its impact.

Continuous Feedback:
Testing is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Startups should establish channels for collecting feedback from users, whether through in-app surveys, user interviews, or feedback forms. This continuous feedback loop ensures that startups stay connected with their users, gather insights, and make informed UX design decisions throughout the product’s lifecycle.

Conclusion:

For startup companies embarking on app development, prioritizing UX design is critical for long-term success. By embracing the MVP approach, startups can launch their app faster while gathering valuable user feedback. This feedback fuels iterative improvements, resulting in a user-centric product that resonates with the target audience.

Moreover, thorough testing throughout the UX design process is vital. Usability testing, A/B testing, and continuous feedback enable startups to uncover insights, optimize the user experience, and make data-driven decisions.

In the competitive landscape of app development, startups that value UX design, leverage MVP, and embrace testing as a core component of their development process will have a distinct advantage. By prioritizing user needs and delivering exceptional experiences, startups can foster user loyalty, attract investors, and pave the way for sustainable growth in the dynamic world of technology startups.

The Perfect Blend of UX and Me: My Journey with IxDF

Hello! My name is Edina Gardos. As the founder and creative director of Just Pointblank, a digital agency in the beautiful city of Cape Town, I have always been passionate about creating digital products that are both useful and impactful. With a background in interior design and extensive experience in the hospitality industry, I understand the importance of building products that not only look good but also provide exceptional user experiences. To enhance my UX design skills and take my work to the next level, I turned to the Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF) online UX design courses.

Building on Diverse Experiences:

My background in interior design, along with my experience in the hospitality industry and as a scuba diving instructor, has enriched my perspective as a UX designer. IxDF has been invaluable in helping me bridge the gap between these domains and the digital landscape. By merging my expertise in understanding human behavior, creating engaging physical spaces, and facilitating memorable experiences, I can craft digital products that seamlessly blend aesthetics and functionality.

Justifying Design Choices:

One of the most significant benefits I’ve gained from the IxDF courses is the ability to back up my team’s design choices with solid knowledge and research. In client meetings, it’s essential to convince stakeholders and decision-makers about the value of specific design decisions. Armed with the insights and techniques I’ve learned through IxDF, I can confidently articulate the rationale behind my team’s design choices.

Taming the Feature Beast:

Startups often have a strong desire for feature-rich products. With seed funding pouring in, there’s a tendency to build full-blown products with all the bells and whistles from the get-go. However, IxDF has equipped me with the power to tame the feature beast. The knowledge and insights gained from the courses have allowed me to present a more compelling argument for the value of testing and iterating on features before committing extensive resources. Additionally, the courses have provided me with practical tools and techniques for conducting user testing and gathering meaningful feedback. I’ve learned how to design effective usability tests, conduct interviews, and analyze user behavior to uncover valuable insights. Armed with this knowledge, I can confidently explain to startup clients that testing features early and often not only helps validate assumptions but also uncovers potential usability issues and user preferences. I emphasize that investing in user testing early on can save them from costly redesigns and wasted development efforts down the line.

Learning from the Masters:

As an IxDF student, I’ve had the pleasure of learning from industry giants like Don Norman and Frank Spillers. Don Norman’s ability to demystify complex concepts and Frank Spillers’ talent for making UX design accessible and practical have transformed my approach to work.


Value for Money:

Considering the quality and depth of the content, the affordable pricing of IxDF’s courses makes them an excellent investment. Compared to traditional educational institutions, IxDF’s courses are more accessible and provide flexible learning options. The organization also offers a subscription-based membership, providing unlimited access to all courses, which is especially beneficial for individuals seeking to learn multiple topics or continuously update their skills.

Certification and Recognition:

Upon successful completion of a course, learners receive a certificate from IxDF, which can be a valuable addition to their professional portfolio. IxDF’s certification is well-regarded within the industry and can help individuals showcase their expertise and credibility to potential employers or clients.

In Conclusion:

I wholeheartedly recommend the IxDF experience to anyone seeking to enhance their UX design expertise. It has not only broadened my horizons but has also instilled in me a deep appreciation for the impact that thoughtful design can have on users’ lives. With IxDF as my guide, I am excited to continue pushing the boundaries of UX design, crafting digital products that seamlessly blend beauty, functionality, and user delight.

custom website development

Custom Website Development: Tailored Solutions for Online Success


In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. A well-designed and functional website is the foundation of any successful online strategy. While there are many website builders and templates available, they often lack the customization and flexibility that businesses need to truly stand out and meet their unique goals. This is where custom website development comes into play.

Understanding Custom Website Development

Custom website development involves building a website from scratch, tailored specifically to a business’s requirements and objectives. Unlike pre-made templates, custom websites are designed and developed to align with a brand’s identity, target audience, and desired functionalities. This level of customization allows businesses to create a unique online experience that sets them apart from their competitors.

Benefits of Custom Website Development:

  1. Unique Brand Identity: A custom website allows businesses to showcase their brand identity through visually appealing designs, tailored colors, and fonts. This helps in creating a consistent and memorable brand image that resonates with the target audience.
  2. Enhanced User Experience: Custom websites are built with the end-user in mind. User experience (UX) is carefully considered during the development process, ensuring intuitive navigation, clear call-to-actions, and optimized performance. This leads to higher user engagement and increased conversions.
  3. Scalability and Flexibility: Custom websites are built to be scalable, allowing businesses to easily add new features and functionalities as their needs grow. This flexibility ensures that the website can adapt to changing business requirements and market trends.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Custom websites are developed with SEO best practices in mind, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index the website. This improves the website’s visibility in search engine results, driving organic traffic and increasing online visibility.
  5. Integration Capabilities: Custom websites can be seamlessly integrated with third-party tools and platforms, such as CRM systems, e-commerce platforms, and marketing automation tools. This allows businesses to streamline their operations and automate processes for improved efficiency.

The Custom Website Development Process
The process of custom website development typically involves several stages:

  1. Discovery and Planning: This stage involves understanding the business’s objectives, target audience, and desired functionalities. A thorough analysis is conducted to gather requirements and create a comprehensive project plan.
  2. Design and Prototyping: The design phase focuses on creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces. Wireframes and prototypes are developed to provide a visual representation of the website’s layout and functionality.
  3. Development and Testing: The development phase involves coding the website’s front-end and back-end functionalities. Rigorous testing is performed to ensure the website’s performance, compatibility, and security.
  4. Deployment and Launch: Once development and testing are complete, the website is deployed to a live server. This includes configuring the website, optimizing performance, and ensuring a smooth launch.
  5. Maintenance and Support: After the website is launched, ongoing maintenance and support are provided to ensure its smooth operation. This includes regular updates, security patches, and monitoring for any issues or bugs.
  6. Finding the Right Custom Website Development Partner
    To ensure a successful custom website development project, it is essential to partner with a reputable and experienced web development agency. Look for a company that has a strong portfolio, positive client testimonials, and a team of skilled developers and designers. Additionally, consider their expertise in relevant technologies, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and content management systems (CMS), to ensure they can meet your specific requirements.

In conclusion, custom website development offers businesses the opportunity to create a unique and tailored online presence that aligns with their brand identity and goals. With the ability to customize design, functionality, and SEO optimization, businesses can create a website that stands out from the competition and drives online success.

African Excellence Awards 2023

We are excited and proud to announce that Just Pointblank has been honored with the prestigious title of the BEST UX AND UI DESIGN AGENCY in South Africa by MEA Markets African Excellence Awards 2023. 🏆
“MEA Markets is a quarterly publication dedicated to researching and publicising the major moves and events as they happen across the entire Middle East & African region.”
We are truly grateful to the MEA Markets team for bestowing us with this coveted international award and recognizing our commitment to excellence.
View the official public announcement on the MEA Markets website:
MEA Markets Magazine Reveals the winners of the 2023 African Excellence Awards

Pantone Color of the Year 2022

Displaying a carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit, inquisitive and intriguing PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives. Rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri places the future ahead in a new light.

We are living in transformative times. PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through. As we emerge from an intense period of isolation, our notions and standards are changing, and our physical and digital lives have merged in new ways. Digital design helps us to stretch the limits of reality, opening the door to a dynamic virtual world where we can explore and create new color possibilities. With trends in gaming, the expanding popularity of the metaverse and rising artistic community in the digital space PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri illustrates the fusion of modern life and how color trends in the digital world are being manifested in the physical world and vice versa.

“The Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer.” added Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our Pantone Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place. As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us”.
Encompassing the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time possessing a violet-red undertone, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.

Pantone color of the year 2021

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another, best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021.

Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.
A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.
As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.

Payment Gateways for South African e-Commerce websites

If you run an e-commerce website or online service and want to accept credit card payments online, you need an account with an online payment gateway. But what is a payment gateway exactly and which one should you choose to help run your online business? 

How online payments work?

​There are typically two different services that the payment gateway will offer:

  • Option 1: A user shops on your online store. When the user is ready to check out he gets redirected to the payment gateway site to enter his credit card details. They process the payment and send the user back to your website. You do not store any credit card details.
  • Option 2: A user shops on your online store. When the user is ready to check out he pays on your website. In the background you store his credit card details and query the payment gateway. They send a response accepting or rejecting the payment. Then you finish off the transaction.

I’d advise you to choose option 1 as capturing and storing credit card information on your website can be too much of a security risk. 
All payment gateways will accept credit cards or Mastercard and Visa cheque cards, and some payment gateways will also accept Debit cards (which require a PIN number) EFT and bitcoins.

5 important questions to ask

1. Does it support my home currency and country?
It is vitally important  that the gateway operates in your country. There are two separate but intertwined considerations when it comes to payment gateways: which currencies the gateway accepts, and which currencies it will pay out—that is, the countries in which it will work. A gateway may only work for merchants based in the USA, Canada, the UK, but can process payments from accepted credit cards no matter where that cardholder lives; many companies also offer currency conversion, so that international shoppers will see prices listed in their home currency instead of the default USD. Some gateways are US-only and will only accept US dollars.

2. What are the security standards?
All companies which process, store, or transmit consumer credit card information must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and your chosen payment gateway should adhere to this at the very minimum. They may also offer advanced fraud protection, either for an extra fee or included in your service, and it’s important to pick a gateway with a good reputation and know how they will keep your data secure.

3. What is the payout policy?
Payment gateways act as an intermediary between the customer’s bank account and your own, ensuring that the money is available and that the transaction is successful. But the money won’t actually land in your account until the transaction is settled by both the issuing and acquiring bank, and that can take time to process. Payment gateways hold on to batches of money and pay out to you on a regular basis.

 
4. Do I need a merchant account?
Depending on the size of your business, you may need a dedicated merchant account; some gateways also only work if you have one. They are great for larger businesses and you have more control over your money, but the application process involves a credit check and can be lengthy and expensive.A merchant is a special bank account that holds the funds from debit and credit card sales. Separate from the business owner’s actual bank account, funds in the merchant account are held there until the end of the day, when they are transferred to the owner as a batch—otherwise, the business would be depositing money hundreds of times per day. Whenever you pay with a debit or credit card, your money goes to this intermediary merchant account. With a dedicated merchant account, you enter into a legal agreement with the issuing bank or company and must usually undergo a lengthy credit check and application process. The most basic consumer protection policy states that a cardholder is entitled to get their money back if the good or service they purchased is not delivered. The payment processors risk losing money every time they handle a credit card transaction on your behalf, because they must cover the cost of chargebacks and credit issues. So getting a dedicated merchant account takes some effort, including gathering your financial statements, submitting an application (sometimes with an application fee), and convincing the underwriters that you are not a risky investment for them.
Should you get a dedicated merchant account? That depends. If you’re only processing a few dozen credit cards per month, then the lengthy application process and the myriad of fees, contracts, and terms of service may not be worth it. South Africa’s top four banks (Standard Bank, Nedbank, ABSA and FNB) all offer Internet Merchant Accounts. A merchant can therefore apply for an Internet Merchant Account directly with their bank.

5. How much does the service cost?
Payment gateways are going to cost you money; this is a fact that no one can deny. There are two types of charges that can factor in when choosing your preferred gateway – sign up/service fees, and transaction fees. Some payment gateways require an upfront fee and/or a monthly flat fee to use, plus a transaction fee, usually a small percentage on each transaction. Others are free to sign-up, but charge a transaction fee. Payment processing fees are a cost of doing business, so it’s important to think about cost comparisons carefully – small savings can make a big difference when multiplied over sizeable transaction volumes.

So which one should I choose?

Here’s our list of recommended payment gateways to choose from. 
Some of the payment gateways will require setting up a merchant account with your bank, and others do not. 

Let’s look at them in more detail:
Paygate
Requires a merchant account: Yes
Website
www.paygate.co.za

Paygate has been in business since 1996, and provides various payment gateway options for Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club. PayGate has a number of options including Payweb which easily adds payment functionality to your website via a transferal to their payment page, PayXML which allows more integration options so you can host the payment page on your own website, and Paybill which allows customers to offer the functionality to pay any bill online. Contact PayGate to get their latest pricing options.

PayPal
Requires a merchant account: No
Website: www.paypal.com/za

​PayPal is one of the leading global payment services, and offered merchant services to South Africa from 2010 onwards. No setup fee is charged, and pricing ranges between 2.4{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} to 3.9{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} + US$0.30 per transaction. PayPal has partnered with FNB to easily allow withdrawing or payments using their bank accounts, and also for non-FNB customers via the FNB Withdraw service.
The options available for online payments via PayPal include the PayPal express checkout for PayPal customers, and the PayPal standard checkout which authorises payments and return the user their your website.

Payfast
Requires a merchant account: No
Website:
 www.payfast.co.za

PayFast have simplified the pricing by offering no setup fees or monthly fees, and only 2.0{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} per transaction + R2.00 for debit or credit cards. (See full pricing here) PayFast also offer a InstantEFT option using a code which they then “scrape” on their bank account, and almost immediately process the transaction. This offers a much easier InstantEFT facility at 2.0{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} (minimum R2.00) per transaction.
PayFast also offers bitcoin, payD, Ukask, and mobicred payments, and they power some of the leading online merchants in South Africa including Takealot, Sportsmans Warehouse, and Legendary Brands.

Fee Brakedown:
Instant EFT – 2.0{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} (minimum of R2.00) 
Credit Card Payments – 3.9{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} (plus R2.00) 
Debit Card Payments – 3.9{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} (plus R2.00)
Bitcoin transactions – 1.9{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5}
Mobicred transactions – 3.5{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5}
Ukash – 7{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} (minimum of R2.00)
Payout fee to retailer’s bank account – R8.77

PayU
Requires a merchant account: Not for PayU Easy. (PayU Plus, and PayU Enterprise require one)
Website: 
www.payu.co.za

PayU is one of the largest payment providers worldwide, and offers a variety of options for business and the largest number of payment methods of any gateway in South Africa. PayU is also available in 16 countries, and has a robust enterprise ready system for transaction queues for businesses requiring a large number of transactions at a time. The PayU Wallet allows consumers to pay from their wallet and not need to type in credit card details on checkout.

SnapScan
Requires a merchant account: No
website:
 www.snapscan.com

​​SnapScan currently empowers over 17,000 merchants via their handy payment app, and have now launched a method of paying via the app for online purchases. Merchants sign up for an account, and customers then use the app and scan a QR-code unique to the order to facilitate payment. With no need to enter credit card details the process is simplified and more secure.
SnapScan charges a simple fee of only 3{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} per transaction with no monthly fees.
(See the SnapScan pricing here

Virtual Card Services
Requires a merchant account: Yes
Website: website.vcs.co.za

Established in 1996, Virtual Card Services (VCS) was one of the first payment gateways in South Africa. At the time of this article VCS charges R 285.00 setup, R0.57 per transaction for authorisation, and R0.57 + 0.5{32f64db6a062e2803c494b7658dc24c4fae683a0c578cc8766a94c2eda5174f5} of the transaction for settlements. (Maximum charge of R 4.56) The monthly fee is R 165.30, and bulk discounts are available based on the number of transactions.
(See the VCS pricing structure here)

VCS offers a number of related products such as virtual terminal for processing transactions in bulk, retrying declined transactions, and giving refunds to name a few. Their Virtual EFT service, allows merchants to create single or recurring credits/debits and presenting these to the Automated Clearing Bereau (ACB) for processing.

MyGate
Requires a merchant account: Yes
Website:
 www.mygate.co.za
MyGate enables customers to have one point of contact for all of their Payment and Collection needs. MyGate is a registered Payment Service Provider (PSP), offering payment gateway services that enable merchants to accept credit card and pin-less debit cards from a website. 

MyGate offer 3 main pricing tiers which have varying monthly costs, and transaction fees which can be chosen based on the number of transactions through your store . (View the Mygate pricing options)
MyGate also includes recurring payment options, and mail order or call centre payments, which turns your PC into a point of sale system. (POS) 
MyGate currently works with all four major Banks in South Africa and assists all its clients in setting up their merchant accounts with the banks.