I’ve Got A Startup, So Now What?

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I’ve got a startup, so now what? by Sheila Arora, Designation Summer ’13, on Built In Chicago

Seriously, I just need something that looks freakin’ beautiful. The claim that I could become a designer in 10 weeks? Now, that’s appealing. I signed-up for The Designation because I wanted to bring my startup company to life. I needed the basics of a logo and brand. I wanted to build a website with good user experience. I had to understand not just what to do but also how to think. The Designation provided instruction, tools, and resources to help me understand that good design is more than just a pretty logo (I’m an artist, what do you expect). It’s a well thought out process that builds on research and user-experience.

Our startup company, EndInMind Design, is changing the face of away-from-home recycling. Our first product, the RecyclerSack™, is chic and trendy. Good design is not just necessary, but essential, for our product. The first step towards good design? Research. I learned about the importance of interviews and the survey creation process. The class focused heavily on user-experience including in-class exercises to help you think through the design process (yes, lots of sketching!). To bring our concept to life, we learned how to create logos and branding material in Illustrator and Photoshop. We also took a deep dive into HTML and CSS to understand the fundamentals of coding. I was inspired by our guest speakers, including James Dickerson from Lightbank. Yes, I can do this too. Learning design is both exciting and challenging. It changes the way you see the world. The best way to start is to immerse yourself in the design culture and surround yourself with other designers. That’s how I started 10 weeks ago.

We launched our startup company the day before the last class. I had been working on our websites concurrently while learning the course material. I’m looking forward to continually improving our offering now that I know the fundamentals of front-end design.

So, is the Designation right for you? I’m a corporate slave turned entrepreneur who is also an artist with a degree in economics. Yes. Good design is essential for everyone no matter what your background. It’s a learnable skill. It just needs your time and some good teaching. Thanks, Designation!

Full blog post at Built In Chicago

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