Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes)




Bruce Hanington


Startups are an important entity to bring new ideas into the world. However, nine out of ten early stage startups fail. There are many factors contributing to the fate of a startup. Incorporating user experience (UX) design into an early stage startup can increase its chances of success. UX designers have the capability to generate and evaluate ideas, as well as conduct user research, visualize concepts for communication, and create prototypes for user testing. Despite the valuable skills a UX designer might bring to a startup, many startups lack in-depth knowledge about design and access to the design community. A shallow understanding of design leads many startups to only add a designer’s input at the end for visual design. The proposed solution, CreativeConnect, is a platform connecting early stage startups with UX designers. CreativeConnect builds a community of UX designers and provides entrepreneurs and aspiring designers access to that community. Through tools and services provided by the platform, those outside of the design community can gain a deeper understanding of design. By utilizing design beyond visual design, startups can connect with their users on another level and increase their chances of success.

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