Software Development14 Jun 2023

Top 3 startup mistakes from a Web Developer

Startup prototyping? Don't make these mistakes! Starting a project can be exciting, and it can be tempting to jump straight in and build it. Get a UX designer involved early though, and you’ll get a design your users love without changing it after it’s built.

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Tom Emmerson
Owner - Carefully Coded
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As a Web Developer and a UX designer, I've seen many of the mistakes made when starting new projects. Here is my list of the pitfalls I tell clients to look out for when starting up!

1. Not designing a prototype

A prototype should be a simple clickable model of your app, usually built in Figma or Adobe XD (two common design programs).

Iterating is so important in startups, focusing on a UX prototype early lets you iterate without actually building (and saves lots of money on developer time!).

🧪 You CAN test your app with a prototype, you can often even get investment! In fact thats exactly what they’re for!

👩‍💻 Don’t build an MVP before you’ve nailed what users actually value about your product!

(If you’re interested in why iterating is so important I highly recommend reading LeanUX)

A cleanly designed prototype from a professional UX designer, should cost you ~£2000, but will set you up perfectly for development and testing the idea with your users.

2. Overcomplicating the MVP

An MVP should be simple. You should take the core part of your business and use that as your MVP, the other features can come later.

If your app requires 4 months to build the MVP, your MVP is too large.

In the quest to create the next groundbreaking innovation, founders often find themselves caught in a web of overcomplication when developing their Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Like a chef meticulously adding too many ingredients to a dish, they believe that more features and complexity equate to greater success. However, just as simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, a truly captivating MVP is like a finely crafted symphony that strikes a chord with users.

By stripping away unnecessary complexities and focusing on the core essence of their vision, founders can unleash the true power of their ideas, captivating their audience and paving the way for success.

Remember, in a world filled with noise, it's the elegance of simplicity that truly makes an MVP sing.

3. Not getting user feedback early enough

One common pitfall among founders is the delay in seeking early user feedback, particularly when it comes to design prototypes, which hinders the achievement of market fit.

Founders may become overly focused on perfecting their vision and miss out on valuable insights from potential users.

By not involving users early in the process, founders risk building a product that fails to address the actual needs and preferences of the target market.

  • Don't delay getting user feedback even before building your prototype, you should get feedback from users to gauge interest before you've even built a prototype.
  • Build a pre-product landing page! - Use this to get emails and gather interest in your product before even building it - This should be one of the first steps.

4. Getting a Web Developer, not a UX designer first - (Bonus!)


Starting a project can be exciting, and it can be tempting to jump straight in and build it. Get a UX designer involved early though, and you’ll get a design your users love without changing it after it’s built.

Web developers, aren't often designers, they're engineers rather than architects - let them do an awesome job of building your product, but collaborate with a UX designer to design it!

Luckily we do both!

If you're a startup and want a hand (even just some free advice on how to get going) just email me at - I'm always happy to help!

Build with us!

Want to know more, or have a project in mind? Let us know via email and we’ll get back to you shortly!

Email Tom at

If you have a project in mind, or just want to know more about what we do - send us a message, we're always happy to chat!

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We work from home, so this is our business address too. We're always happy to meet up in Ipswich, York, Leeds or London, etc though. Preferably somewhere with good pastries!
2 Chapel House,
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Carefully Coded Ltd - Company No. 14206024