My Journey: Embracing Research for Effective Design in the Kenyan Market

Silas Silikhe
3 min readJul 5, 2023


Consulting for businesses in Kenya and around the world | Data-driven Approach |Website:

As a frontend developer and UI/UX designer, I have embarked on a journey of continuous learning and growth. Consulting with startups and businesses, both in Kenya and around the world, has provided me with invaluable experiences and opportunities to share the knowledge and best practices I have acquired. Through a data-driven approach, I have come to appreciate the critical role of research in design, particularly in the unique context of the Kenyan market.

The Temptation to Skip Research

In the fast-paced startup culture, there is often a desire to dive straight into the design without giving due consideration to research. The pressure to quickly launch products or services can overshadow the importance of understanding the target audience and their needs. However, I have learned that this approach can lead to missed opportunities and subpar design outcomes.

The Consequences of Neglecting Research

Let me share a specific example that highlights the consequences of neglecting research in the design process. A startup I worked with was eager to create an appealing logo without investing time in understanding its target audience. They opted for a cheap logo designer who focused solely on aesthetics, disregarding the principles of color theory and user psychology.

The Result: Misaligned Branding

Unfortunately, the visually pleasing logo failed to resonate with the intended users. It lacked the appropriate color scheme and did not effectively communicate the brand’s message. Consequently, the startup struggled to connect with its target audience and establish a strong market presence.

The Apple Strategy: Lessons in Research

To emphasize the significance of research, let’s draw inspiration from Apple’s strategy. Apple is renowned for its meticulous attention to detail and extensive research before launching products. For instance, when introducing the iPhone, they invested substantial time in understanding market demands, user preferences, and technological advancements. This commitment to research enabled Apple to release a game-changing product that outperformed competitors by leaps and bounds.

The Quest for High-Quality User Experiences

In the Kenyan market, where research is often undervalued, businesses can gain a competitive advantage by embracing a data-driven approach. Research allows designers and developers to gain deep insights into their target audience, their pain points, and their aspirations. Armed with this knowledge, they can create high-quality user experiences that exceed expectations.

My Personal Transformation: A Data-Driven Nightmare

Throughout my consulting journey, I have transformed into a data-driven nightmare for my clients. By advocating for research-driven design, I educate businesses on the importance of understanding their users and aligning their design decisions accordingly. Leveraging methodologies such as user interviews, usability testing, and competitor analysis, I have witnessed firsthand how research elevates design outcomes and contributes to the success of products and services.

Conclusion: Unlocking Design’s Potential

In conclusion, my experiences consulting with startups in Kenya and around the world have reaffirmed the undeniable value of research in design. By adopting a data-driven approach, businesses can unlock the full potential of their design endeavors. The Kenyan market, in particular, stands to benefit greatly from a shift towards research-driven design, as it ensures that products and services are tailored to the unique needs and preferences of the local audience. Let us embrace research as an integral part of the design process and strive for impactful, user-centered solutions.

To learn more about my consulting services and explore how research can drive design success, visit my website at



Silas Silikhe

Step into my tech world, where I share insights on Product Design and Software Development for impactful empowerment.