User interface and user experience designers build interfaces on computers or software so that end-users find them pleasurable, interactive and easy to use.
For startups, getting UI and UX design right is incredibly important, as a website interface is the first place a user comes across, and therefore where they form their first impressions. From just one glance at a company website, customers can be gained or lost.
With quality digital experience such an important part of customer experience today, an easy-to-use interface can arguably make or break a business model.
But while innovation in Latin America continues to thrive in sectors such as fintech, with Mexico, Colombia and Chile leading the way, UI/UX design startups in the region have been comparatively measured to gain traction.
That being said, we have compiled a list of 10 leading startups in the UI/UX industry, as well as some incubator programs which have accelerated them.
UI/ UX design company Bexi divides its team between San Francisco and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Besides brand design and website performance optimization, Bexi conducts data-driven research to help its customers build websites with the user in mind, rather than the stakeholder.
It then creates a prototype for companies to test and validate before they bring their final product to the market
Bexi provides UI/UX services for businesses that don’t have the resources to employ full-time staff in this area, and it has worked with Fortune 500 clients such as Google, product development company Wizeline, AI solutions company Cognixion and telehealth startup Hifinite.
Its CEO and co-founder, Rafael Gomez Arroyo, has over 15 years of creative and strategic experience, and has led the team since 2016.
Talos Digital is a world class UI/ UX and product development company, with teams in Colombia — in the cities of Medellín, Cartagena, Manizales and Rionegro — the U.S. and Canada.
Talos also specializes in e-commerce solutions such as SAP Commerce and Magento, as well as blockchain.
The company has worked with notable clients such as Pepsi, Shell, Dairy Queen ice cream, and multinational tech conglomerate Cisco Systems.
CEO Amyn Gillani has run the company since 2010, and was responsible for founding several startups beforehand. Gillani has over 20 years of experience in the IT technologies.
Viva Air Labs
Viva Air Labs is the first accelerator committed to building out startups in Colombia and Latin America’s aviation innovation ecosystems, which are creating the infrastructure required to service the industry’s needs.
One of the most important parts of this infrastructure, understandably, is guaranteeing customers with an easy-to-use interface to use when booking their flights, which is why accelerating UI/UX startups is so important.
“Airlines’ core business is in the safe and efficient transportation of people and goods, and we do that excellently, but sometimes you need an entirely new perspective to make you think differently about what you do,” Clyde Hutchinson, head of Viva Labs said in a 2019 interview.
The Viva Labs accelerator takes its name from the Colombian low cost airline Viva Air, which runs national flights in Colombia as well as across the country’s border to Peru and Miami.
LeverageUX Design Agency
With a team in Buenos Aires, Argentina, LeverageUX works on UI/UX design for Fintech and DataTech startups.
The agency has a five-step approach to design success, which starts with discovery and strategy, followed by product definition and prototyping, then visual design, deliverables and finally development support.
LeverageUX has over 11 years of experience in design and technology, and has worked on almost 50 web app design projects, and over 30 mobile app designs.
Ukraine-based founder and CEO Roman Leshchyk had a decade of UI/UX experience before founding LevarageUX in 2017.
Although intive is headquartered in Germany, the company has a large design studio based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Intive works to advance digital transformation for companies in various sectors including the automotive sector, consumer products and retail, energy, financial services and transportation, among others.
The company’s mission is to make the digital world open for everyone, focusing on providing human-centered design solutions.
Besides UI/UX design services, Intive also provides digital advisory, engineering and product management services.
Intive has worked with notable clients, including Audi, BASF, BMW, Credit Suisse, Discovery, Disney, Esprit, Facebook, Google, ING, Viacom and Vorwerk.
Applaudo Studios, which provides UI/UX design for mobile and web, among other services, has operation centers in Mexico and El Salvador, where the company is based, as well as commercial offices in the U.S. and Chile.
The company’s mission is to co-create a web presence that converts its clients’ visitors into loyal and paying customers, while giving them a reason to stay loyal to a client’s brand.
Applaudo Studio’s experienced UI/UX designers make recommendations based on years of extensive design research and education. The company’s other services include mobile development, web development, quality assurance, advanced analytics.
The team, which prides itself on not being your average software development studio, has an average age of between 24 and 27.
App development company ArcTouch has a team based in the Brazilian city of Florianopolis.
The company designs and develops “lovable apps,” not just minimally viable ones for iOS, Android and Xamarin, as well as bots for Facebook Messenger and Amazon Alexa.
ArcTouch designs and builds every product with a forever warranty, which means the company vows to fix anything they have ever written for a client.
Besides UX/UI design, ArcTouch also offers animation and illustration services, graphical prototyping, user testing and design systems.
ArcTouch’s recognizable clients range from Fortune 500 companies to brands and startups, including Honeywell, 3M, CBS, Guess, Salesforce, Skyjet, and Audi.
Two of its most notable UI/UX design alumni include Unicorn Games, which provides app gaming technology that combines aspects of augmented reality and video gaming, in order to create a memorable user experience for children. The startup has offices in Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Miami.
The second Parallel 18 UI/UX design alumni company is Buenos Aires-based immersive tech startup CamOnApp, which works to transform aspects of the real world into immersive experiences, using mixed and augmented reality, and Web VR.
Parallel 18 has accelerated over 200 companies in over 10 countries, offering them access to business training, mentorship, business contacts and the opportunity to network with investors.
Mobile social entertainment app Jinglz connects customers with advertisers through video advertising, which is powered by AI-emotion tracking and facial recognition technology.
Rather than separating the two, Jinglz creates a form of mobile advertising that is part of the user experience, with the overall goal of improving engagement for its customers.
While 50% of all digital advertisers express concern that their ads are never seen or heard and are only able to reach a small percentage of users, Jinglz aims to make ads a part of the user experience to ensure that they will not be overlooked.
Jinglz was accelerated by Miami-based accelerator Rokk3r, which focuses on leveraging exponential technologies such as blockchain, AI, and 3D printing
Mobile and web app development startup Koombea has a team in Colombia’s coastal city of Barranquilla, as well as its main offices in the U.S.
The company specializes in the fintech, medtech, hitech, retail and IoT industries, and has built thousands of apps, some of which have been acquired by Google, Motorola Solutions, Demandforce, Facebook and Skype.
Besides UI/UX design, Koombea also offers services in ecommerce, ideation, project management, machine learning and DevOps.
The company’s CEO and founder, Jonathan Tarud, founded Koombea thirteen years ago and has since overseen the company’s work with Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups alike.
Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.