May 20, 2021 Democratizing Design and the Future of Visual Productivity with Marvel’s Murat Mutlu

Murat Mutlu is co-founder and CEO of Marvel, a modern collaboration design platform. Murat joins Uprisor to talk about the inspiration and evolution of Marvel, the implication of making traditionally “hard” things much easier and more accessible, and the future of visual productivity on the platform. 

When ANYONE can do mockups, or your designers can go much further down the product development cycle (and get there faster than before), how does that change things? Hear Murat explore that question and more with Topcoder VP Clinton Bonner, and read on for highlights below.

THE Evolution of Marvel

In the dark ages before Marvel, a designer might create 50+ mockups of an app or website, and then hand them off to a business development executive to pitch to a client. Their designs would go into a PowerPoint deck for the pitch, usually getting stretched, pixelated, re-ordered, and obscured with text and clip art along the way. As a designer at an agency, Murat was all too familiar with this unproductive process, and inspired to come up with a better solution. 

Marvel started with just simple prototyping, linking images into a dynamic experience to more accurately simulate a real website or mobile app. Then they expanded to user testing and feedback, collaboration tools, and easy handoff to dev. Now, Marvel is an interactive platform where design stakeholders can collaborate from start to finish. 

As they’ve expanded capabilities and added value, Marvel has collapsed the traditional product development timeline. It’s now rapid and seamless to go from initial design, to sharpened design, to user testing, to dev handoff. By bringing it all into one place, and making it much easier, Marvel is becoming a centerpiece for how growth companies and enterprises manage design across their entire team.

“I wanted my work to look good, but for the agency, it made the agency money.” —Murat Mutlu

CreatING Efficiencies CreateS Opportunities 

Marvel’s more streamlined approach doesn’t just create a better experience for clients, agencies and business development teams. Murat says that this new approach:

  • Saves manual labor and time
  • Helps design teams better allocate their resources
  • Frees up teams to create better ideas

By driving new types of collaboration and breaking down communication barriers to keep projects broken into separate parts, Marvel can change how teams and companies are structured. Designers and marketers without technical skills can be full partners in the project even as it reaches developers, and developers can start their work with a more insightful understanding of the clients’ and designers’ intentions. 

Multiple disconnected stages collapse into one process and lead to an easy handoff to dev. Roles shift and evolve, silos break down, and organizations become flatter. Collaboration goes up. For this reason, Marvel is not just a design platform but a productivity platform “You’re accelerating people’s ability to move on decisions and on their work,” says Murat. Increased productivity isn’t simply generating more output. When done right, efficiencies create opportunities to build something better and more innovative.

“The time you save can be spent on real problems, like solving whatever your user’s problems are.” —Murat Mutlu

Crowdsourcing Can Identify Blocks and Creative Solutions  

User-testing doesn’t just apply to designs, apps, and websites. Marvel has noticed that their members have begun crowdsourcing feedback on everything from single images to presentation decks and using the Marvel platform to test ideas in general. When better technology is there, people find better ways to use it. That’s why Marvel is constantly evolving to gain the next new transformation to help people bring projects to development and their finishing stages. Says Murat: “You look at something in the wild, you see how people use it, and it blows your mind how they get around certain blockers, and they’re super creative. They just find their way through the product to do something else that you never initially imagined.”

Thank you, Murat, for sharing the backstory behind Marvel and how it’s empowering users to become more creative and transform how they get work done. For more on the intersection of innovation, technology, and the future of work, check out the rest of the episodes of the Uprisor podcast.

“If we can make design more accessible, and not just serve the designers in the world but make new designers, I think that’s going to be a really exciting mission.” —Murat Mutlu

Annika Nagy

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