SaaS UX Design: Guide With Best Practices and Examples
SaaS UX design, an integral part of any company looking to design a successful SaaS product with a well-designed user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Because SaaS products include many features and services, SaaS UX design is frequently not given the resources it needs. Interfaces are often overly complicated and difficult to navigate, leading to dissatisfied users.
Users have higher expectations than ever before, so to attract and retain customers, companies must provide a simple and intuitive experience.
What Is SaaS UX Design?
From registration and onboarding to adoption and more, SaaS (software-as-a-service) UX design involves creating a user interface for a service or product that is easy to use, efficient, and keeps the end user experience in mind at each stage of the user journey.
Because users of SaaS companies are usually organizations, SaaS UX design must align with their goals and values, which leads to a satisfying customer experience and maintaining a loyal base. These goals and values must continue to be prioritized as designers create their UX design framework, implement a UX strategy, and conduct user research.
Why is UX important for SaaS?
SaaS is created to simplify the customer experience, so it’s imperative that those values are reflected in the product’s design. Because SaaS businesses provide digital products, their key performance indicators (KPIs) rely on good design practices.
Here are some of the benefits of investing in SaaS UX Design:
When companies don’t prioritize a simple and easy-to-follow onboarding process, results can have a major impact on their business. 90% of companies lose potential customers during the digital onboarding process, making SaaS UX for onboarding a crucial consideration. Users appreciate clear cues that guide them through the process with a simplified user interface, teaches them the value of the software, and encourages adoption.
When complex workflows are simplified through SaaS UX design, users are better equipped to perform their jobs more efficiently and with fewer mistakes. This can encourage users to return to the software regularly and strengthens brand loyalty.
Simplified workflows, better usability, and increased productivity will lead to higher customer satisfaction, which is proven to drive revenue. Satisfied customers will also lead to positive reviews, recommendations, and referrals, which can all lead to increased revenue.
Customers are much more likely to renew when they have a positive experience, which SaaS UX Design can increase through every stage of the customer journey. Customer retention must be a priority for SaaS companies, as retaining a customer is much more affordable than acquiring a new customer.
Steps to Design SaaS UX
Creating an experience that delights end users requires three main periods of effort when designing SaaS UX Software: pre-design, UX design, and UI design.
During this period, a business will identify its end users and conduct research and analysis in order to understand their needs. This can also include creating user personas based on the user analysis, or fictional representations of your customers that can help designers better understand them. In order to define the scope of the project, all of the user journeys must be mapped with all touchpoints, challenges, and goals.
Once the business has analyzed user’s wants and needs, the UX team can begin designing wireframes, prototypes, and user interfaces that align with the company’s goals. These prototypes can then be used for practical testing to create the best possible UX experience.
After the UX design has been established, the team can focus on UI (User Interface) design, creating an intuitive and visually appealing interface that enhances and simplifies the user’s experience through a range of approaches including workflow efficiencies, animations, accessibility, and readability.
Design Issues for SaaS
Ease of use is important for acquiring and retaining customers. Here are a few pitfalls in the SaaS UX Design process to look out for:
Complex user interfaces: Because SaaS products can be complex, their interfaces can be cluttered and difficult to navigate. This often results in poor onboarding experiences, which could lead to high customer churn rates. To prevent this, create and test your user’s journey map, remove any unnecessary elements so your users aren’t overwhelmed with options, and make sure important features are easy to find.
Performance issues: The product must be optimized for user expectations. Slow or unresponsive interfaces lead to a negative experience. Designers need to ensure that features are easy to navigate and woven into a cohesive experience.
Lack of user feedback: The SaaS UX designers must work closely with the product’s end users. This requires creating a functional prototype and testing throughout stages of development, which should regularly be gathered and used to inform design decisions and product improvements.
SaaS UX Design Best Practices
While SaaS UI/UX design may seem complicated, there are many common practices that can guide the design process, leading to a better experience for end users.
Keep it simple
Because SaaS applications can have so many features and options, the interface must be easy to use and navigate. A dashboard is often what users see first, so it’s important to prioritize the most important features, keeping your user experience design simple and intuitive.
Be sure to use consistent design elements like color, typography, and spacing, and create a visual hierarchy through these designs to highlight the most important elements.
Example: Trello has a consistent, simple, and composable design tool. Users can track their workflow, highlight important information, and create tasks that can be easily dragged and dropped.
Design for all platforms and devices
Because many SaaS products are accessed on mobile devices in addition to other platforms, it’s important to design with all users and devices in mind. Adaptable and flexible designs provide users with the most positive experience possible.
Example: Asana’s responsive design works seamlessly across all platforms. It adjusts to screen size and devices, creating an adaptable and simple experience for users.
Ensure easy registration and onboarding
Onboarding is a critical stage for customer retention. If registration or onboarding are overly complicated, users will feel frustrated and overwhelmed. This process must be simple and streamlined, preparing the user to utilize the product effectively.
Example: Grammarly’s registration process allows users to implement the tool within minutes and includes a brief survey to tailor onboarding to each user.
Focus on the user
SaaS applications must be designed around the user’s tasks rather than the product’s features. This requires continuous research, testing, and iteration. When building navigation, prioritize good information architecture (IA) for an intuitive user experience.
Example: Google Workspace is organized around the user’s most commonly performed tasks with interfaces designed for quick and easy-to-use navigation.
Provide contextual help and search tools
Users should be able to interact with tools, tips, and in-product tutorials as they navigate the interface. Because SaaS applications have so many features, an effective search tool should be implemented to prevent frustration and overwhelm.
Example: Salesforce has a robust search function, pop-ups, and tooltips to guide users throughout the application.
Provide access to support
While designers should do as much as possible to create an easy to navigate process for users, not everything can be solved through automated channels. Customer support must be accessible and efficient so users can reach out for help when necessary.
Example: Zoom provides customer support options like live chats, self-help resources, and both phone and email support.
DOOR3’s Experience in SaaS Design
At DOOR3, our talented team of designers has extensive experience in custom UI/UX designs, including interfaces for both B2C and B2B applications, mobile and tablet app design, data dashboards and visualizations, and more with retail, commercial, healthcare, and educational clients. You can view our diverse portfolio here.
Designing a SaaS UX from scratch isn’t easy, but by investing in extensive research, intuitive design, and a focus on the end user, you can create a successful product that will provide your consumers with a positive experience and encourage them to recommend your company to others. Still have questions about the SaaS UX design process? Reach out to us here.
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