The user experience is a crucial part of the customer journey in any business model. This is especially true for a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool that thrives on monthly subscriptions. Just one misstep and churn may be around the corner at any moment! Here are the common challenges during SaaS UX Redesign and what to do about it.
1. Issues associated with user roles
SaaS tools are usually targeted towards different types of users with varying access levels to features. Therefore, a sudden Saas UX redesign can confuse both new and old users who may not know where to begin.
Potential Solution: A good first step is to ensure a landing page, especially on mobile, that explains the different roles and account types. This can be in the form of a video or an infographic. The UX Redesign should minimize any possible confusion by categorizing the information into digestible chunks. Another way to accomplish this is by having separate sub-tabs or sub-menus that can lead users to their preferred part of the website, based on their needs.
Key UX redesign considerations for user roles:
a. The UX Redesign should be able to cater to both free and paid users
b. It must be apparent if the user is a business/enterprise or an individual user (along with their access level).
c. If there are varying levels of paid plans, it must be clear what reduced features the free users will have access to.
d. UX redesign should also cater to existing strategies for upselling and cross-selling amongst user roles.
2. Dashboards for different users:
Depending on the type of user (access level), the dashboard can vary greatly. To complicate matters further, they may also have different roles (e.g., managers vs administrative assistants). UX redesign can be highly cumbersome if users are unaware of the new Saas dashboard and cannot navigate to their preferred part of the tool within the usually expected time frame.
Potential Solution: Maintaining a streamlined version of the SaaS platform is not always possible if there’s a heavy reliance on design. But, it will still require research to keep tabs on what users are looking for when they’re in specific parts of the tool. A good idea is to conduct user interviews, surveys, and usability tests to get better feedback on how they use different aspects of the tool or what can be done to improve their experience. The UX Redesign can also go a step further by allowing users to dynamically switch between their old and new dashboards. This will give them some time to adapt to the changes, promoting a fairer learning curve.
Key UX redesign considerations for Dashboards:
a. Priority on ease of use.
b. If a user is logged out, it should be clear where they are and how they can get back to their dashboard.
c. Page load time for dashboards should be kept in check.
d. The notification system on dashboards should be clean and non-intrusive to the overall experience.
e. The new dashboard UX must be intuitive to new users and maintain relevancy for existing ones.
3. Data visualization issues:
Depending on the industry, generic data visualization may not be enough. In some cases, there may even be a disparity between industry standards and the expectations of the users. This can lead to problems if users are not aware of all the data visualization changes with the Saas UX Redesign.
Potential Solution: The bespoke aspects of data visualization are usually not directly affected by the UX Redesign, so they will most likely remain untouched. The big challenge is finding a way to communicate with all users about what’s new and what hasn’t been changed within the standard norms. You should be proactive with communication and the positioning of your message regarding the different changes that will affect users.
Key UX redesign considerations for Data Visualization:
a. It is vital to impart visual clarity on whether the data visualization is new or old.
b. It must be clear how the data visualization has changed.
c. Communicate the reason for the change.
d. Data visualization must not affect load time.
e. Users with low data visualization literacy should be taken into account.
4. Altering navigation behavior:
Changes in the user interface may cause users to behave differently if they’re not familiar with the new design. This can result in decreased productivity if they cannot find what they need within a reasonable time frame, leading to engagement fatigue.
Potential Solution: The UX Redesign should take the user’s behavior into account and ensure a constant feedback loop to maintain successful navigation patterns. Moreover, the redesign should make it easier for users to “scan” the page and find the information they’re looking for. Another possible solution is to limit the number of changes introduced at once by breaking them down into chunks. This can minimize confusion and frustration while still getting users accustomed to the new layout and features.
Key UX redesign considerations for Navigation:
a. Remember that consistency is key when dealing with navigation redesign.
b. Users should know where they are at all times and how to get back to the main path.
c. The redesign must be intuitive enough that it doesn’t need a tutorial or user manual.
d. Users should have access to a feedback system in case something goes wrong.
5. Multiple entries and exit points:
The UX redesign can also alter entry and exit points in a saas platform, potentially causing confusion when users exit or enter the tool and do not find themselves where they were before. This could cause them to miss important information and make it more challenging to re-navigate through the platform.
Potential Solution: First of all, it is essential to remember that users are creatures of habit. If they’ve been using the website for a certain amount of time, they will most likely know the pages to visit to access specific information. For example, an entry point may be the “home page,” while an exit point may be the “login page.” To preserve the user’s navigation behaviors, it may be a good idea to allow them to set their entry and exit points even with the UX redesign. This essentially means the UX redesign should maintain backward compatibility with previous iterations of the product. Even though that is not always possible, it’s certainly beneficial for users familiar with older versions of the website. Losing this kind of knowledge can be problematic when trying to re-enter the platform after the redesign.
Key UX redesign considerations for Multiple entries and exit points:
a. Listen to the users and allow them to have a say.
b. Find out what users expect, desire, and need.
c. Make data-backed decisions if you cannot do everything in one go.
d. The information architecture should be simplified to reduce entry and exit-induced UX ambiguities.
6. Push and pull:
One of the challenges of UX redesign in Saas is deciding what features to provide and what to hold back (push or pull). This can be harder than it sounds, especially if the entry points are not clear.
Potential Solution: It is imperative to acknowledge that there is no “best solution” for UX redesign when it comes to push and pull. People have different preferences, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, a good idea would be for UX designers to impart the feeling that users are in control of their actions; even though there may be specific changes that they won’t be able to opt out of.
Furthermore, they must ensure that users understand how they can adjust the changes (i.e., by adding new menu items); if something doesn’t meet their expectations or quickly navigate to other pages necessary to their experience with the product.
Key UX redesigns considerations for Push and pull:
a. Try to balance what you think is best for users and what they feel is best for themselves.
b. Develop a clear concept that sets the base for implementation and is suitable to handle customer needs and expectations.
c. Always remember to pull in the user at decisive journey points where assumption cannot work.
d. While redesigning, constantly revisit the purpose and existing architecture.
7. Making it work across platforms:
Changes to the UX design will vary depending on whether they are accessed using a desktop or mobile device, drastically affecting the user’s experience with the Saas platform. This is usually inconvenient as users may have to search for information several times, leaving a dent in their overall satisfaction with the product.
Potential Solution: Since many people access the same information across multiple devices, UX designers need to provide a seamless transition from among devices by using the same navigation paths regardless of screen size or access point. For example, if users can read different pieces of content on their desktop and mobile devices; ensure that the layouts stay the same across platforms. And all this while ensuring smooth user transitions between entry points.
Key UX redesign considerations for cross-platform usage:
a. Avoid using different templates for mobile and desktop. Instead, include a single customized template with matching elements across devices.
b. Ensure links to content work similarly on all platforms and devices.
c. Use consistent labels and copy across devices.
d. Try to use standard colors associated with visuals across platforms, so users feel more comfortable navigating the platform.
When it comes to redesigning the UX for Saas tools, there are a lot of additional issues that a designer might face. The source of all these difficulties may be simply one: the enigmatic process of UX design!
The best approach to deal with it is for designers to demystify the design process itself. Once all stakeholders are aware of each other’s expectations, they can make better decisions that define the best UX for the enterprise-grade Saas solutions.