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Best Practices for SaaS Product Design in 2021
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Best Practices for SaaS Product Design in 2021

What are the common factors behind the success of Salesforce and other big corporations with a massive user base? From robust backend programming to the purpose of the platform, the reasons for success are aplenty. However, the common factor is the design philosophy that they use. Do you wish to achieve that winning design layout for your SaaS app? In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know regarding SaaS product design to ensure that your project is a huge success.

High-end SaaS UX UI design practices are the difference between gaining an audience and failing to make a strong impression. It can help you to stand out in a competitive market and connect with your potential customers.

An overview of SaaS

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model is at the forefront of software design in the present scenario. It is not surprising because the features are revolutionary for the IT sector, and the SaaS market is projected to reach $307.3 billion by 2026. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2020 to 2026.

The benefits of SaaS over other delivery models are –

  • Higher flexibility and lower overall cost
  • Low space requirement
  • More accessible and intuitive features
  • Enhanced UI/UX thanks to the cloud computing method

Several SaaS application examples are implementing cloud computing successfully. Take Microsoft Office 365, for example. This application expands its features way beyond the stationary Word and Excel applications. Users are allowed to access and modify content from any device and platform in real-time.

What are the common saas product design issues?

There are specific dos and don’ts for all types of web design. UI/UX design for SaaS isn’t an exception. One of the biggest challenges faced for interface design is the addition of new features and figuring out the features that should be kept and the ones that should be removed.

First, you have to consider the value that these changes will bring to your users and make the content more enjoyable and not make navigation complicated. The goal of your design should always be at the helm of any changes that you’re considering.

Second, along with customer experience, thinking about your coworkers and the people working behind the SaaS application is vital. Think about whether the new addition will make management confusing or the maintenance of the app more strenuous. A balanced ratio ought to be maintained between adding value to the SaaS application UI design and the workload that you’ll be facing.

Third, analyze the feature thoroughly and make a conscious choice to replace it with something simpler than the existing one.

Implementing UX/UI design best practices for any SaaS product can reap valuable rewards such as:

  • User engagement with information and contextual dashboard
  • Eliminating user frustrations with support systems
  • Increasing user speed and satisfaction with a streamlined experience
  • Reducing customer churn rate

Best SaaS Product UX UI design practices 

The 2021 SaaS design trends lean toward the use of dark mode, 3D elements, AI, and unique micro-interactions. However, the best design practices cannot be ignored for the sake of accommodating the latest trends. Instead, they ought to work in tandem so that your SaaS product design project is a success in terms of design and usefulness.

Take a look below at the UI/UX design practices that can’t be overlooked for your upcoming SaaS product project.

1. Fuss-free sign up process

Going through multiple pages to sign up or register can be time-consuming and frustrating. This is why ensuring easy sign-up is one of the most crucial practices in SaaS product design.

An effortless registration process will attract customers and entice them to engage with the app. On the other hand, an overly complicated sign-up process will scare customers away.

When refining the process of registration, don’t forget to consider CTAs (calls to action). A clear CTA will draw potential users and vivid sign-up buttons to make it easier for them to get registered.

Google Apps would be an outstanding example as they have dedicated an entire page to help people get started.

2. Intuitive, easy navigation

Intuitive and easy navigation is one of the very first things to consider when designing a SaaS app. The front page can display all the crucial information and even include links to product pages so that users don’t have to waste time searching for what they’ve come here seeking.

The navigation should be minimal and straightforward. For example, Hootsuite offers global site navigation. This is kept out of the way and can be expanded whenever users feel that they have forgotten what the icon means or they’ve ventured further than anticipated.

3. Diversify pagination

Do you have multiple large databases with pagination on your page? If so, you would want to diversify them so that your users do not get confused with many pages. When users cannot figure out which page belongs to which database or it becomes difficult for them to comprehend all the data, the chances are that they will leave the application.

To make sure that your users don’t leave your application, ensure that you design different pagination layouts to represent varying data.

4. Implement dynamic sorting to make search easy

It wouldn’t be ideal if you searched for a piece of information and the search result was filled with a lot of data that is entirely irrelevant to your search request. This is the problem that dynamic sorting can resolve.

The dynamic sorting feature refines searches so that users get only those results that they need.

For this, it would be best to position the search bar in the top part so that users can notice it immediately. Alternatively, you can include it in a drop-down menu bar if you don’t want the interface to appear too crowded.

An excellent example of the implementation of dynamic sorting is BuzzSumo. The search option enables users to get precise information. Users can even define the time frame, along with the type of data that they’re looking for (for example, which social media platform the data is coming from and so on).

5. Make the UI design simple

As you’re aware, the programming of SaaS products is intricate and quite complicated. This can cause a few problems, such as inherently complex UX UI design, and it can majorly impact the success of your SaaS app.

If users find the design too complicated or they cannot understand what your SaaS application offers, they will immediately leave the application. Therefore, even though it might be challenging to achieve a simple UI design, you need to collaborate with UX UI designers to find a way around it.

Sticking to minimalist design principles is the only way to attract users. But, you must also make sure that all the nuances of SaaS architecture are covered.

An excellent example of accessibility and simplicity would be Dropbox.

6. Streamline information architecture

The information architecture of the SaaS product is one of the primary ways by which users can find what they’re looking for. This is why it should be simple, intuitive, and easily understandable.

The systems must be represented in an expanded form so that users can quickly familiarize themselves with the application’s features.

7. Shorten the onboarding time

Users may want to know a lot of things so that they reap all-around value. Pushing out all the information might be tempting, but you need to resist that temptation.

Similar to the sign-up process, the best onboarding experience is one that is simple and hassle-free.

The onboarding process can start with asking users to provide essential details about themselves to start using the application. The entire process shouldn’t take more than a minute. To make it more user-friendly, you can give users the option of filling up all the details or skipping a few of them later. When you provide choices for your users during onboarding, they instantly feel good about using your app.

It allows them to dive straight into using the app.

Additional onboarding techniques that you can consider implementing are coach marks and video tutorials so that the entire process is further simplified.

Always remember that the primary goal of onboarding is to introduce users to the basic tasks of the application and make it easier for them to complete those tasks.

8. Inform and engage using dashboards

When users log into a SaaS app, the first thing that they see is the dashboard. This is why you must spend considerable time perfecting the dashboard design and user experience, as that will guarantee a high ROI.

The dashboard of Klipfolio is a great example from which you can get inspired. The dashboard even shows several KPIs, including response time, load time, social media followers, etc. In addition, bars, maps, charts, and other visual indicators help break up the content to make scanning effortless.

Some of the questions that are instantly answered with the presence of a dashboard include –

  • The recent activities that the users have been engaging with
  • The current state of the users
  • The various problems that users should know when using the app
  • The best ways to get started on the most critical tasks and knowing how users are faring

 9. Integrate AI-driven chatbots

Chatbots are a huge part of everyone’s lives, and people interact with chatbots knowingly or unknowingly regularly. For example, when you are using online banking apps or using Facebook services.

Human interaction with chatbots has increased so much that the market is projected to reach $2,485.7 million by 2028. Thus, you could say that approximately 85% of customer interactions will be carried out without the need for any human involvement.

The use of AI-driven chatbots will fulfill users’ needs for personalization and enhance your app’s user experience. Users will be capable of finding the answers that they’re looking for without having to wait for a human customer care executive.

Additionally, the inclusion of chatbots would mean that you can delegate repetitive and routine tasks to the chatbots and even carry out real-time testing.

10. Simple and easily understandable illustrations

As already mentioned, SaaS apps and products are not the easiest to understand. So, how will your target audience learn about the incredible features offered by your app? You have to tell them about it.

Of course, writing long paragraphs or including big chunks of content is not going to help. Users don’t have the time or the patience to go through several lines of text. The best alternative to this would be utilizing exciting and easily understandable illustrations.

The illustrations can be used to get across your value proposition. This will even help to create an aesthetic design and easy navigation.

The way forward for SaaS Product Design

To sum up, look for simple navigation and commonly understandable patterns when designing your SaaS application. In terms of new services, people typically gravitate toward things that they’re already used to. Even if you use AI and bots, it won’t hurt to offer individual support for more complex queries.

The design of your SaaS app should be minimalistic and intuitive. By including easy to comprehend and clear statements, you can attract the attention of the users. Ideally, you should keep the user interface of the SaaS app simple, but if that isn’t possible, incorporate short onboarding videos to explain briefly how everything works.

Last but not least, do not underestimate SaaS UI design elements and the importance of UX design. It is vital to find a balance between the two to complete your project successfully and within your budget.

You can start by creating a prototype of your SaaS application and making sure to follow all the UI/UX design best practices mentioned above. This will make your application exciting, fun to use, and user-friendly.

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