There is no denying the fact that investing in the best UX UI design practices for a B2B SaaS app is a smart business decision. But does this warrant substantial investments? Not necessarily!
To SaaS platform or app users, pointing out an industry leader in a sea of countless options is a no-brainer. They simply prefer the one with the best user experience.
This also points us to a major challenge that is faced by most SaaS businesses today – reducing churn and keeping users engagement for the long haul – a serious challenge for an industry that is expected to generate revenue of $105 billion in 2020 alone.
As is the case with any business, it is common for SaaS startups to be cash-strapped, especially when they are just starting. With a plethora of app elements to perfect before the launch, the budget might be a primary constraint, no matter the development phase.
Why Investing In App Design Makes Business Sense
Before we dive into affordable ways to ensure impeccable design for B2B SaaS apps, let’s first understand why investing in UX UI design makes sense in the first place.
At a functional level, SaaS applications are new-age software that is aimed to replace legacy software while keeping the value propositions intact (or even surpassing them). In essence, this makes them more complex than end-users ever realize (a sweet spot that should be the end-goal of any B2B app design process). Hence, investing in the UX UI of your SaaS app can lead to natural benefits such as:
- Toning down or trivializing the app’s usage for the end-users, significantly reducing customer churn.
- Boosting the usage speed, confidence, and satisfaction of customers. This significantly contributes to the app paving its way from a mere tool to a habit.
- Eliminating process bottlenecks and user frustrations while being complemented by an accessible and reliable support system.
- Engaging users with highly relevant and contextual information via dashboards and reports.
All this and more only adds to the importance of B2B App design.
How to Get Past Budget Constraints In UX Design for B2B SaaS App
While product managers would love to have uncapped design budgets and creative freedom, the reality is often quite different. Here are some handy practices to ensure that you deliver a well-polished and finished UX design for B2B SaaS apps:
Be Innovative While Focused:
Think about what is possible within the current box of constraints. Begin by defining and acknowledging all limitations and brainstorm on how you can work around those limitations.
Think Beyond Design:
Always have an understanding of how your work impacts the entire app development process. An innocent design idea can prove to be a development nightmare at scale. If you can efficiently bridge this gap, there might be an opportunity to relook at the app’s budget and reallocate additional resources from the development to the design column.
Maintain Design Consistency:
Have a consistent design philosophy for the entire app. This includes the white spaces, text headings, button size and colors, aspect ratio of images, navigation systems, and more. Any inconsistency would quickly proliferate through the entire design system and waste additional time and resources. For instance, consider the design project of the Medicopia app that we undertook at Divami. Notice how the design scheme remains the same across varying app screens (even when there is a change in background color).
Have a Bird’s Eye View:
Instead of focusing on the checklist of an ideal design process, the idea should be to focus only on the essentials. For instance, instead of having a high-fidelity design for every app page, begin simply by focusing broadly and then narrowing down to the details. This would mean creating style tiles or Sketching the designs before creating prototypes.
Know the Importance of Communication:
Finally, have a solid communication framework that goes past assumptions and always keeps everyone on the same page. Bad communication or a culture of forming assumptions can quickly derail budgets. For instance, the project manager might assume that a feature or design element is easy to implement and add it to the delivery pipeline. However, later on, he might realize that a substantial portion of the budget has been wasted.
How To Balance Product Ideas & Development Constraints
The vision for any app needs to be constantly calibrated against project constraints. That is the starting point while dealing with limited budgets. But this is also where most mistakes happen.
One of the best ways to manage the constraints of business requirements is to create a Product Requirements Document (PRD). Not only does it keep the project on track but it also gives the management an overview of every business requirement that the app is aiming to meet.
At the same time, an in-depth PRD would also include strategic decisions about the most ideal technical requirements and the ensuing design-related decisions of the platform or database. This empowers the product team to transform high-level ideas into functional development frameworks.
Right Product Decisions
The ideal product decisions begin by analyzing if the project’s scope, timeline, and cost are within acceptable and pre-defined limits.
Along with these, it is important to define:
- The exact design and development timeline of every feature
- The reason why you are building the app
- Any possible alternatives that involve lesser time and effort
Apart from all this, there is another variable to take care of – the perils of too much cost-cutting. While it may seem lucrative in the short run, any critical shortcoming may prove to be more expensive in the long-run. This is true especially if your application is not attracting the requisite user engagement.
Design changes made in the later stages of an app lifecycle prove to be a double whammy of costs. The reason, all design tweaks reflect in the development process as well.
If you are aiming to launch your B2B SaaS App soon, ensure that you also keep a close eye on Operating System constraints along with device and time constraints to ensure that there is no scope creep in the design budget.
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