There are B2B software solutions available for all imaginable job functions, including financial tracking, HR management, supply-chain management, marketing software, etc. A lot of these platforms are feature-rich but not user-friendly. The value provided by the software isn’t easy to unlock, and hence, it results in a poor user experience. Before commencing the process of B2B design and development, here’s what you must know to achieve optimal customer success and user experience.
Why is B2B UX generally substandard?
The reasons why the B2B UX is substandard are understandable. In most cases, the software solution is outdated. It might have been built in the early 2000s when web/app design was nascent, and browser technology had limitations. Most B2B platforms were designed and built by engineers who knew very little about UI and UX design. The ultimate objective was to ensure the platform offered a lot of features and functionalities, not B2B UX best practices or usability.
Attempting a design overhaul is not easy when developing feature-rich software with a broad market and wide adoption. The scope is too large, and the design overhaul process includes high risk. With time, enterprise software solutions accumulate complicated and dense business logic, typically meant to appease a special section of the target audience. The existing user base may complain about any design or feature changes and boycott your enterprise software solution.
In simple words, designing and developing B2B platforms is deceivingly complicated, where you have to find the right balance between user experience and features. Moreover, don’t try to fit in too much on a single platform.
Design practices for B2B platforms for optimal UX
1. Tell your prospects where they are when navigating your site/app
The users of your B2B platform want to know where they are when they’re navigating your website/app. You can tell them in the following ways.
2. Page headers:
Using page headers that resemble the copy of the navigation links or items is suitable for user experience. The buyer will be reassured if the page header matches what the user clicks.
Using breadcrumb navigation, you can tell your users where they are at all times. Also, the visitors will have a clear path laid out telling them how they got there. The breadcrumb navigation can be based on path, attribution, or location.
4. Highlight the selected menu items:
When visitors click on a navigation item, you can keep it bolded, underlined, or highlighted so they get instant feedback regarding the menu options.
5. Show the progress bar:
In your B2B platform design, you can include a page-load indicator. The indicator will show what is happening when they try to fill a form, process a request, or load a widget. The visitors will know how much the process is complete and how many more steps are left.
You can even include thank you pages as a part of your B2B platform design.
Skipping the elements mentioned above will confuse your target audience and make them wonder what happens next. These elements help to make the navigation clear.
6. Don’t include automatic carousels, pop-ups, and autoplay videos
If there’s an element that takes control out of the hands of your end-users, you need to eliminate them. The following are the three commonly used distractions that you must avoid.
7. Automatic carousels:
Automatic sliding banners cause immense frustration and anxiety. Research shows these carousels don’t work, and they’re simply a nuisance, which hurt the performance of B2B websites and applications. So, you need to remove these elements and layer information in such a way that makes visitors want to explore your platform and take complete control of their experience.
8. Pop-up offers:
Have you seen a pop-up window appearing out of nowhere when you’re visiting a website or an app? The pop-up may ask you to subscribe to a newsletter or take a survey. They are annoying and worse if there’s no option of rejecting whatever the pop-up window offers. Give your users total control if you want to collect feedback and let them reject your offer.
9. Autoplay videos:
Autoplay videos are incredibly annoying, especially if it automatically defaults to sound On. It would help if you did not assume what your platform visitors want. They may not want to play your video. It would help if you gave them the option of playing videos. Also, use video content to supplement text information.
10. Offer help to your end-users
Users mustn’t require instructions to navigate and use your website or app. Even though you need to keep everything simple, it is crucial to offer your end-users assistance.
You can provide help to your end-users through live chat pop-ups. The pop-ups can ask the user what they want or need any assistance. You can even have an FAQ section included in the website or app design. The section can consist of answers to the most commonly asked questions to find their way out without wasting time.
You can even include a pricing table with the pricing plans split up so your end-users can get an idea of what they’re signing up for. The pricing plans can even include all the services and features offered by break-ups.
11. Proactive prevention of errors
It doesn’t matter how sound or intuitive the web or app design is. It is never immune to errors. The errors can be quite frustrating, but you need to find a way to let your users recover fast.
You can create humorous error pages to let your visitors find their way and resolve the issue. However, ensure the page is funny and functional and offers proper information. For instance, it can instruct what to do to solve the error or provide a link back to the homepage.
12. Create digestible copy blocks
The debate around copy blocks is still trending, and designers wonder if the copy is better long or short. The truth is, both might be effective depending on your target audience. However, the length of the copy must be based on testing and research because it influences the conversion rate.
For instance, companies that are always famous use concise copies because it encourages users to buy and know more. But if the product is unknown, you would need a lengthy copy introducing the product to the target audience. So no matter the length of the copy block, ensure it is scannable and filled with information.
Whether designing from scratch or redesigning your B2B platform, follow these UX UI design best practices and ensure customer success. It is vital to remember that users of B2B platforms are not easily convinced with the design, but they also expect ease of use and quick navigation. Therefore, it must not be too demanding for the users, which will ensure a good user experience, or you’ll lose customers to your competitors.