We all have been hearing the word SaaS and UX in SaaS for quite a long period. But what is the fuss about? Software-as-a-Service is a way of accessing and delivering applications or software from anywhere with an internet connection and web browser. It saves you from the pain of installation and so much of time, and mental peace. As usual, there is a ‘but’ attached to every good thing, and here the but is complexity and ease of use. It is full of misconceptions that we do not need designers, and the engineers are well-versed in developing a pretty decent functionality and designing the interface.
And this is where most of the brands fail. Engineers are capable of developing, but when it comes to designing, they might not be aware of the market trends, specific industry niche, and how and what a user is thinking while interacting with the product. This is where design stretches a helping hand.
UX Design in SaaS has its recommendations and set standards. The biggest issue the SaaS businesses face these days is keeping a user engaged for the long-term. Nothing makes customers churn quicker or move permanently than a bad experience. There can be many ways to suit different kinds of products, but we listed down a few best practices we have gained all the way while designing some of the SaaS products for our clients.
We might have heard this common phrase, ‘the first impression is the last impression.’ It turns out to be true while designing for SaaS applications. It’s the stage where people decide whether they want to continue with you or quit the app and look for a different solution. There are a few things which you can take care of to keep users hooked to your product.
- Do not try to overwhelm the users by collecting too much information. Start with the email and the name and gradually proceed.
- Decide upon the kind of flow you would want to achieve like a benefit-focused flow will help in explaining to the user what they can achieve with the help of the application, which further leads to the signup and other states.
- Use attractive and relevant graphics or illustrations that are product-focused and help gauge users’ attention and motivate them to further signup.
A dashboard is a crucial part of any SaaS product, and working towards enhancing the dashboard experience will attain positive feedback from the user. There are a few things that we think a dashboard should answer a user.
- What is my current state?
- What is the result of my recent activity?
- The goals I have set and their future implications.
- The right kind of data visualization elements- line charts, bar graphs, pie charts, etc depending on the product you are developing.
- Choose the right colors to help highlight the problem areas.
Intuitive Customer Support
Let’s accept SaaS applications are complex and require extra support while interacting with it. It is essential for designers that the help flow be visible and easily accessible from any part of the application. It can be a chatbot or a live support system; any support system that can help the user to move ahead will make the user stick to your product. A study by Aspect Software found 69% of millennials “feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service.”
Adding common FAQs help users to find answers to popular questions quickly. They should be improved with time as and when the new features are released. You can even add small training modules and videos like Hubspot.
A Clean and Easy to Interact UI
The user of a SaaS product may or may not have a technical background; the interface you design should be easy-to-use to avoid the time of training a user on how to use the product.
Products like Invision, a collaborating tool for all your design drafts where your team can seamlessly communicate and gather feedback and lets you create interactive prototypes, is a perfect example of how a SaaS product should be designed. It has devised a clean interface with just 4 main options on the left menu, which lets users easily discover and navigate the product. The technical complexity should never be a roadblock from making a product easy to use.
Provide Feedback to Boost the Users
Users like being notified about the action they have taken, irrespective of it is correct or not. It’s a human tendency to know and be able to predict where they are heading in the journey they have started, be it in real life or in a product.
Congratulating them after they have successfully achieved a task or provide a virtual reward with humor intact helps boost their morale, and they get excited while using the product.
As a designer, the goal lies in creating an experience that a user cherishes and forms a long-term relationship with your product. It takes a huge amount of effort to maintain a SaaS application in terms of usability and staying updated with the ongoing trends. But maintaining consistency and simplifying and streamlining the customer journey proves a boon for the users.
What are the best practices that you follow? Let us know in the comment section, and we will add it to the list. Meanwhile, you can have a look at the UX we have designed for SaaS products.