Ever contemplated what is the formula of huge organizations such as Google and Twitter, with such a large user base to thrive successfully?
Well, SaaS (Software as a Service) is the answer, it is the secret product that you need to strive for, and to gain a large number of users in the upcoming days.
Although SaaS can be easily considered one of the most advanced tools ever built, there are some UX basic principles and practices that can help any SaaS product succeed. With UX best practices for SaaS, you can reduce churn and engage users which will be discussed here.
What is SaaS?
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a software delivery model for on-demand computing that allows clients to access applications via the internet rather than requiring physical media and bespoke installation.
A provider hosts SaaS goods centrally and automatically maintains and upgrades the software. Customers use the web and mobile browsers to access and use them. The service provider will be in charge of the application’s security and performance.
It’s akin to providing application services (ASP). External providers host and deliver customer applications via web user interfaces using ASP.
Customers have network access to applications through SaaS providers. Customer information can be kept on-site or in the cloud. Using an API, SaaS can also be linked with current software.
In the software-on-demand SaaS model, customers have network-based access to every single copy of a product the provider created specifically for SaaS distribution.
All customers have the same source code for the application, and when new systems or features are released, they are distributed to all customers.
Depending on the service-level agreement (SLA), customers’ data for each version may be stored locally, in the cloud, or both locally and in the cloud, depending on the service-level agreement (SLA).
As a result, SaaS operations firms aren’t responsible for the software’s setup and sustainability. To receive the ready-made software application, users should only need to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription.
The application service provider (ASP) and on-demand computing software delivery models are closely connected to SaaS, in which the provider hosts the customer’s software and distributes it via the internet to authorised end-users.
SaaS as Industry
The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) approach is at the forefront of software design in the current scenario. Given that the features are ground-breaking in the IT industry, it’s not surprising that the SaaS market is expected to grow by billions by 2026. From 2020 to 2026, it is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 11.7% .
Several SaaS application instances have effectively applied cloud computing. Take, for example, Microsoft Office 365. This application goes well beyond the standard Word and Excel applications in terms of functionality. Users can access and alter the material from any device or platform in real-time
- More adaptability and a lower overall value
- Less or minimal space is required.
- Features that are more accessible and intuitive
- Cloud computing method enhancement
Common Issues with SaaS App UX design
SaaS mainly focuses on user experience, especially when it comes to users with monthly subscriptions for SaaS products.
Stepping in a competitive market where it is already difficult to retain customers, it is important to be aware of the issues that might come up while designing the SaaS product:
1. Associating with Users
SaaS tools are primarily designed for a variety of users with differing levels of access to features. As a result, a rapid Saas UX update might be confusing for both new and existing users who are unsure where to start.
The dashboard might change substantially depending on the type of user (access level). Adding to the confusion, they also have distinctive roles. If consumers are unaware of the new Saas dashboard and are unable to get to their desired area of the product within the normally expected time frame, UX redesign might be quite inconvenient.
3. Changing the Navigation Behaviour
If consumers are unfamiliar with the new design, changing the user interface may cause them to behave differently. If users can’t find what they need in a reasonable amount of time, this might lead to engagement fatigue and lower productivity.
4. Data Visualisation
If consumers are unaware of all the data visualisation modifications made as part of the Saas UX design, this can cause issues.
5. Different Entries and Exits
Potentially confusing the users with multiple entries and exits, making them overlook key information.
Best practices for improving SaaS app UX
SaaS follows the same interface design principles as other software and is among today’s most advanced programs. Implementing UX best practices for any SaaS platform is a worthwhile endeavour that can pay off handsomely.
The SaaS product positioned itself by working on average user needs. Most SaaS consumers want the app to deliver the simplest and fastest path to their objectives. As a result, the design of a SaaS product should be as simple and intuitive as possible.
1. Easy navigation
One of the first things to consider when building a SaaS product is intuitive and simple navigation. The home page can have all of the important information, as well as links to product pages, so consumers don’t have to waste time looking for what they’ve come here for.
The navigation instructions must be simple and easy to comprehend. Many software apps, for example, provide global site navigation. This is kept out of the way and can be expanded anytime users think they’ve forgotten what the icon means or gone further than intended.
Consider Timely (by Memory) for example. It is an automated time tracking software that records sessions of every software/browser window (except incognito).
The navigation is kept pretty simple here. The user can easily switch views, jump to different functionalities and also contact Timely for support. Such clean and minimal UI helps users stay focused and avoid wasting time in searching for essential functions.
2. Simple Sign Up and Registration Process
It might be time-consuming and tedious to go through many pages to sign up or register.
As a result, one of the most important aspects of SaaS product design is providing easy sign-up. Customers will be enticed to engage with the app if the registration process is simple. And a difficult or lengthy sign-up process, on the other hand, will drive customers away.
Don’t forget to think about CTAs when optimising your registration process (calls to action). A strong call to action (CTA) will entice potential users, and bright sign-up buttons will make it easier for them to register.
SurveyMonkey, a leading solutions provider in customer experience and AI driven insights. They have pretty simplified signup process.
Users can go to SurveyMonkey and create a free account quickly, either by entering basic information or directly from one of their accounts on Google, Facebook, Office or LinkedIn.
3. Using Dynamic Sorting
It wouldn’t be great if you looked for a certain piece of information and were shown a large amount of data that was completely unrelated to your search request.
This is the type of issue that dynamic sorting can help with. The dynamic sorting tool narrows down searches so that users only see the information they need.
For this reason, the search bar should be placed near the top of the page so that users may see it right away. If you don’t want the interface overly cluttered, you can put it in a drop-down menu bar instead.
Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool to measure on-page as well as off-page performance. The platform is vast and has tons of data to display.
After executing dynamic sorting, users can utilise the search tool to find specific information. Users can also specify a time frame and the type of information they’re looking for.
4. Simple UI Design
The design of SaaS products is difficult and time-consuming. This can lead to several issues, including fundamentally difficult UX UI design, and can significantly affect the success of your SaaS app.
Users will leave your SaaS application right away if the design is too confusing or if they don’t comprehend what it delivers.
As a result, even though achieving a basic UI design may be difficult, you must work with UX UI designers to discover a solution.
Consider Workflowy for example. It is a simple yet powerful tool to create bulleted lists for to-dos, notes and other similar applications.
The main USP of this tool is its insanely simple user interface.
It is highly minimalistic which keeps users laser-focused on their tasks, without causing any distraction. No wonder, it has been used to write New York Times bestsellers too!
The only approach to attract people is to stick to minimalist design principles. However, you must ensure that all aspects of SaaS architecture are handled.
5. Information Architecture
One of the key mechanisms for users to find what they’re looking for is through the SaaS product’s information architecture.
This is why it should be straightforward, intuitive, and simple to comprehend.
Users must easily familiarise themselves with the application’s features if the systems are to be portrayed in an enlarged manner.
Notion has a simple and easy to understand information architecture, where a six-year-old can also use it without any trouble.
6. AI Chatbots
The implementation of AI-driven chatbots will satisfy consumers’ desires for personalization while also improving your app’s user experience.
One of the leading SEO tools – Ubersuggest by Neil Patel has an inbuilt AI chatbot, which generates links to relevant content based on the entered keyword.
Users will be able to discover the answers they need instead of waiting for a human customer service representative.
Furthermore, incorporating chatbots would allow you to assign monotonous and routine activities to the chatbots, as well as to conduct real-time testing.
7. Engaging Dashboards
The dashboard is the first thing a customer perceives when logging into a SaaS platform. This is why you should devote a significant amount of work to refining the dashboard design and user experience, as this will ensure a high return on investment.
Clickup, a leading project management software has highly interactive and engaging dashboard design which makes using it a delightful experience.
8. Reducing Onboarding Time
To plan and manage the app, the onboarding process can begin by asking users to give basic information about themselves. It shouldn’t take more than a minute to complete the process.
You can give customers a choice to fill out all the details or skip a few later to make it more user-friendly.
User onboarding of Airtable is pretty simple. You just have to enter your work email or sign up with Google to start using the software.
When you provide your users with options during onboarding, they immediately feel more confident about using your software. It enables people to begin using the app right away.
Tool tips / guided navigation and video training are two additional onboarding approaches to consider introducing to simplify the process.
9. Different Pagination
Users are more likely to abandon an application if they can’t figure out which page belongs to which database or if understanding all of the data gets tough. To keep your users from abandoning your app, make sure you utilise distinct pagination layouts to display different data types.
SEMRush, one of the most powerful SEO and marketing software, has different page layouts to view the data.
For example, if you view the domain overview, it shows all important metrics such as authority score, organic and paid traffic as well as backlinks.
While, if you are viewing the results of analysis of organic research, the UI changes, according to the most relevant data, are displayed on the top along with the results of position changes.
SaaS app UX design provides a crucial success to its products. It can help to reduce customer churn, optimise the user journey, and provide an efficient and seamless experience if correctly planned and implemented.
A SaaS company’s major growth will be rewarded by a well-established design solution that attracts and retains more clients. There is no single way to design a SaaS app UX. Each project is distinct, and each should find a way to distinguish it.
If you are a SaaS company and want to delight your users with exception UX and stand out in the competition, consider hiring a SaaS app design company like us.
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