Nowadays, it is quite challenging to impress against the backdrop of growing competition in the SaaS market, with enterprises eager to surprise users with advanced technical solutions that improve and facilitate their daily operations. The SaaS industry is expected to reach an enormous $197 billion in end-user spending by 2024, holding onto its status as the world's leading player in the global cloud market.
What does it mean for SaaS product development companies? The true value of a SaaS product is not always obvious to your audience right away. The first thing they notice about your product isn't what you are offering but how you present it. The design makes the first impression. Therefore, it must be user-friendly, aesthetic, easy to navigate, and emotionally close to the people you speak to.
This article takes you through the latest trends and best practices of the SaaS product design process. We unveil invaluable tips on how to design a SaaS product that has all it takes to grab their interest and stay with you for a long time.
8 steps how to design a SaaS application
SaaS app design is a time-consuming process, so you want to kickstart it off on the right foot. These steps of SaaS application design will keep your work on track and help you make an all-inclusive design from the get-go.
Identify your target audience
In the first stages of the SaaS design process, you need to define your TA. You won't make do with demographics alone here. It is a long process that involves creating detailed user personas. Determine who your primary users are, their pain points, needs, preferences, motivations, and behaviors. When you have a complete TA profile, you can shape an application so accurately that iterations may not be needed.
Research the market
There is nothing wrong with looking into your competitors' products to create a design for SaaS of your own. Analyze what and how they offer their services to assess your strengths and weaknesses. This analysis can help identify gaps in your design and display opportunities for standing out. Study the regulatory environment as well as industry trends to gain a well-rounded understanding of their impact on your SaaS application's success.
Develop your design idea
The main aim of your design is not just to make things look pretty; it's about how your application serves the user's needs. If the app's functionality doesn't align with the design, you risk misleading clients and casting doubts on your professionalism. You can avoid this scenario by creating a roadmap with real-world user stories or use cases. They will help you grasp clients' expectations as to what they want the app to look like.
Test the idea on the MVP
With a clear plan at hand, you can proceed to the MVP phase. This is a product prototype in design with the bare minimum to test your concept. To craft one, you need the previously gathered quantitative data like user engagement, conversion rates, and user flow. Consider implementing A/B testing to figure out which features or design elements move the needle the most. This data-driven approach ensures your design choices are backed by evidence and gives the green light to develop a wholesome design.
Start working on the UX design
Put yourself in the user's shoes. Creating design for SaaS platforms goes beyond great wireframes. Do usability testing to watch users interacting with your app in context and real-world use cases. Listen to their feedback and take it into account to iterate your design by adapting to their experiences. A UX that feels user-friendly and intuitive comes from crafting consistent user journeys.
Refine user interface (UI)
Now, let's move on to make your app visually appealing, looking more in-depth with SaaS UI design. The psychology of color theory and typography may come in handy. What emotions does the design evoke when they open your app? Does it encourage clients enough to take the final action? Make sure your UI design represents the identity of your brand in the right tone to instill trust in users.
Monitor on-sight user behavior
After the launch, employ analytics tools to track user behavior. Keep an eye on what functions in your application are used most often, how an average user navigates it, and find friction points. Such ongoing monitoring will let you refine your application. Thus, you can go beyond the surface of user data and understand users not only by what they are doing but why they are doing so.
Ask for feedback
Feedback shouldn't be sporadic — it should be a habit. Incorporate feedback loops like surveys, testing, or direct contact in your SaaS application to let users share their opinions. Analyze this feedback regularly and prioritize improvements based on the user's needs. These insights are gold for iterative improvements in your SaaS application so that it stays more relevant and user-centric. This practice adds to your perceived responsiveness and makes users feel valued.
Key aspects of good SaaS UX design
SaaS app design competition is fierce. The 2023 SaaS solution designs are meant to match the high demands and encourage innovation. Here's your roadmap of key aspects of SaaS design trends for success.
Users appreciate an interface that talks their language — clean, clear, and easy to approach. The more you dig your heels in user-friendly design, the closer your chances are to higher conversions. Minimalism in SaaS UX design means simplifying the user interface by removing unnecessary clutter. A minimalistic interface presents users with what they need, when they need it, without overwhelming them.
Simplicity is the essence of the great design. It comes hand in hand with minimalism but spreads to the overall user experience. Every interaction, navigation, and feature has to be simple and intuitive. The users want to perform tasks without any confusion or complexity, which doesn't add value.
Accurate choice of colors
Less is more when it comes to color choice in a user-friendly UX design. Opt for one or two brand colors with extra accentuation through CTA buttons and navigation. This way, you'll draw users' attention to the main content and make it easy to read. You should carefully consider color psychology to ensure your app conveys the right message to your audience. For example, calming blue evokes trustworthiness, vibrant accents stand for calls to action, and consistent branding colors are used to build recognition.
The spotlight should always be on comprehensive content. Ensure that text is legible by choosing proper fonts, sizes, and spacing. Withdraw from using cursive fonts or italic types, as they usually challenge users' text perception. Mind the adequate contrast between the text and background so that users won't be squinting or shielding their eyes.
Focus on the core points
When designing SaaS apps, the core features and content have top priority. The most important stuff should be the most conspicuous, placed practically at a touching distance from the user. Don't bury the critical functionalities under several layers of navigation or in very complex menus.
Visuals are proven to spark an instant emotional reaction in users and stick to their memory longer. They can also boost your messaging and help users understand the content better because the same content is displayed in several ways. However, the use of illustrations must match your brand tone and style. Avoid placing stock pictures in your app and use authentic photos instead. After all, it is all about creating a SaaS design that vibes with your target audience.
Who likes to read long-winded texts oversaturated with numbers? No one. Choose appropriate visualizations that would make complex data easy to comprehend. Be it a chart, graph, or infographic design, make sure the visualizations effectively mirror the information provided while at the same time guiding users in making well-informed choices.
Micro-interaction with visitors
The overall user experience can be broken into smaller touchpoints or interactions like clicking and scrolling. These are subtle animations or feedback that 'react' to users' actions within the app. For instance, when a user clicks a button and the styling changes, it's a micro-interaction that conveys that a process is underway. Such little yet purposeful details deepen the user interface engagement, making their journey even more enjoyable.
Challenges of SaaS product design to consider
No actionable SaaS design is achieved without a great deal of effort. You can experience the following design challenges for SaaS products down the road:
UI/UX consistency and branding
The common challenge in UI/UX SaaS design is to maintain design language coherence with the various components, ranging from color palettes to iconography, ensuring every design standard sticks strongly across the brand identity. This requires a meticulous approach while carrying out the changes and updates in the product.
Responsive design across platforms
Designing SaaS apps for screens of varied sizes, resolutions, and input options from different devices has always been a challenge where careful analysis and execution are needed. Your design should be visually pleasing and functional at the same time across different platforms. Achieving this can be complex, considering the multitude of device resolutions users might use.
Navigation and information hierarchy
Among other challenges of SaaS product design, organizing an array of features and content in a user-friendly manner is of utmost importance. Striking the right balance between guiding users effectively and preventing information overload requires thoughtful information architecture and continuous user feedback.
Accessibility and inclusivity in design
Designing a SaaS application for accessibility means to come up with a product that people of all abilities can use. For example, people with eyesight issues might find it hard to make out small fonts. Individuals with hearing complications require subtitles to watch the videos. It involves addressing issues like screen reader compatibility and color contrast without sacrificing design aesthetics.
Design for mobile-first or desktop-first
Choosing between mobile-first or desktop-first approaches can be complicated, as it needs the assessment of the target audience and its specific requirements. Getting this balance right between simplicity and feature richness demonstrates professionalism backed up by data on how users are using the product.
A/B testing and user feedback integration
Both A/B testing and user feedback are essential elements in refining the design of your SaaS product but entail a systematic setup that can be intricate due to the need for controlled variables. The difficulty boils down to creating a testing framework that will yield meaningful results and integrate user feedback into your process of designing a SaaS app.
Consider Dworkz as your trusted partner for designing your SaaS product
The major challenge that unites all the mentioned above is choosing a reliable partner for designing SaaS products. Our professionals at Dworkz bring more than design to the table. We create authentic solutions that reflect your unique brand identity and an exceptional user experience. We keep in mind UI/UX design consistency, responsiveness, and all the other aspects that make your successful SaaS website design worthy of user admiration. Contact us today to discuss any questions you have, and let's plan out your future design together.
What makes SaaS design so unique?
The uniqueness in the design of SaaS is that it needs to offer both form and function. It has to be aesthetically and visually appealing but also highly functional, user-friendly, and adaptable. It has to fit multiple users on varied devices and platforms while providing a seamless experience.
Why create a SaaS product design?
The importance of UX design for SaaS is to ensure the software serves its intended purpose and offers a well-built, positive user experience. A well-designed SaaS product improves user engagement and satisfaction and may even differentiate your product from the buzzword noise made by others.
How much does it cost to create a SaaS product design?
SaaS product design cost can vary incredibly depending on complexity, features, expertise of the design team, and, of course, project scope. It is better to hire a SaaS designer and agree on an accurate quote with them.
How long does it take to develop a SaaS design?
The duration of SaaS product design can be as short as a few weeks or as long as several months. It depends on the project's complexity and the number of features that must be designed. A design agency will estimate more precisely when discussing the details of your future collaboration.
What things should I avoid in my SaaS product design?
For an effective SaaS design, avoid cluttered and inconsistent user interfaces, ignoring the feedback from users, compromising on its accessibility and inclusivity, and overflowing it with complexity. Focus on simplicity, usability, and having the design in sync with your brand's identity to make a fantastic SaaS product. More information on how to design a SaaS application is in the article.