Before we begin understanding the role of UX in the world of SaaS products, let us first get an idea of what SaaS products are. The word SaaS stands for “Software as a Service”. A SaaS product is an internet software made for the use of a wide range of users.
SaaS products don’t require to be installed on your system, it can be accessed directly through the internet on a mobile or web browser. Some successful as well as useful SaaS products that everyone of us use at least once in our day are the Google products such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive etc.
According to a report, some of the best SaaS websites of 2022 are Slack, Dropbox, Hubspot, Docusign, Mailchimp etc. Slack makes a perfect example of a SaaS product in terms of program design and an excellent example of a simple UX design for websites.
To understand the importance of UX in building SaaS products, we need to find answers for a few essential questions such as:
- What are the most important aspects of a SaaS product?
- What are some of the issues which SaaS products are facing?
- What are the key roles of UX in building SaaS products?
- Who should be creating a user-friendly SaaS product?
Let’s dive into these questions and find answers one by one.
What are the most important aspects of a SaaS product?
A SaaS product consists of a lot of different aspects and elements that makes it a useful, desirable, and credible product. UX practices and processes play an important role in achieving these attributes for a successful SaaS product. Let us take a look at some of the most essential UX aspects of a SaaS product.
- Value proposition: An interesting headline to make the idea more clear and communicate the brand vision, purpose, voice, and what value the product has to offer for its users.
- Product features and benefits: Most users directly focus on the key offerings and benefits of using any website, service, or product.
- Product overview: Offering better understanding for users through informative UX.
- Catchy content: Crafting engaging content for users which feels personal and intrigues their interest in your product through good UX writing.
- User feedback: User feedback makes the website more user-friendly and credible by resolving issues and problems users might face.
- Case studies: Case studies are important in showcasing your work and informing the user about your processes and approach.
- CTA’s: Prominent CTA’s that are easily visible are essential for a good user experience and conversion rates.
What are some of the issues which SaaS products are facing?
Apart from other existing issues, there are some design-related issues which the SaaS companies face that require UX and UI design expertise.
Some of the commonly faced issues and how UX can fix them are discussed below:
- Cumbersome dashboard designs: UX process keeps minimalist design approach prioritizing to keep the most important information in a limited space.
- Data visualization issues: UX practices help to design for a specific set of audience to focus on and convey complex ideas better, hence solving data visualization issues.
- Transition among different devices/platforms: With specific UI/UX approach, every design is made responsive so that it’s compatible with every device and platform.
- Customer support issues: With UX, there is consistency in solving and answering users’ problems. A responsive and well-planned customer support service is crucial to offering a satisfactory customer experience.
- Long term user engagement: UX itself is “User experience”, a good user experience is a promise to a long-term user engagement.
What are the key roles of UX in building SaaS products?
After understanding what a SaaS company needs and what are the gaps they need to fill with the help of UX, it’s easy to figure out ways in which UX can come to the rescue and be used to enhance the user experience of the SaaS products.
The most important ways in which UX can help in building a good SaaS product are:
- Good UX helps in improving the user engagement and retention rates.
- It reduces customer churn rates by making the product easier to use and deliver the promised value.
- It helps to meet the audience’s taste by following a user-centric approach and serving the user well through their product.
- UX has a complete process starting from research till creating working prototypes, which indeed provide promising business outcomes and ensure a successful product.
- Good UX and UI design ensures commercial success by crafting experiences keeping the user in mind. Every element of the design i.e. the microcopy, UI design, navigation, user flow, responsive design work together to assist the user while they use a SaaS product.
Who should be creating a user-friendly SaaS product?
The best people to create a user-centric product are a cross-functional team having UX and UI designers, writers, marketing executives, and engineers/developers. Having people specializing in a single skillset might not result in a product that looks good, feels personal, and functions properly.
Such as, if only engineers are given to create a product, they might not focus as much on user needs, problems, the overall user experience, and the latest market trends. They might only ideate a solution from a technical viewpoint and make it technically sound instead of designing a solution for their users. And this is where most of the brands fail in delivering a good user-centric product.
After going through all these answers, it is obvious that UX plays a vital role when it comes to SaaS product development.
UX design trends for SaaS products in 2022
1. Two-color Palette
Using only two colors (primary and secondary) to create your designs instead of taking multiple colors for your palette. This helps in keeping the design simple and creates a unique brand identity which is easier to remember for the people.
2. Value proposition
Highlighting the service offerings of your brand and drawing attention to the value proposition as soon as they enter your product website engages people immediately and makes them curious. A good example of this is Mailchimp’s website where they communicate their value appropriately through their hero header message and offer an easy walk through of the products and services they provide.
3. Video tutorials
Video tutorials to guide the customer on how to use their products and services. Tutorial and product walkthroughs are extremely helpful in getting a user familiar with your product.
4. Dark mode
Providing the dark mode option is a must these days as it has gained immense popularity in recent years. Dark and light modes give people a choice to view websites and apps as per their preference and liking. This is another aspect of user experience where user needs and likes are taken care of.
It is a common misconception that we don’t need a UX designer to build good interfaces as much as we need a UI designer. Because of this, most of the brands fail to create successful user-centric products.
One must not underestimate the importance of UX while building Saas products as it helps in a lot of ways when it comes to engaging and interacting with the users such as improving the user journey, reducing the customer churn rate and delivering an efficient and frictionless experience. SaaS products should utilize UX principles and best practices at every step of the process to create a wholesome, user-centric, and successful product.