Software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is currently at the forefront of software design. This is not entirely surprising considering the revolutionary features offered by the IT industry. The SaaS industry is currently projected to reach $157 Billion in 2020 due to the advantages of SaaS over an On-premises Software.
One of the main reasons for the success of a SaaS application is design. In this article, we are going to discuss some practices you should consider when designing a SaaS product.
Make Sign-up Easy
For some businesses they think the more data they collect from their users, the better they will understand in order to provide them better services. However, studies have shown that the more information you require from a new user, the more likely a user will abort the registration process. Some users do not have all the time to fill a long sign-up form. Some users might not want to do that because of trust and security issues.
In most cases, asking a user for a username and password in order to register is OK. You can even provide support for users that will want to sign up using their Google or Facebook accounts. If you require more data, you can either make it optional or force users to do it after sign-up.
Website visitors’ data privacy is becoming a prominent thing for many internet users, and most services ask visitors about their personal info. Therefore, design your sign up form with the intention to persuade that the form should be filled out, but user data will be in safe hands. Another good practice is providing relevant proof for making the registration process mentally bit easier.
Make Navigation Easy
No matter how streamlined and small the service you offer is, the app will have more than one page in its user dashboard. Use a global navigation system to make the links to each of the pages accessible from globally on your website. This makes navigation for users easy as users can move to any page they want quicker. This is already in practice as most SaaS products have easy navigation. But there are some who create unique designs and end up taking it away.
Your users should have a general idea of what they should find on a page even before clicking on any navigational link, so consider using accurate navigation titles. If your navigation contains multiple sections with categories, it must be clear and visually divided, and all heading elements should be clickable links.
Make it Customizable
One of the best things you can do to make your software suitable for different users is to provide the option to customize some of its UI. We’re not saying you should give your user perfect control over the UI. But provide some customization options so that it will suit more users with different preferences.
Take, for instance, the now-standard dark-mode. The dark-mode feature makes a website easier on the eye. Most websites that have support for the dark-mode feature provide it as an alternative color scheme. Aside from this, there are also other features you can make customizable.
Stick to Simple UI Design
The need to create a complex User Interface might come up, especially if you are confronted with designing a complex SaaS product. However, if there’s a way you can avoid making the design complex, do it.
One way to make your UI simple is to follow the minimalist design principle and make sure that only the required elements are present on a page. This concept has its own advantages both for designers and users:
- Easy to use.
- A website with such design takes less time to load.
Consider Providing a Mobile App
With the increase in remote work and business operations, more people are beginning to work using their mobile devices. It is estimated that in 2019 alone, mobile devices generated about 48.91% of the total web traffic. Based on this premise, SaaS companies are beginning to invest in the creation of highly functioning mobile apps, which are fastly becoming the go-to method for users.
One more way to make websites better is to make them work for mobile screens with responsive approach. But there is one problem that the responsive designs are never truly mobile:
- Page load speed takes a longer time.
- Complex navigation: the design could have unnecessarily navigation items that are inherited from the desktop version.
- Hidden CTAs.
- Too much content and cluttered design.
According to the report, Artificial Intelligence (AI) market size in North America was $11.4 Billion in 2019. By implementing AI, your company can generate not only additional profit but also significantly improve the user experience with the product. For instance, music recommendations; Spotify uses machine learning for its Discover Weekly service, which provides users with customized playlists of new songs every Monday. This helps users easily find new songs and artists.
By understanding and implementing AI, designers not only can help the product users but also make their workflow better, which will positively affect the users. Designers can benefit:
- Delegating routine and repetitive tasks.
- Personalized user experience.
- Real-time testing.
In conclusion, most SaaS product design trends focus largely on product rebranding and curating memorable visual experiences. While product designers are also working towards making their designs more interactive and attractive, which does not always have a positive effect on the user experience.