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Design Principles for SaaS Products

Building beautiful software products is essential to gaining usership. There are plenty of great software products out there, but there are only a few that really rise to the challenge of creating the most user-friendly products possible. Big Brands like Google, Amazon, and apple have been wonderful at adopting their software to user expectations.

Nowhere is optimizing the user experience more important than it is with software-as-a-service products. Web design practices have heavily influenced SaaS products because they are delivered over the Internet. Usability, attractiveness, and functionality are important for all user experiences, from mobile applications built for Android devices to downloaded software products that function exclusively on Windows. All SaaS products must also be imbued with modern web design practices.

SaaS has too many benefits to the consumer to be ignored. Studying successful SaaS products show the clear advantages over traditional software delivery. SaaS products also users manifold benefits. They're able to save on space on their computers, lower the initial investment cost of new software products, and enjoy the flexibility of a subscription rather than a lump sum payment. These elements help enhance the user experience and are built into the software architecture.

Software-as-a-service is a great delivery method for modern software products. There is a higher standard for UX and UI within cloud computing and cloud computing applications, amd you must modernize your design practices, be open-minded to new design trends see, and be able to reassess and scale your designs as necessary.

Visual design is the most obvious way to enhance your user experience. SaaS products should be beautiful. Clean, minimalist designs are the best way to achieve a modern, appealing, and user-friendly interface.

Any products that relies on subscriptions must have an easy sign-up process. Software-as-a-service products are no exception. They must pay very close attention to their sign-up process and do everything possible to eliminate any frustrations for the user. Removing the need to immediately entering credit card information is one example of optimizing the sign-up process. A small change such as removing the need to enter credit card information to sign up for a free trial of your SaaS product can greatly enhance the user experience.

Using the product should feel as simple as signing up. Information, widgets, and functionality should be organized in such a way that the user finds leveraging them requires little to no training. If making your product simple is an impossibility, then at the very least you should supply your reader with comprehensive tutorials or provide them with access to a community that is ready and equipped to help new users navigate your system.

A recurring theme in SaaS UX design is simplicity. If all else fails, default to the most simplistic functionality or technology available to you. This will result in a product that is manageable, makes sense technically, and is far easier to scale and test. Complexity for its own sake can be tricky. Refactoring, reanalyzing, and reworking can be a bear if complexity hasn’t been minimalized.

Another of the key principles of great UX design is personability. Your software application needs to be personable in order to thrive. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Having easy access to customer service representatives is one such way to achieve this. Having a chatbot that collects user questions, suggestions, and complaints at the ready may also help if you do not have the funds to hire a full-time customer service team.

It’s important to remember that you will be continually upgrading, tweaking, and improving your UX design as you scale. In the meantime, you can cover the holes in design with guides, tutorials, and customer support. Where your design is lacking, provide support. You can go back and fix problems in design that you missed after you’ve deployed the product. Perfection is not the goal with UX design. It’s just concerned with generating value for the user and providing the best service to those users possible. Perfection is not a mandate, but a moving target.

About the Author: Dr. Diane Schleier-Keller is a business strategist and finance columnist. She has 3 years of experience in M&A and has been traveling the world to help train entrepreneurs to succeed in their business. You may also connect with her on Twitter.
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