In our last post, we wrote about the benefits of good SaaS web development. That blog begged the question, “okay, but what is good SaaS web development?” The most important thing to note is that your web development is critical to your user experience (UX.) Ergo, today, we’ll cover that in our guide to SaaS UX design best practices.
These will apply to everything from top-of-funnel visitors to active users—because that whole journey is vital for your bottom line. So, from building brand recognition through a marketing website to raising registration conversion and user retention—your website is essential for your customer experience (CX.)
Know Your User Before Jumping into SaaS UX Design
We touch on this in so many of our Goji Blogs because it is so, so crucial to correct design. Knowing your target audience is essential to everything from creating your product that caters to their needs in a relatable way to achieving product-market fit.
This research comes before beginning SaaS UX design, deciding on a go-to-market strategy, and way before building your MVP—just at the ideation and discovery stage. First, you should begin aggregating robust, qualitative and quantitative data about your target audience.
You want to know their likes, their dislikes. It’s important to understand their psychographic, demographic, behavioral, and geographic characteristics. And you should do this through both primary and secondary research.
Primary research is information that you collect yourself, with methods such as user interviews, surveys, and, at later stages, usability testing. On the other hand, secondary research is information that you collect that’s already out there—competitive analysis, published research, and the like.
With this information, you’ll do everything you can to (in)validate any assumptions you previously made about prospective users. As a result, you’ll be able to tailor your feature set and SaaS UX design precisely to your target demographic and make it as frictionless and appealing as possible.
SaaS UX Design Best Practices
Branding encompasses your product’s and company’s ~vibe~. But let’s put it a little more scientifically: it refers to the look and feel of every customer-facing material that you put out there. Branding is the public’s perception of your company, comprised of your brand identity and interactions with the public.
Your brand identity is all of the visual and brand voice elements that tell your audience your value proposition and value system. And it’s a key part of your SaaS UX design. It includes your UX/UI, logo, tagline, visual identity, and copy tone—and this whole system should be cohesive, consistent, and tailored to your target demographics.
Straightforward Information Architecture and Navigation
The information architecture and navigation of your marketing website and the product itself are the organization of information and features in your app. Basically, how users obtain the knowledge and functionality they need from your customer-facing platforms.
Therefore, it’s imperative that these are clear, minimal, and intuitive off the bat—both in the first impression and throughout the customers’ use of the application.
Refined User Flow for SaaS UX Design
Speaking of information architecture and navigation—let’s talk user flows. A user flow is the set of steps that a user takes to get to a certain (entry) point through a conversion funnel that leads them to the goal action.
Understanding user flows and creating user journey maps is important to see whether the information architecture and navigation are clear, helpful, direct—or cumbersome and frustrating. And having this understanding—and iterating upon it when necessary—is critical.
Doing so can tremendously reduce friction and, therefore, boost conversion of your marketing website and landing pages, reducing churn and raising loyalty.
A piece of your conversion funnel is registration. In that funnel, registration is the conversion goal, and the user flow usually starts from a landing page and ends with registration or purchase.
In order to reduce friction (read: frustration, confusion) in that conversion funnel, your registration must be as simple and easy as possible. So, that means asking for as little information as necessary—meaning, only pieces of information that are absolutely necessary for you to continue the customer relationship.
Additionally, it’s essential to consider the UX/UI of your registration forms. Using conversion-centered design, you can make your registration page easy to follow and fill out.
Think of these examples: instead of two separate dialogue boxes for first and last name, try one for the full name. Additionally, break up forms into multiple steps (when necessary) with progress bars to orient the user. Include field-specific error messages and label fields below the box—not within it (which taxes the visitor’s memory load.) Using drop-downs and fill-ins is also important to have when considering the SaaS UX design of your registration forms.
Lastly, there’s onboarding: the process of teaching a new user how to harness the most value out of your product. Again, thoughtful SaaS UX design is essential for onboarding, which is super important for user retention and reducing churn.
Some pointers here include a customized—even AI-based—onboarding experience, per the user’s primary objective of using the product. Additionally, you can opt for either a step-by-step tutorial, a video tutorial, or—arguably the most functional and streamlined—a wizard that points to various features as the user clicks through them.
Well, this was a lot. We know.
Coincidentally, hi, we’re Goji Labs—a product and software development consultancy with experience in designing, “rescuing,” and deploying hundreds of products.
Have any general questions about who we are and our authority on the subject?
– Goji Labs