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Best practices for designing SaaS products

The goal of every product designer should be to make products that are enjoyable for users to use.

Software as a Service design best practices

It is frustrating to discover that users find your product difficult to use. The designer's joy is in the satisfaction of the user. Hence, the priority in designing any product is users' satisfaction. ​

How do you make users satisfied with your Saas product? Or, what makes users dissatisfied with a product?

A recent report revealed that 90% of users claim to stop using an application after having a bad experience due to poor performance. What makes users stay with a product is the general user experience.

This experience is a combination of the design and functionality of the product. The design and functionality determine the usability of the product.

For SaaS products, the first place you want to start creating an incredible user experience is your design. A seamless design makes it easy to relate to a product. Thus, when designing a SaaS product, your priority should not be using the trending design.

The priority is to use the best design practice suitable for the product. However, before going into the best practices for SaaS design, we must know the common issues in designing a Saas product.​

What are the common issues in SaaS product design?

One of the biggest challenges you will face in designing a Saas product is the addition of new features. This also includes deciding the features to keep and the ones to remove.

Before adding or removing any feature, you first consider how it will help your users.

Will it make it easier or more complicated for them to use? How does it align with their pain points? Also, you need to consider if this feature will meet your design goals or set new goals entirely.

​It would be best if you considered the complexity of managing the product with the new feature. Will it be easier to manage or more complex? Will it make the product more expensive or cheaper?

Finally, how important is this new addition? Is it compulsory if you add it? Better still, can you improve on an existing feature instead of a new one? If you can, you don't need to add a new one.

You should do everything to keep your design simple.

Standard Software-as-a-Service design procedures

There are standard recommendations and guidelines for designing SaaS products.

These recommendations make your product more user-friendly.

  1. The brand logo should be on the top left corner. It is always easier for users to make a mental note of your logo when it is placed on the top left corner, and your navigation menu is on the right. ​

  2. Use a light background. A light background makes the website more appealing and readable to users. You can provide a dark background and white text option for a night view. But it is better to have a light background as your default background. ​

  3. Make your product mobile-friendly. It is easier for users to use a product on their mobile phones than on a laptop. If your product is difficult to use on a mobile device, that can be a massive turn-off for users.

Software as a Service design best practices

Now that we are well acquainted with the standard procedures in designing SaaS products, we must employ the best design practices.

Some of the best practices in SaaS design are listed below.

Easy Navigation

When it comes to SaaS systems, the most important thing to remember is to give users a simple and intuitive interface. Your SaaS product's design should not overwhelm or perplex your users.

Even if you are creating a unique product that doesn't use conventional menus, it is better to stick with what users are familiar with. It's also crucial to structure your drop-down menu items correctly.

This is to avoid a new user leaving the page after searching to no avail for a line they need. Please test your menu with users to ensure that your drop-down items are where they should be. ​

Simple Sign-Up

The more information you include in your sign-up form, the more you make it easier for users to abandon it. Ask for as little information as possible — an email address and a password are enough. Signing in with an existing Google or popular social media account is also a helpful alternative. ​

Dynamic Sorting

Consider how inconvenient it would be if you received a bunch of irrelevant facts whenever you search for something. The dynamic sorting feature helps to solve this problem.

The feature ensures you get only the results you want from a search. For users' convenience, the search bar is best placed at the top of the page.

It's also a good idea to put it into the previous section's drop-down menu bar, so it doesn't clog up the interface. ​

Simple UI Design

A product with a good user experience doesn't need much explanation for you to use it well. The design should be simple enough for users to know what to do and how to do it.

Software products should be designed in a self-explanatory manner. If there is any feature that needs much explanation before users can know how to use it, you should consider redesigning it to make it simpler. ​

Offer Customization Options

While your focus is to create a SaaS product that appeals to users of different categories, it is impossible to please all users equally. It is also impossible to add all preferences of the different users in your default design.

However, it would help if you showed your users that you value their differences by providing them with various options.

Allow for various text sizes, and make sure that users can navigate the level and intensity of bright. Adding a 'night-view can also be beneficial. ​

Final thoughts

This article highlights some of the best design practices that will help you in your next SaaS product design project. ​

The most important thing to consider when designing a SaaS product is simplicity. As much as it is tempting to display all your skills on a project, let this question guide you; Will this make the product more accessible for the user?

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