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Principles for designing SaaS products

Have you ever tried to do something you don't have a perfect understanding of? Did you notice how you struggled with it? How you wished someone was there to guide you.

You must have thought "I should have read more about this" Or I should have made proper findings. Well, it's always like that when we are unaware of the principles guiding a task.

Knowing the principles that guide a task helps us do the task well. This is true for designing SaaS products.

SaaS products are becoming popular by the day. Gartner reports that SaaS has a significant lead over other cloud services in the year 2021. It is also estimated that this dominance will continue in 2022.

Also, for every new SaaS startup, there are at least nine other SaaS startups to compete with. This implies that there is high competition for SaaS products and the competition will keep increasing.

So, how do you intend to stand out? How do you intend to remain in the competition? It will be impossible to create products that will stand the test of time and the heat of the competition if you don't know the principles for designing SaaS products.

Let's check these principles together.

Basic Principles for Designing SaaS Products

Adopt a user-friendly approach.

A product is only as good as users enjoy using it. You have to know that users are the priority when designing your product. The beauty of your product is that it appeals to users and they can use it without stress.

The goal of product design is to develop something easy that a user can use and profit from. When it comes to product design, simplicity and easy comprehension must go hand in hand.

The user should be able to address his or her pain points or problems quickly and intuitively, without having to spend a lot of time finding out how the product works.

As a result, make sure that the convenience of using your product is consistent with its beauty.

You might need to conduct user research to know what your users are familiar with like their language, common signs, and things that make using a product easier for them.

This will inform you of the copies you will write in the product, the icons to use, where to place a feature and which kind of images to use. All this will be of great benefit in ensuring you create a user-friendly product. ​

Carry Out User Research

How do you know what your user wants if you don't find out from them? It is risky to suggest what users want when you have not consulted them.

You might end up designing a product that only appeals to you. User research is how you know what to design.

User research should come before designing the product. It is how you get the facts and specifics for your design. Keep in mind that you are not the end-user of the product. Even if you and your team think your product is great, that doesn't mean it will be great for your consumer.

You may find your product valuable, but your buyers will not. As a result, you should not rely on your perceptions of a product.

You must perform extensive user research and personalize the product to their needs.

Recognize what your clients desire. If necessary, observe their behavior and conduct surveys. Before introducing a product onto the market, make sure you're well prepared. At the end of the day, these are the things that count. ​

User-centered functionality

Users are interested in the problem your product is solving. You can't start creating a product without having a problem you want to solve. Create a product that addresses users' needs.

Although the visual design is an important aspect of any product, it is not always the most important.

Even if the product appears fantastic, a clumsy and time-consuming application can create frustration and disappointment for users. As a result, you should constantly consider how you can solve problems for the user first.

This implies that you have to know users' pain points. Sometimes, clients might not know what their users want. This is why you must conduct user research before embarking on any design project. The problem you are solving must be specific to the user.

There are many problems to solve. But you should be particular about the one that only pertains to your users. An application that doesn't address user needs in the first place will provide no value to your clients.

The entire purpose of designing the product in the first place is lost immediately. As a result, pay special attention to the utility element, as it is crucial.

Request for Feedback

You may have a limited time to design a product. Nevertheless, you have to test the product with users. This means that prototyping must be completed and staged quickly.

The most effective way to do so is to collect users' feedback and learn how they feel about your product. Who knows, you might get some gold tips from your users. Implementing these tips can also help you avoid loss.

It's usually a good idea to ask for input and comments so you know where you stand. ​


Another important thing is to be consistent with your design. You don't want to get users confused with your design.

The background for the pages, the button style, the form style, and the icons for the same functionalities should be consistent throughout. Inconsistency in design confuses users and they might end up clicking the wrong button or filling out the wrong form.

Consistency in design helps users understand the product better. You don't need to make your product complex for users.

Simplicity is key and you will find it by being consistent with your design. ​

Final thoughts

As said earlier, there is a lot of competition going on among SaaS startups. New products are being designed every day! The adage "if you can't stand the heat, you leave the kitchen" is becoming true for many.

How do you stand amidst this competition? How do you create products that will stand out? Follow the principles in this article, and apply them diligently. You will be better at it. ​


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