The ubiquitousness of well-designed consumer applications in daily life has increased the expectations of enterprise product users. They expect consumer-grade UX in their business applications. Many SaaS companies have identified this trend and have started responding. In fact, consumer-grade UX has become USP for a SaaS product operating in a competitive marketplace.

When using an enterprise SaaS application, a few common thoughts that cross a user’s mind would be “Why is every process so time-consuming?”, “Why is it so difficult to find something?” or “What if I made a mistake?”.

Users face the most amount of frustration during onboarding as well as executing the core functions. This often results in a loss of productivity and a bad user experience; thereby a higher churn rate. Enterprise design for SaaS products is about having a clear understanding of a user’s requirements, designing the visual layout based on their feedback & making sure it is scalable for future changes.

The lack of a well-thought-out UX impacts the ARPU of a SaaS product.

As a product design agency, we often come across good enterprise products that struggle to reach their true potential due to their inability to provide a rich consumer-grade user experience.

Before we move on to understanding our SaaS design approach, let us share our insights on the most common design problems faced by SaaS products.

Common Enterprise Design UX Problems

Prioritizing features over experience

When you add a myriad of features to your product without researching your user’s needs and usage patterns, it leads to a clunky application. This app is not only hard to maintain but also has a bad user experience. And what follows next is users dropping off because the features you added have spoiled their workflow.

Cluttered UI

Continuing further on the point above, adding new features also adds the need to showcase them. And in this process of showcasing features and the data affiliated with them, the UI of the app is compromised too. So now you have an application with a bad UX, a compromised UI and features with no users.

Non-responsive products

Users are surrounded by digital devices that function similarly. Yet, SaaS companies fail to capitalize on this opportunity. They fail to design and develop products that are responsive – mobile, tablet friendly. This inconveniences users because it keeps them from working as per their preferences.

Lack of personalization

Think of it like this, if you had to wear the same set of clothes every single day without any variation or options, life might become less colourful & a bit boring. Similarly, a personalized user experience in the form of a contextual dashboard & information will not only add colour to a user’s workflow but also reduce the overall frustration they might face otherwise.

SaaS UX Design framework

We follow a well-defined design framework to audit and design SaaS-based enterprise products. Our SaaS UX framework is based on our years of experience in designing products of different scales across different industries. This framework allows us to evaluate a product on various parameters that are essential to the success of SaaS software.

Onboard

We focus on three primary areas when designing the onboarding experience of an application

  • Signup

The signup experience of your enterprise SaaS applications should be short and to the point. This helps get users quickly in the door and you can always collect more information as and when needed in the future.

  • Product onboarding

The product onboarding process should focus on educating users about the workflow of the application, its features, its different modules, and its utility. This leaves a good first impression and reduces user churn rate owing to lesser confusion. Popular SaaS apps like Slack, Grammarly, Trello etc. are great examples of how the product onboarding process should be.

  • Hints, states, helpers

One way of encouraging users to explore the app and use the features it has to offer is to constantly provide users hints and tips through tooltips, microcopy etc. Furthermore, providing easy access to “Help and Support” from any point in the product also helps instil confidence.

Operate

  • Data visualization

Enterprise SaaS applications are geared towards increasing employee efficiency. Thus, it is important that it be able to share easily readable insights through tables, graphs and charts. We conduct UX activities like red route analysis, user research, user journey mapping and more to understand user’s usage patterns. Then, provide dynamic dashboards and reports as per user needs.

  • Search

A powerful search and a simple IA encourage users to explore your product. We believe offering two search features in an application further enhances efficiency. One search at a universal level and one search at a local/function level. This way, users can choose what search to rely on thus limiting their time spent.

Inform

  • Notifications and reminders

Working in an organization requires frequent collaboration between users. Thus, to ensure smooth collaboration and continuity in work, features like notifications, reminders are keys. They help meet task deadlines and ensure no work is delayed due to dependency.

  • History and Activities

When working with multiple people on a project/document, helps to be able to track the history of progress. So that in case users want to jump to a previously saved point or want to track how the endpoint was achieved, our designed history tracking feature can help.

Control

  • Settings

We give complete access to the user in regards to their engagement & experience while operating the product. Users can set their own reminders & personalize notifications as per their preference. Let’s say if a user doesn’t want the product to access their camera or microphone, they can disable the permissions, keeping their interaction private & safe.

Grow

  • Upgrades and referrals

The users of a SaaS product are not always the decision-makers, and yet they could be key supporters of business growth. This is because they are the first-hand benefactors of it. Given the steps we follow for designing, we are able to provide users with a delightful experience. This translates to users becoming promoters of your app. And when in the future your app offers upgrades, premium features or comes out with supplementary apps, they could be your best representatives – convincing stakeholders, referring your product to colleagues etc.

Conclusion

There has been an increasing demand for well-designed enterprise SaaS products. And a consumer-grade UX can help you optimise your enterprise product as per the user’s preferences.

If you own a SaaS product or are planning to build one, we’ve mentioned a few good points to get you started with optimizing the UX.

And if you are looking for an expert partner to redesign your SaaS product, or have an idea that you want to prototype, be sure to fill out the form below and we’d love to hear from you.

We can turn the design of your SaaS product into a USP.

Have more questions about how we design enterprise SaaS software?

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