HOW TO

How to Choose & Hire The Right SaaS App Designer

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
December 9, 2021
HOW TO
How to Choose & Hire The Right SaaS App Designer
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
December 9, 2021
HOW TO
How to Choose & Hire The Right SaaS App Designer
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
December 9, 2021
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Product Marketing Manager at Aspirity
Written by
This article was written
in collaboration with
Eugenia I.
PM&BA at Aspirity
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SaaS software has become one of the major discoveries for modern business. It offers numerous advantages over traditional on-premise solutions. Namely, SaaS apps are fully available, have advanced maintenance, automated updates, reliable backend infrastructure, and much more.
Many companies prefer to develop a SaaS application or even change the existing software to a SaaS model. According to Gartner, the SaaS industry has grown from $31.5 billion to $145.5 billion since 2015. Rapid growth is also expected for the years to come.

In this article, we will introduce the main distinctions of SaaS design. You will learn how and where you can choose & hire SaaS designers for your project.

We will draw on our design team experience as they understand all aspects of creating a SaaS product firsthand.

Does SaaS Design Differ From Other Apps?

Many believe that the design of a SaaS application can be entrusted to any experienced professional. However, SaaS products have distinctive goals and challenges, so designing such an app requires specific expertise.

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is a cloud-based service, accessible via the Internet and paid within a subscription model. Such a solution can be beneficial for various businesses as it's less resource-consuming and much more scalable. What are examples of good saas apps? Zoom, Dropbox, ZenDesk, Slack, Canva, Salesforce, and many more.

A great SaaS product design combines your business ideas and ways to relieve your target users' pains. It should be so convenient and valuable for the customers that its use becomes a habit. Unlike on-premises solutions, SaaS products offer a space where users come not just for a specific purpose but also to meet their regular needs. That's the core idea the design and architecture of such an app should adhere to.

So if you're going to hire a UX designer for a SaaS platform, ensure they know their business well. SaaS designers should have skills in product design. Working with SaaS is different from creating a beautiful and well-functioning app. SaaS is a product, so designers should be capable of conducting qualitative and quantitative research. They know how to study heat maps and scroll maps, deal with prototyping, and conduct testing.

These are the essential components of successful SaaS design that are worth considering when building such applications.
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Scalability

A SaaS product should be flexible and adaptable to any changes. Cloud-based platforms always look to the future, and the UX design must be ready to scale. Your business is very likely to expand and get a wider target audience. The need to scale your app's UX design is usually caused by market demand.

It's quite challenging to tell when and how exactly the platform will need to be transformed. So when building your product, good SaaS designers need to create a flexible and scalable structure that will be ready for change. At the same time, finding a designer for your SaaS app is sometimes quite problematic, but this does not mean that it is impossible.

Minimalistic Interface

The right approach to SaaS application design avoids any interface elements that can distract users. For the sake of the minimalistic concept, some UI extras can be left out if they aren't essential. So when you decide to find a designers team for a SaaS software development, be sure to ask if they adhere to this concept.

Simplified Registration Process

Sign-up is the stage where users should get involved. Don't get them overwhelmed by the complexity of your SaaS platform right away. The main goal is to encourage users to stay in your app and realize its value as soon as possible.

Instead of providing multiple steps and a lot of information to fill in, allow new clients to access your product via social media, Google account, or simply with their email. Give them time to appreciate your product before offering a subscription plan.

Optimized Onboarding Process

Despite the focus on simplicity and minimalism, cloud apps may still be quite difficult to use initially. Localytics states that 63% of users stop using apps within the first month. It's partly due to poor onboarding and complicated UX.

So one of the main objectives of SaaS product design is to make a good impression by simplifying the learning process. Onboarding is a brief yet thorough set of guidelines introducing the app's environment to a new user. As each SaaS app is unique, you should provide users with short onboarding that directly leads to the moment where they realize your product's value. Thus, their experience has to be seamless and personalized.

Engaging Dashboards

Whether your app is a project management tool or an e-commerce platform, dashboards are essential. If designed properly, they engage users, provide at-a-glance access to the required data, and thus enrich the user experience. Dashboards are at the heart of SaaS software, supplying users with the desired information.

A good dashboard contains only essential metrics, charts, and reports to be convenient and clear. It's not supposed to display unnecessary information or be overwhelmed with a lot of data. SaaS designers should make it clear but meaningful.

Finally, it's a good idea to create a custom dashboard. It will allow users to choose the information they want to see on the main screen independently. We at Aspirity have designed EasyDev, a comprehensive set of dashboard templates based on popular React and Angular frameworks. It contains a wide choice of components and design styles for various industries, including eCommerce, marketing, finance, booking, etc. So you can build a customized dashboard based on your business needs.

UI/UX Trends for SaaS

Finally, the UX designer for SaaS products should be well-aware of the latest trends and best practices in SaaS UI/UX design. Here are several tendencies that are likely to stay long.
Take care of the text in your interface
Your texts should be clear. Everything should be readable, so pay special attention to the use of color and pick the right font sizes for each screen size.

HubSpot uses different weights of non-distracting and well-readable Avenir Next typeface.
Integrations
Your SaaS should provide users with the required integrations. For instance, if you have an app with educational courses, implement integrations with popular calendars and task trackers.
Atlassian platform offers its customers a wide range of integrations, including Amazon Web Services, Docker Hub, Zephyr, etc.
Mobile-friendliness
A good example of saas products should adapt to any device convenient for the user. It makes the service more efficient and expands the options of using it. Thus, your product will attract a wider audience.

Project management platforms like Monday.com take advantage of the version for mobile devices.
Inclusive design
Create accessible design for the users who experience health problems. Always check color contrast, make elements easy to interact with. Put an extra effort into the research of how you can enhance your product accessibility. Features like voice interactions will make your product available for all types of audiences.
Microcopy
Don't apply text form where it's not necessary. Use it to transfer information in a nutshell and stick to the point. And most importantly, communicate to the audience in plain language according to the brand's tone of voice.
A Bit of Animation
A user and the design should interact with each other. It increases engagement and holds customers on the website. The longer users stay, the more likely the conversion is. Provide smooth transitions, button backlight, and parallax effects where appropriate.
Non-overwhelming UI
Design trends like neumorphism and retro style may be applicable for a SaaS product. However, keep in mind that a minimalistic interface has more chances to provide customers with a seamless experience when using the app. Don't allow your desire to make the product look fashionable to interfere with the main goal: making your SaaS product usable and intuitive.

Experienced SaaS Designer's Skills

If you want to find & hire a SaaS designer, make sure they have the required bunch of skills. Also, if you choose a design agency for your cloud SaaS, all of its members should have these skills. Here is a brief list of necessary qualities and abilities every experienced specialist should be equipped with.

Communication Skills

Alongside good self-organization, an experienced SaaS app designer should be equipped with a set of important qualities. You are looking for a person who is creative, focused, patient, and able to analyze. In addition, for productive collaboration, designers should have good written and verbal communication skills. They should constantly be in touch and consider the clients' specific requirements.

User Research

Since SaaS is quite a sensitive service, it's often challenging to find a way to reach the audience. So building such an app requires deep business and user analytics to drill down into the end-users core needs and pain points. Normally, such research is conducted by a team of corresponding specialists. However, the designer's ability to study the audience, create user story, persona, customer journey mapping, etc., is highly beneficial.

SaaS designers for your website or enterprise SaaS often use tools like Miro for user story mapping. It allows them to deepen the project goals understanding and choose the right approach to the product creation.

SaaS Design Patterns Awareness

To create a Software-as-a-Service product, , a designer for a cloud-based SaaS application requires good command of cloud applications and has sufficient experience working with such design patterns. The awareness of the key SaaS platform and architecture principles directly indicates the designer's expertise in this area. A good specialist clearly understands there is no universal architecture for all SaaS products and looks for individual solutions.

Deep UX Patterns Understanding

User Experience is the vital element of a SaaS product. Thus, a deep understanding of UX patterns is critical to creating a user-friendly, convenient, and comprehensive application environment. Combining this skill with awareness of SaaS architecture, a designer has more chances to find the perfect solution.
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How to Choose a SaaS Designer

Here are a few steps you can take to hire a SaaS designer whose skills and abilities will meet all expectations.

Determine and Introduce Your Goals

Before deciding which designers' team suits your SaaS project best, make sure you've defined your goals and have a clear understanding of what you need. Of course, the SaaS designers for your application will help you find efficient solutions and avoid mistakes. However, it's worth having a general idea and an approximate plan of your app's design. You can make a list of requirements and focus your search on those professionals who fully meet your vision.

It's also a good idea to show your potential partners the references of SaaS apps you like. It will give designers a better understanding of your preferences.

Define Your Budget and Timeline

SaaS product design is a complex and time-consuming process that consists of several stages. It includes planning, creating user flow diagrams, moodboards, CJM, prototypes, testing, etc. The service's price also depends on many factors, and its range is quite wide. So to understand your prospects and make the right choice, estimate your budget and set reasonable limits. And only after that think about how to hire experts for the SaaS app design.

The key factors that affect the cost of SaaS app design are the scope, number, and complexity of required features, platforms, deadlines, designers' salaries, etc. The location and type of the design agency also matter. In-house solutions are much more expensive. It's worth considering outsourcing since hiring offshore web designers for SaaS will be less costly, and you won't compromise the quality.

Pay Attention to the Portfolio

Most design and development agencies claim to be the best match for your SaaS project. But their portfolio will tell you more than words. Don't forget to review the specialists' works before contacting them. It will help you understand if a certain designer or studio can provide you with the desired results. Find the vendors' case studies to see how the design process goes and how the solutions are found.

Find the examples of SaaS product design you like to compare it to the works presented in studios' portfolios. Pay attention to the style and the designers' ability to find ways to implement their clients' ideas. You can also check the reviews about the chosen specialists' work. Clients' feedback will give you more information about the designers' communication skills, dedication, and ability to meet deadlines.

Start Communication

If you outsource your SaaS product design, have a few online meetings with the chosen team or specialist. When communicating with your new partners, discuss all milestones, deadlines, requirements, and budget limits. The aspects of your future collaboration related to the design team's time management and communication skills may be crucial.

Firstly, ask the questions to get a better idea of the specialists you will work with. Then, spend enough time describing your ideas and project vision. Finally, allow designers to suggest their solutions and think if they match your goals.

Places to Find SaaS Designers

Many certified firms and independent contractors offer their services in building a SaaS product. If you are confused and don

Behance and Dribbble

Behance and Dribbble are large creative networks where you can find various designers' works and projects. There you can look for hundreds of SaaS design examples, including existing projects and demo layouts. Just choose the SaaS projects you like best and contact the firm or designer that created them.

Clutch

Clutch is a platform that will provide you with ratings and reviews of all leading IT, marketing, and business firms. So if you look for a SaaS design team with proven clients' feedback and detailed reviews, check the company's profile on Clutch.

Extract.co

Extract verifies and ranks software companies, assessing their services' quality and revealing the most efficient ones. They check an impressive number of various metrics, such as certifications and partnerships, clients' reputation and feedback, technical expertise, and more.

Our Company

If you look for dedicated SaaS designers with high-level expertise in working with SaaS apps, we at Aspirity can help you find the best solutions for your business. Our designers have experience creating SaaS apps from scratch and rebuilding the existing products for migration to a SaaS business model. You can find more information by viewing our services, portfolio, and showcases.
Looking for a team?
We solve world-class front-end challenges using ReactJS and Flutter.

SaaS Design Case Studies

Here are a few SaaS projects our designers' team at Aspirity worked with. These insights can help you better understand the process of creating a SaaS product and the challenges the designers face when dealing with it.

iTraq Butterfly

iTraq Butterfly is a tracking and monitoring platform aimed to trace the goods' shipment. UI/UX design was the primary focus and the initial stage of the product's creation. To meet our client's objectives, we came out with the following solutions:
Simple and intuitive product page and FAQ page.
A special page for tracking goods with a map and tracking logs. We used a customizable version of Google maps and added markers with different colors and icons.
To display all received tracker data, we came up with a solution to create a combination of the infinite and virtual scroll.
The temperature log was the most complex but very important feature to design. We also added a dynamic chart that can be hoovered.

Real Estate Platform Service

We needed to turn a real estate business website into a peer-to-peer platform. The main goal was to simplify the renting process, expand the website's functionality and make it more user-friendly. Here is what we changed in the existing website turning it into a SaaS platform:
Implemented the SaaS model enables tenants to view apartments and landlord contacts without the manager's involvement.
Provided the second type of accounts for landlords' use.
Made navigation easier and more intuitive.
Implemented a global phone search in the platform's database for managers' use.

Shoreline

Shoreline is a DevOps software aiming to automate monitoring, debugging, and responding processes. This platform improves DevOps' availability and makes their lives easier. Aspirity provided the project with UI/UX design and frontend development. Here are the main features we've designed and implemented:
The product was divided into 13 separate apps combined into 6 modules to increase the loading speed.
A lot of graphs, displayed by virtualization, let users observe the workflow.
Zoom of a certain area enables viewing the desired piece of dynamically updated data.
Overlays working on the Y-axis let users choose how they want the data to be displayed. The metrics are fully customizable.
Annotations inform users about the occurring alarms and are displayed on the chart.

SaaS UI/UX Design: Look for a Perfect Match

UI/UX design is the key stage of SaaS product creation. Here your app is formed by determining its environment and finding solutions to meet the users' needs. So your decision on whom to hire for designing your SaaS product directly affects your journey's success.

Remember that the SaaS app system, interface, required features, and general idea differ from on-premise ones. So you should find a person or a team with appropriate expertise. Besides, look for designers with essential skills, including a deep understanding of SaaS and UX patterns. Consider your budget, time limits, your app's goals, designers' portfolio, reviews, and communication efficiency.

Our SaaS designers team at Aspirity is always there to support your project and deliver result-driven design solutions. We have proven expertise in designing SaaS products and provide all relevant services, including user interface design, creating dashboards, mobile apps, prototypes, ERP systems, CRM platforms, and more. Relying on user-oriented design as our core principle, we are ready to build or improve your SaaS product design.

Reach out to us to get a free SaaS designers consultation about your project.
This article was written in collaboration with Eugenia I. Project manager and Business Analyst at Aspirity
Product Marketing Manager at Aspirity
I've been working at Aspirity for almost 2 years now. I work to find the right customers and provide them with the best teams and services helping develop and launch their digital products.
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