As an app development company, we know that developing a new Software as a Service (Saas) product, is all about making life easier.
Even if you don’t realise it, you’ve more than likely already used a SaaS product today. If you clicked on a link in an email sent to your Outlook or Gmail address to get to this blog; then you’ve successfully used a SaaS product to help you get right here.
They’re a huge part of everyday life for millions of people.
It’s no wonder that SaaS products are a hugely growing area for UK companies, with a projected revenue growth rate of 11.9% in 2022 alone.
They’re important for business growth, and customer engagement. They’re complex and they need to be done right. But, we believe the approach to them should be pretty simple.
App Development Company Human-Centred, Simple SaaS
As part of our Full Stack Engineering offer, we deliver SaaS products that always:
- Simplify a complicated process.
- Make the new process as safe and secure as possible.
- Offer an intuitive package, that users feel an affinity with, and keep coming back to, time and time again.
If this all sounds far too simple; well, we have some good news and some bad news…
The good news is that, if you manage to nail these things, your SaaS product has a great chance of being successful.
If you have an interest in what makes people tick, and in how you work with people to get them successfully from A to B to Z and beyond; creating a specification that does everything your users need to do is pretty simple.
But here’s the bad news. Just because it’s simple, it doesn’t mean it’s easy…
People are complicated.
One user’s “attractive and intuitive” can be someone else’s “inflexible”.
One user’s “safe and secure”, can be someone else’s “bureaucratic”.
So when you’ve identified a problem that needs a neat digital solution, how do you know it’s going to meet your users’ needs and make their lives easier?
That’s what understanding the user experience (UX) of a product is all about.
Developing Apps through User Empowerment
As an app development company, Yozu believes that SaaS solutions should be designed in order to empower your users.
We’ve said before why the Discovery phase of every one of our SaaS projects is so important.
Engaging with your users at the beginning of the project, bringing them in at various points to test your assumptions, and having them rigorously test your solution once it’s at beta stage is the best possible way to establish that clear roadmap for development that will deliver the system you want to see.
By undertaking this approach, you will be able to better understand that a simple, intuitive interface is only truly simple and intuitive if it’s helping your users to do what they need to do easily, and with confidence.
And it’s about understanding that you can only do that, if you bring them with you, every step of the way.
So, how do you do this UX thing?
To start with, we employ a wide range of UX engagement techniques to get people involved in our projects.
From design workshops to prototyping to user testing, we take UX very seriously.
Whatever techniques we use, our company approach to app development is based on four steps:
Step 1: Ask the right questions
To start with, start with the real basics, and ask:
- Does this product give me value?
- Is it easy to use?
- Is it fun?
By asking these questions, we get to understand if it’s performing its basic tasks well, in a way that makes life easier, and brings just a little bit of joy to everyday life.
Step 2: Look beyond the numbers
Who doesn’t love wading through a ton of quantitative data?
As an app development company, it’s the kind of thing that gets us excited. But we appreciate that might be true for everyone!
Using statistical and demographic data about your users is an essential starting point in the UX process. It’ll help you understand stuff like who uses what device; where they’re located, and the extent to which they interact with the process you’re trying to change.
But while it’s an important starting point; in reality, that’s all it is.
To get a really rich picture of your users’ needs, you need to delve a lot deeper.
To make your product a success it needs to be able to anticipate what your users want from it, how they want it to work, and crucially, how they want it to make them feel.
We would use Vision workshops, Design workshops, Prototyping and testing, UX Audits and a whole range of techniques for this. Whatever your project needs, we have an approach to take your users with you.
Step 3. Walk-in their shoes
The Yozu approach to UX is all about understanding how a user will feel whilst using a new SaaS product.
That’s what we mean by developing apps with empathy.
It means listening as well as proposing. It means taking into account culture as well as data.
Fundamentally, we understand that people are complicated. They have a range of experiences and associations that could make our break a new software development.
We will only know about these crucial human factors if we approach every project with empathy; involving and empowering them right throughout the process.
Step 4: Keep it simple
Let’s remember our first point for a minute. A SaaS product is about making life easier.
A SaaS product that has a cluttered overly complex interface, and takes users on a series of convoluted dead-ends, that creates as many problems as it solves, is going to prove a non-starter from the outset; and will involve you losing more users and customers.
Overly cluttered interfaces without a clear user journey can also really impact the performance of your system too. When there’s too much going on, it can really impact your system’s responsiveness, start-up time and overall user-friendliness.
As an app development company, we’re proud to create SaaS products and systems that are easy and fun to use, and that deliver value for organisations.
So it’s vital to keep it focused on the user, and understand that, for a great experience, simplicity is key.
As Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen said:
“The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use. “
We couldn’t agree more.