It’s hard to ignore the fact that Apple products look great, whether you are a fan of them or not. Their prices are much higher than the competition, but their design, and simplistic perfection, is something that is hard to ignore.
On top of that, their packaging and presentation is keen on detail just the same. When you open a new Macbook or iPhone, feelings of excitement like those of your first Christmas as a kid come out from hiding for just a moment as you take apart and examine each new part.
Just based on the packaging alone, it adds to the excitement of turning the device on the first time. These feelings you have in relation to the product are something the design and packaging are achieving even before you have started using the product.
All of that being said, there are 2 areas we need to address in regards to design -- your product and your website.
Your Product Design
The closer you can understand the feelings your customers have with relation to your product the better your on-boarding and SaaS marketing effectiveness gets. This is a simple statement any of us will agree with, yet so many SaaS companies ignore how their product’s design appears. There could be many reasons for this:
- They are in an early stage and only have an MVP, design hasn't been deemed important yet
- They simply don't think it matters as much as the functionality
- Think it's a pretty good design yet they haven’t asked anyone elses opinion
- It's too big of an undertaking at the moment
Start small and really ask the right questions. What is your design portraying to your customers?
One good place to start is to ask your friends and colleagues, or for a simple way to test out others opinions of your design quickly and get feedback from random people, checkout User Testing.
When Does the Product Design Matter?
If you're in an MVP stage, and searching for problem/solution fit, this might not be as relevant. However, you will want to be prepared to revamp and create higher quality designs for your product and website as you move towards product/market fit.
If you have achieved product/market fit and still are struggling with the design of your product, it's time to step on the gas. If the design is an issue for your team, get someone to help you with it. This could be one area that could help validate your product and assist in your SaaS marketing growth.
Try To Look At It From The Outside In
If you could truly look at your product's design, as an outsider, and contemplate whether you would purchase it or not, before getting into what it does or is worth to you, then there is a big red flag. You should be sold on your product first.
The first impression is all your subconscious needs before even giving your product a chance. Just imagine the amount of potential customers your SaaS product could be losing based simply on its outside appearance. There may be a few adopters that don't care, but some of the churned customers may be left with a feeling that the product isn't quite put together enough, and could simply be it's UX/UI that feels unfinished and low quality.
Ask yourself -- How does my product look? Many people tend to overlook the design aspects of their SaaS product as well as its packaging -- ie. your website: the face of your product marketing efforts.
Improving Your Site Design
Your website is the first thing your visitors see and they judge it within the blink of an eye. They should know right away what you are selling. Which leads us to reiterating the importance of your Value Proposition.
Keep it above the fold and keep it short and sweet. It should address what sets you apart and why your product creates value for your customers. Use the Value Proposition Canvas to help create better messaging for your business.
Ex. MailChimp - Send Better Email
Call To Actions
Visitors need to know where to go on your site. Make sure you address their next step on their journey with appropriate CTAs. Decide where their next step should be in learning more about your product and make sure it stands out!
Ex. Heroku - Sign Up For Free
Product screenshots help visualize what the visitor will be taking the next steps towards. This really helps to assistother areas of the site in a more visual way. Text is great, but having screenshots helps tie all visual and textual messaging together.
Get To Know Your Personas
A good looking product or website isn’t all you need. It also needs to talk with your buyer personas. Read more about how important buyer personas are to the SaaS industry here. Let’s put it in simple terms. If your SaaS product is selling towards the enterprise market and your website or product is not refined to look and talk to these large corporations you will be overlooked.
Even if you are the only product in your market, you won’t be for long, and you will soon be left behind. You may get your initial few clients based on your connections, referrals, great sales tactics, or other ways, but keep in mind these are temporary.
To truly be an authority in your marketplace and be trusted you must represent your company on the outside just as much as the inside. Truly selling a new product from your marketing efforts requires a design that will capture your audience and want them to learn more before they even know what the product is about.
If you need help developing your buyer personas, take a look at our guide that will help you get started!