How to Increase SaaS Ease of Usability
The usability of your SaaS product will determine in part how successful it is. Easy-to-use products are quickly accepted by users and the acceptance stage of user onboarding becomes much smoother.
Finding the ideal medium between ease of usability and features that are useful should be the goal of every SaaS platform provider. It goes almost without saying: A product rich in difficult-to-use features is also difficult to adopt, while another product with similar features that is easy to use will garner the highest user acceptance.
Improve usability by utilizing the tools at your disposal including predictive analytics, A/B testing, user feedback, and raw experience to improve SaaS product usability and design.
Consider a trip to the eye doctor for new glasses. Various lenses are tried and with each new lens the doctor asks, “is this better or worse?” This is A/B testing in its simplest form.
In a SaaS environment, A/B testing presents two separate user groups with two different implementations of the same feature. The test results tell you which action/feature/flow/UX decision works better. It is therefore important to monitor the results throughout the test and remove feature implementations that users find more difficult than the alternative. Testing combined with data provided by an analytics dashboard helps SaaS providers tweak the usability of their product features and provide a better user experience.
Feedback – Incentives and How to Get it
Obtaining user feedback is one of the trickiest aspects of service providing. The things you want to know are usually complex and the users have no patience (or incentive) to invest time in them. In which case:
1. Offer incentives such as free access to additional features, amazon gift cards or even participation in a gift-card raffle. This is a small action – most people just need to be nudged a bit in its direction.
2. Design the feedback gathering so that it is so short and accurate – that it goes practically un-noticed to the user, allowing you to gather precious data. Usabilla have a funky Visual Survey product that optimizes the feedback process, including short bits of single one-click pop-up questions. The user-energy/provider-data ratio is spectacular.
Implementing an analytics dashboard can provide information about where users face usability bottlenecks. The collection of analytics data indicates what users have accomplished and what they have done or not done. Failure of a user to complete a form, visit a feature page, or finish a process by clicking a button may be an indication of poor usability or a bottleneck in the process.
When analytics data shows users routinely complete a process quickly, the feature likely has good usability. The user finds it easy, learns the process, and is able to integrate it into their work flow with little difficulty. This type of feature improves user onboarding, but without good predictive analytics, the SaaS provider remains uninformed. Ask us more about predictive analytics.
Learn from Others’ Experience
It is seldom necessary to reinvent the wheel. Use the experiences of others to improve SaaS usability and user onboarding by examining the mistakes and successes of others. There are some great platforms out there for measuring usability independently and tools for optimizing it. One of the most popular platforms in this field is Jeff Sauro’s Measuring Usability, that offers a lot of helpful content and guides, alongside the seminars and paid services.