The business case for great UX every early-stage SaaS company should know

Simon McCade

Frictionless digital experiences are more important than ever before. Only the businesses that can align their products with people’s daily lives and fit naturally into their routines can succeed in such a competitive and time-precious environment.

A 2017 report from App Annie showed that people use more than 30 different apps on a monthly basis, which shows just how fierce the competition has become.

Users’ standards are set as high as the best product they are using, so they rightly expect every user experience (UX) to be just as easy, just as smooth and just as intuitive. This means that an optimised UX is simply a prerequisite of an implementation strategy for all platforms and devices.

Early-stage tech companies stand firmly in this space – it’s absolutely critical that they don’t neglect design in favour of the development of the tech that drives their product(s). That’s not to say that great dev won’t go a long way, but great UX will provide many additional benefits to the business, too – if, of course, they work in tandem.

Let’s explore the benefits of investing in UX design for your product:

UX design ensures you don't waste your limited resources

Let’s face it, resources are in short supply for a tech company. Wasting time (and money) simply isn’t an option. This is where better UX design solutions come into play to make the most of the skills at your disposal.

A developer, for instance, might have out-of-this-world back-end dev talents, but they might be lacking in UX and UI design knowledge. It doesn’t make sense to spread them thinly to eek out the design on top of the development if hiring a specialist UX or UI designer is a possibility.

An expert designer can quickly detect inefficiencies early in the product cycle process by working alongside them to prevent the implementation of something that’s going to waste your time and money. They will instead be able to make the most of your resources to tailor your product perfectly to your target audiences.

The importance of not wasting product team resources

UX design increases customer acquisition

Positive experiences create positive feelings, so a well designed product will always attract the kinds of users who will talk about how well it addresses their problem– this word-of-mouth activation is how initial acquisition can benefit from investment in UX (first impressions and all that). These experiences can improve overall engagement rates within a product if you can show them that you understand their requirements as customers, so this is why every little detail counts.

Testing and learning is a key priority for early-stage tech companies, as it’s literally business-critical to understand where your users might drop off and, therefore, refrain from purchasing anything at all. The key to acquisition, then, is getting the design of the sign-up process absolutely spot on for a start. It's easier said than done, of course, but a design that creates more problems than it solves isn't going to get you very far.

Early acquisition strategies anchored in UX can be great for sustainable long-term growth.
Attracting customers who love your product is crucial in today's competitive environment

UX design increases your revenue

It almost goes without saying that a user-friendly interface that fulfils a user’s needs is more likely to convert them into customers. That means more than aesthetics; it means genuine usability and intelligence.

Make it easy to buy something and people will buy it.

Take the time to create an intuitive navigation, a helpful onboarding process and an interconnected set of UX design patterns and the rest will follow. Realistically, if your product conforms to the generally accepted rules of usability, your users are more likely to perform the desired actions, such as purchasing or signing up – it’s widely believed you have only seconds to convince them to do so.

This often means reducing the number of steps it takes to complete an action or providing enough of an incentive in the right places, so it’s important to understand exactly how users might flow through your product to know, for instance, when they might respond to an offer to upgrade their account.

The easier a product is to use for your customers, the easier it is to optimise it as a revenue stream for you.

Products that solve real problems for people can generate real revenue for you

UX design reduces development costs

Too many companies can view UX resource as nothing more than an additional expense, but the opposite is true. The short-term investment can result in long-term savings when it comes to the overall product experience.

A UX designer can implement prototypes at an early stage to not only mock-up the final product, but also understand and optimise every aspect of its structure and how users might actually use it.

Addressing the information architecture (IA) and hierarchy of a product's content at this stage can mean that developers can more accurately estimate the time and effort that will be required for implementation, so no unnecessary time and money will be spent further down the line. It will effectively mean that potential problems can be ironed out before they become real problems and no unnecessary features make it into the final product (known as feature creep).

Prototyping helps product teams gain the insights needed to inform long-term strategies and not just short-term solutions. It helps you make more informed decisions when you need to pivot, so it ultimately means that it ensures your final product is easy to use because it eradicates any internal bias from people who have been waist-deep in the project from day dot.

Save time and make efficiencies on development with expert user experience design

UX design primes your product for further investment

Investment is, of course, the main goal for most tech companies, but raising a new round is all-too-often out of reach for those who don’t consider the importance of UX.

A sizeable chunk of my design services are spent on early-stage companies at the pre-seed or seed investment stage, so I know how crucial it is to cover every base early on. It’s not easy to make it (to say the bloody least!), but the businesses I have seen succeed have put great emphasis on expert UX input from an early stage. Only this approach can give a new product the best chance of attracting and retaining users, selling products and ultimately convincing investors that it is worth their time, effort and money for the future.

Without great UX design, a tech company will struggle to secure investment.
Great design with great development can give your product more chance of future investment

Final thoughts

What it all boils down to is providing a solution to a problem for your customers. If your product does that with great UX, happy days, but if it doesn’t, there won’t be many happy business days ahead, that’s for sure.

A carefully constructed UX design won’t leave your early-adopters stranded because it will consider their emotional responses to experiences and facilitate their logical responses to in-app processes, such as making a purchase.

Happy customers are like gold dust to investors, so it pays to focus on them from the off – make people’s lives easier with your product and investors will make your lives easier with their financial support.

Are you considering UX design for your product?

If you’re an early-stage tech company and you think you might need UX design services to optimise your product, why not get in touch to discuss your requirements?

You can schedule a free consultation to discuss your requirements when it comes to engaging with your customers. I offer a range of services that are specifically tailored to tech companies and achieving their unique end goals, so I can help you understand where and how you can optimise your user experience in the early stages.

My years of experience can help you identify problems and find design solutions before you are too far down the line. Give me a shout today to find out more.

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