UI/UX Trends: Balancing on the Dizzying Path Between Unique and Usable
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Two decades ago, in the year 2000, Jakob Nielsen declared that Flash design is 99% bad because it kills usability. What's being said between the lines is that everything that kills usability was bad.
Mr. Nielsen was the voice of a new trend that revolved as a reaction to the websites from the 90s — the ones with acidic colors, prominent blue hyperlinks, wild graphics, and all those amazing GIFs.
Web design took its very first steps back then. It wasn’t limited by user-centered principles, Nielsen Norman Group guides, or Apple’s flat aesthetic. First websites weren’t made for users, they were made for “pure art”.
No wonder that new UI/UX trends turned to simpler, cleaner, and clearer interfaces. In one word, minimalistic. Over decades of user research, designers figured out minimalism is what people want from interfaces. Jakob Nielsen’s voice was heard.
In the same year, in response to Nielsen’s minimalistic manifesto, Joel Spolsky wrote a little note stated the following:
“You get the feeling that if Mr. Nielsen designed a singles bar, it would be well lit, clean, with giant menus printed in Arial 14 point, and you’d never have to wait to get a drink. But nobody would go there, they would all be at Coyote Ugly Saloon pouring beer on each other.”
It was a voice of brutalism in web design, manifested 15 years ahead of its time.
Minimalist UI/UX design
A minimalistic movement encourages designers to simplify interfaces by removing unnecessary elements or content that doesn’t support user tasks. Google, Microsoft and Apple pioneered such simplification two decades ago, and since then, the UI and UX design world has gradually come to be dominated by minimalistic aesthetics.
Minimalism is very commendable. It helps users understand the content and complete their tasks, it looks polished and professional, it is a really good trend on so many levels that it’s no surprise this trend has become so… hmm… popular.
When we all have one recipe that works better than anything else, we naturally end up in an almost homogenized web. It was clearly felt, but not so clearly seen (for me, at least) until this tweet from 2018 by Jimmy Daly.
Jimmy is speaking about almost identical anthropomorphic illustrations top SaaS brands have, but you still can’t tell the difference between which landing page is which even if you forget for a moment about pictures. Look at those rounded sans serif fonts, black & white interfaces, rounded rectangle buttons.
App design blurs even more and becomes literally invisible: link is link, text is text, navigation is all the same and suddenly everything in your phone feels like one big white application.
Is it bad that our designs look like clones?
Not really. The product’s visual identity and junior designers’ ego may suffer. But for users, uniformity in product design is a good thing, because...
When people use their GPS navigators and banking apps or scroll through a long article like the one you’re reading, they don’t want to focus their energy on an interface. They want to focus on the job. And since they have dozens of apps on their phones, uniformity across everyday digital products helps to switch between them smoothly.
If you want to set yourself apart from the rest of the apps by unique design, consider the case of Snapchat’s redesign disaster.
In 2018 the company shocked its fans with innovative user interface design and unfamiliar navigation patterns. The reaction was not long in coming — you see the dramatic drop in consumer sentiment.
Close to a quarter of all downloaded apps are deleted after just one use. And annoying people with overloaded interfaces is not the best strategy to stay afloat, even for the brightest brands.
When minimalism is not enough
For a few months already, I’m struggling through Ulysses by James Joyce, probably the most challenging text I have ever read. The plot of the story is pretty elusive, buried under the layers of Greek myths, Irish history, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Dante, and 19th-century memes. Most of the time I hate this book. But in the moments when tiny dots come together in my mind, I’m the king of the world.
Sure, I don’t want all my life, or, God forbid, my apps, to feel like Ulysses. But there are situations when people want to be annoyed with some level of mystery and complexity. When they want to solve some puzzle.
Minimalism’s aesthetics feels way too boring sometimes. When we've had enough of well-lit, clean bars with giant white menus, we started looking for Coyote Ugly saloons.
Brutalist web design
Remember Morgan Freeman’s office in Bruce Almighty? That pure white sterile space recalls me of some bare-bones minimalist white websites. Brutalist web design came as a reaction to standardized visual design and spray-painted some punk stuff onto walls of minimalism.
Since 2014, the Brutalist Websites page has been collecting the brightest brutalist web design examples. Back then, these were personal portfolios of designers and coders who were tired of the mainstream.
In 2016, the Washington Post said that “the hottest trend in Web design is making intentionally ugly, difficult sites”. And that was the point when businesses started careful experiments with their interfaces. Digital agencies, creative media and fashion labels, all the cool kids turned their attention to provocative brutalist tricks — broken grids, random colors, ugly fonts. Some experiments turned out to be more successful than others.
In October 2017, Dropbox’s rebranding blew the collective mind of the worldwide designer community. The company was known for its design system that helps users handle files with minimal distraction. And suddenly it went wild with a plethora of colors and 259 (!!!) fonts. Sounds like lots of destruction.
The idea of rebranding was to change Dropbox’s positioning from being just a place to store files to being a workspace for creative teams. So the new design was speaking to creative teams. But it looks like the target demographic turned out to be more moderate than Dropbox expected because most of the feedback I’ve seen on the Web was negative.
You’d say that we can’t judge the effectiveness of a redesign by comments from the web, and you’d be right. But we have something much more valuable to consider — how the users behave in the redesigned pages.
Here’s how Arlen McCluskey from Dropbox comments on pricing page redesign:
The bold rebrand color palette negatively affected trust and clarity. As a result — a drop in several key metrics. So shortly after the makeover, Dropbox returned its pricing page to a more discreet design.
You may want a creative web page, and your brand may need a brighter identity, but any moves towards design diversity may decrease usability. And if you're in business for money, you can’t ignore users voting with their dollars against bad usability.
So current UI/UX trends are all about balancing on the dizzying path in between great usability and a brave outstanding brand.
Some of 2021 UI/UX design trends
#1 Edgy typography
Making fonts bigger and bolder is a very noticeable trend. Complex typography looks fresh and entertaining, it adds some spice to your design but doesn't usually impact its functionality and navigation performance.
Quirky fonts often act as design accents on SaaS landing pages. Take Dropbox’s squashed-up Sharp Grotesk typeface or Whyte Inctrap font that earned Figma a place in Eleken’s landing pages ranking.
#2 Consistent visual language
UX is not an excuse for lack of visual identity. If you don’t want to dissolve your brand’s personality in standardized interface elements, you may come up with your own visual language, just like Miro did.
It all started with shapes that reflected the company's key values — spatiality, fluidity, agility, and distribution. Later, Miro incorporated brand shapes into all the UI elements. They use them as photo frames, backgrounds and illustration patterns, creating a recognizable look.
#3 Going loud with colors
Moving away from white is a drastic change from minimalistic designs that makes your landing page stand out for users who go through hundreds of light-colored websites in a day.
Look at Zendesk's website. This one, in its 2018 edition, appeared in Jimmy Daly’s tweet as one of four identical websites with creepy illustrations. Since then, Zendesk differentiated itself with colors, and today you can barely mix up their page with any others.
Psst… If you want more trends, we have more trends.
Spice it up, but keep it functional
Latest UI/UX design trends are definitely moving from perfection to uniqueness, but it’s all about context.
If we’re speaking about a SaaS product, your first concern is making the app extremely functional and pleasant for the user to navigate. You probably want some experiments with a landing page that works as a colorful wrapper for your product, but be careful and check how changes impact your bottom line. More experiments with design probably make sense if you’re dealing with a personal portfolio of a website of a creative agency.
The main thing you have to remember is that any design should be usable, because if it isn’t, no matter how pretty it is, it is a bad design.
Eleken product design agency can help you with good design, great from the user experience perspective and still unique.
Interested? Let’s talk.
UI vs UX. Ketchup, Chicken, and Egg
Most non-designers use UI/UX as a joint term without thinking of separating it. As a design agency providing UI/UX services, we are sometimes asked why this term is united and why there is a slash between UI and UX. Read this article to find out the answer to one of these questions.
Meaning of UI and UX
UI stands for the user interface. The interface serves as an intermediary between the programming language and humans, all those elements that allow people to get the use of complicated software without being an IT professional.
The user interface consists of many elements like buttons, menus, icons. Actually, more than just that: also animations, sounds, shades, links colors, scrolling patterns, and so on. The voice-based interface (Siri, Alexa) is another type of interface.
UX means user experience. Experience consists of well-structured workflows, the understandable architecture of the website, clear commands, fast and efficient interactions. The job of UX design is to make the product easy and enjoyable to use.
The interface is an important part of user experience, and experience is built through interaction with the interface. Because of such a tight interconnection between UI and UX, the term UI/UX design became extremely common. They function together in harmony like yin-yang and there is no competition between the two.
Ketchup, Chicken, and Egg
To better understand what differs UI from UX, let's take a look at....ketchup. Yes, you've read that correctly. There is a famous picture with two different ketchup bottles: a classic glass one and a squeezable plastic one with a cap at the bottom. Glass bottle looks neat and stylish, yet getting ketchup out of it is no easy task. On the other hand, squeezable packaging makes you think that it was made for providing the smoothest ketchup experience possible.
The message is clear, yet there have been lots of critics about this simplified way of explaining what is the difference between UI and UX design. The problem is the perceived antagonism of the two. UI and UX are not synonyms, but neither are the opposites. It is more like chicken and egg, two elements of the process.
But what came first: the chicken or the egg? Let's find out.
UI. The Chicken
What did the user interface look like before UX/UI designers were a thing? First computers had just a screen where you had to type commands for the machine to do any operation.
The command-line interface looks like an “anti UI” to modern users. Basically, humans had to talk to computers in computer language, the language that very few people knew. Terms like user-friendly, accessible, human-centered design were not applicable. It was computer-centered rather than human-centered.
It was not until the 80s when personal computers appeared on the market and the interface started moving from computer-centered orientation closer to the users, marking the beginning of the graphical user interface era.
The mere existence of functional software was a bit of a miracle back then and each new program was one of a kind, so the demand for a specific design was rather low. No one expected interaction with the machines to be easy. Over time, interfaces have become more and more advanced and UI capabilities have increased as well.
Nowadays, smart devices are everywhere, the solutions are numerous and there are always alternatives (whatever startup founders say). To attract users, software should be user-friendly. Sounds as obvious as Dale Carnegie’s advice. However, accomplishing that is not as easy. To get an orientation, check out these examples of great UI design.
UX. The egg
So, when did UX appear? Well, its history is as long as that of an egg. User experience existed since the first services appeared in human history, and arguably even before that: when an ancient man started using the first tools made of stone.
UX books may bring up an example of experience design from the 19th century when business owners were searching for ways of attracting customers. The users of first computers also had experiences, for sure, but the focus was set on functionality. For the reasons explained above, the user experience started playing an important role in software development a while after the appearance of the first PCs, as the evolution of the user interface took off.
Nowadays, user experience is the priority of product design in the majority of software companies. UX defines the elements of the user interface and its general structure, strategy, and philosophy. And UI is what makes the experience delightful.
UI vs UX design. The difference
Now that the unity of UI/UX design is crystal clear, let’s talk about the differences between the UI and UX design.
What do UI designers do?
UI designers focus mostly on visual elements, and partly on the other means of an interface, such as sound and animation. Their job is to ensure consistency of the design, its coherence with the brand identity, and make the website or app look clear, attractive, and accessible to users.
To create a good user interface, knowledge of graphic design principles is essential. Composition, typography, layout, colors are as important in web design as they are in printed materials. That is why UI designers often come to this profession from graphic design.
The skills needed for UI design are not limited to work with graphic design instruments such as Figma and Photoshop. In small products, designers also perform the role of front-end developers. Basic knowledge of the front-end also makes the process of handing out the elements of web design to the developers and overall design-developers communication go smoothly.
Here are some of the common questions that UI designers face:
- What is the best layout to make this text readable?
- How do I make the design adjustable for both desktop and mobile?
- What pictures to choose and where to place them to catch the attention of the users?
What do UX designers do?
To make the design easy to use, the focus is on the target audience, people that already use the product (or are likely to use it in the future). The skills of UX designers include psychology, analytics, in some cases, sociology, anthropology, and, one of the most important, empathy. No Ph.D. is required, but basic knowledge is a must.
To get the right information from the users, UX designers conduct in-depth interviews, field research, mouse tracking, eye-tracking, and a variety of other UX research tools and methods. Another important skill is choosing the right ones out of this bunch of tools.
UX research process may look rather simple from the outside, but it has lots of hidden nuances. Even when we talk about interviews, the basis of every user research process, to get useful and unbiased information out of the focus group, the UX designer has to prepare a script and follow a certain methodology. Here is a list of UX research interview questions for you to get a glimpse of the preparation process.
And though the research takes a large chunk of UX designers’ work, they also work on actual design and testing. If you want to find more about that, read our articles with a detailed explanation of what UX designers and researchers really do.
These are some of the questions that UX designers ask themselves when working on the product:
- Is it easy for users to find a pair of red sneakers, size 9 on the website?
- How can we change the structure of the menu to make it easy to understand and intuitive?
- What problems do users encounter when using the app? (and how can they be fixed?)
These are just some of the differences between UI and UX designers, and then come product designers… This position requires a wider set of skills, from psychology to business development, marketing, branding, project management, and so on. Product designers often lead teams of UI/UX designers, but can also work alone on small startups. For further details, read our article product designers vs UI/UX designers.
How do you know if your product needs a UI, UX, or UI/UX designer?
Here at Eleken UX design agency, we don’t have a strong separation between UI and UX designers, our team members have diverse backgrounds and expertise in both UI and UX. It makes sense since we work a lot on small projects that require one to three designers.
In big software companies that have over a hundred professionals working on UI/UX design, you may see all sorts of specializations: UI designer, UX designer, UX strategist, Interaction designer, Information architect, Information designer, Service designer, Accessibility specialist, User researcher, and many more.
Narrow specialization is not necessarily better than having a UI/UX designer with a wide range of skills and responsibilities. The choice between the two options is strongly tied to the size of the product and team. Both have their pros and cons.
There is no rule that you need to have a division between UI and UX professionals when your design team starts to grow. When in-team communication works well, the responsibilities are distributed between the designers according to their interests, skills and the needs of the project.
A UX designer working in a large team would be capable of building UI, and vice versa. Having a narrower range of tasks helps save time and provides a deeper focus on what they are doing. We recommend you base your hiring decisions on skills and experience rather than on the title of the profession.
To sum up
If this article was still lacking UI vs UX comparison images, here is one more:
If you don’t get the point, that’s fine. There is no sense, the picture is one of a Twitter thread full of increasingly nonsensical images with “UI” and ”UX”. These images turned into a meme since there have been so many attempts of simple visualization and so many critics and discussions.
So where does that leave us? Let’s recap.
There are quite a few differences between the UI and UX, but what is the most important is their yin-yang harmony. User interface and user experience design are part of the whole and one is not complete without the other.
UI and UX work together on making software clear and understandable for every user. Want to know how? Read our article about the UI/UX design process.
Best SaaS Companies and Secrets of Their Success
What does it mean to create a good SaaS product?
The rosy picture is the following: you have an always-growing subscriber base, you're able to monetize your subscribers, and, once tried, customers continue using your product over time recommending it to colleagues and friends. Voila! You're among the best SaaS companies, right?
However, the reality is different. As a SaaS design agency, we know, building a successful SaaS product is like playing a Rubic’s cube — to make it good you need everything to magically click together. Sounds obvious, but the only chance for a newbie to win a Rubic’s three-inch beast is to google the winning algorithm.
In the case of SaaS, you don’t even have an algorithm to google it. Otherwise, we’d have 100% of successful startups.
However, there are two ways out here:
- We can investigate what prevents SaaS products from becoming good and gently mark those danger zones with black & yellow warning tape to avoid getting caught.
- We can analyze popular SaaS companies to figure out what makes them successful and learn from their experience.
Or we can do both! Let’s take a closer look at two variants.
What can go wrong with you SaaS and how to cope
Achieve your product-market fit
Despite being a top-line buzzword, the product-market fit is imperative for SaaS success, since for any business to survive, there must be people who will buy what it sells. The lack of market need is the #1 reason for failure, noted in 42% of cases.
The concept is vivid, but what are the indicators of the product-market fit? Sean Ellis, who ran the early growth of Dropbox and Eventbrite, came up with a simple survey.
Ask your users how they’d feel if they could no longer use your product with the three answers given — ‘very disappointed’, ‘somewhat disappointed’, and ‘not disappointed’. The group that answers ‘very disappointed’ unlocks your product-market fit.
After going through this survey with almost a hundred startups, Ellis found that the magic number was 40%. Most companies that struggle to grow have less than 40% of ‘very disappointed’ users, whereas companies with strong traction almost always exceed that threshold. And that’s in no way an easy task to keep 40%, as the case of Slack shows.
2015 was the year when Slack’s growth skyrocketed and the company called itself the fastest-growing business app ever. That year, Hiten Shah posed the question to 731 Slack users to find out that 51% of them would be very disappointed to lose Slack.
In 2019, a similar question asked by ProfitWell showed the product-market fit decreased to 26% only.
The remarkable reading here is the story of Superhuman. The company built its ‘very disappointed’ segment up from 22% to 58% and explained their road beyond 40% in the iconic product-market fit article.
Fight customer confusion
If your new shiny fitted-to-the-market solution is buried under the big, clunky, wasteful mess, the good chance is that nobody will notice how fitted it is.
Customers see your product and ask themselves. What problem does it solve? Why do I need it? How do I use it? What do I do next?
SaaS products are systems with multiple design layers and tricky user flows. They are difficult to explain, difficult to design and understand. So the answers to the questions above are not always clear enough.
X-tech is a flexible and efficient price optimization & management software used for advanced price setting in various industries to ensure your pricing strategy forces you to provide reasons for the users to make a purchase and allows you to automate pricing analytics, optimization, and execution.
Pfff, goodbye. Didn’t get what you do. I’d better stay with my good old app.
One more shot, how we do it at Eleken.
“Eleken is a pragmatic design agency for SaaS”.
A bit of cheating here — it’s easier to articulate a UI/UX design agency than a never-before-seen X-tech, but you got the idea.
Think different (no kidding)
When in doubt, B2B businesses keep their best serious face. To play safe, they use muted blues and greys everywhere. To decide on their next moves, they look to the left, and then to the right on their competitors to clone their new features and pricing policies.
It seems to be a proven, less risky way to go, but it’s completely ignorable.
What is so different about successful SaaS that makes them stand out? They get beyond the boundaries of boring B2B software and create products that are not just convenient but fun to use. People love using them.
Look at Notion with its nerd aesthetics and Slack with its confetti cannon color scheme.
If you’re seeking a way to break down the inertia and make people try something new, you can’t allow yourself to be an ignorable brand.
If you’re making money convincing people to prolong their subscriptions every month, you need to be an addictive brand.
If you’re Microsoft — it's alright, skip to the next step.
Define what can be considered a rock concert in your product niche and do it to become a rock star.
Take pricing (more) serious
Pricing strategy, or its absence, is what makes the difference between a fail and growth for 18% of startups. It's no surprise, given that the average SaaS startup spends only six hours to decide on a SaaS pricing strategy. Six hours, overall, to set, test, and sharpen everything.
So much blood and tears and sleepless nights to bring the product close to perfection and at the final stage of purchase, you have no idea whether you’re turning the potential clients away with huge price tags or, more likely, leaving your money on the table.
When companies think about growth, they think about customer acquisition and retention. But in fact, improving monetization had the largest impact on your bottom line, followed by acquisition and retention.
In the world of tech, pricing rarely depends on production cost, rather on the consumers’ needs and willingness to pay.
Think one step ahead
Over time, things are moving according to your product life cycle. As things move, you need to adapt.
When you're launching, it's about going all-in and working hard. When you're growing, it's about hiring the right leadership and climbing your growth curve as high as possible. Being on the top, you should be ready for stuff that comes beyond growth.
Here’s what is just around the corner:
- Audience saturation, when most of the audience that needs your product already uses your (or your competitors’) services and growth starts to slow down.
- Channel saturation, when your proven growth mechanism doesn't work so well anymore and growth starts to slow down.
- Market saturation, when more and more competitors rush in to capitalize on your market with lower prices and improved products. As a result, again, growth slows down.
Saturation happens sooner or later with any successful product, giving you a narrow window for innovation that can jump-start the new round of growth. So you need to figure out when it’s coming, accumulate resources for further expansion and decide in which direction you’re going to expand.
There are many other dangers lurking along your way to a good SaaS product, but they can't stop persistent entrepreneurs from building good SaaS products.
Now, let’s look at cloud-based companies that managed to make their way to the top.
Top SaaS businesses and what makes them successful
Here are some of the best SaaS businesses that managed to become successful, let’s see why people choose them.
Revenue: $ 883 million
HubSpot is a cloud-based marketing and sales platform. It focuses on attracting customers and leading them through the whole buyer’s journey. HubSpot is known for its wide range of tools for business growth. They help businesses with email marketing, blog optimization, and social media interactions.
Even though many software companies provide similar solutions, HubSpot stays at the forefront of digital marketing. What makes it different from other services?
- Inbound marketing. The first point is that HubSpot follows the inbound marketing methodology. It means they attract customers via content they create and not with pushy ad campaigns. Hubspot provides readers with valuable information and lets them decide what product to buy. They constantly create useful and relevant content on how to boost business growth. This way they gain credibility in the readers’ eyes. Whenever you type something related to digital marketing in your search engine, you get the results written by the HubSpot team at the top.
- All-in-one solution. This cloud service locates a full stack of tools to support the customer's marketing and sales process in one place. The user doesn’t have to switch between different platforms that, besides, do not always integrate with each other. HubSpot combines tools for different purposes in one cloud saas application.
- Easy to use. HubSpot's UI lets the user intuitively navigate through each component in the platform and learn very quickly how every tool works. The layout is clear and well-categorized so that even a non-technical person would understand how to complete the desired action.
In order to improve its UI and UX, Hubspot has even conducted a drunken user test. Yes, a drunken guy tested their UI design to measure how simple it is to navigate through the website. It’s funny, but it proves that HubSpot cares about a user-friendly interface.
To sum up, Hubspot’s strengths are inbound marketing, a full stack of tools in one place, and the ease of use of their product.
Revenue: $1.914 billion
Dropbox is one of the most profitable software companies that provide a cloud storage service. It allows us to store the information, share data, and synchronize files on different devices.
There are a couple of reasons why Dropbox is more popular than its competitors.
- It’s simple. Simplicity concerns everything in the Dropbox service. It doesn’t take much time for a person to understand how this platform works thanks to its minimalistic user interface. As well, no matter what OS you have, access to all features is available anytime on the Dropbox website. Dropbox doesn’t try to “look smarter” than its users. All features that it offers just work well and efficiently perform their function. This popular SaaS service is not overloaded with tools that no one tries, because they are too complicated for a regular customer. In general, Dropbox looks like just one folder that is extremely easy to use.
- It’s fast. If you have a new device and want to synchronize data on it, you don’t have to wait hours while the information is being transported through the Internet. Dropbox uses LAN synching which allows you to do it much faster.
- It’s platform-agnostic. Dropbox’s UX is equally coherent on Windows, iOS, or Linux. You will be able to access your files or shared data on different web browsers, devices, or platforms. Dropbox’s team did a great job of designing a consistent experience across desktop, iOS, and Android.
Dropbox does its job really well, it is fast, easy to use and it has great cross-platform support.
Revenue: $ 2,7 billion
Zoom is a company that provides cloud-based remote conferencing services. Except for video meetings it gives an opportunity to chat, share the screen, create workspaces, and hold webinars.
Many people are wondering how Zoom managed to become so popular, leaving behind such strong competitors as Skype and Google Hangouts. And again the general answer is the ease of use.
- Easy to install. As one of the SaaS benefits, you don’t have to download any applications, install them, and update. All you need is the browser and access to the internet. The user doesn’t need to spend time getting accustomed to this software. After registration, you understand how to use it intuitively. That leads us to the next advantage of Zoom.
- Great UI and UX design. The consumer-centric approach has raised the demand for convenient and simple video conferencing. Zoom made it possible to use their software from any device with only one click. They care about UI so much that when you look at the Zoom interface it almost tells you what actions to perform next. There is nothing that disturbs the visitor or makes them think of some technical issues of the software. The user can concentrate on their online meeting only.
By the way, one more feature that made Zoom so popular is that the user interface is consistent on the smartphone as well as on laptops.
Zoom cares a lot about the usability of their product and this fact makes them stand out.
Revenue: $2,93 billion
Shopify is a cloud e-commerce platform for online and retail stores. It provides a complete set of tools to set up, customize, and manage your business. Here are a couple of reasons why people prefer Shopify to other services.
- Non-tech friendly. Shopify allows people without technical experience to create and run an online store. Users subscribe to Shopify as they don’t have to care about development, updating, and server hosting. All features on the admin panel are logically structured which promotes an intuitive user experience.
- Graphic interface. Although the appealing interface has nothing to do with the platform’s functionality, it can improve the way the customer interacts with the service. One of the reasons Shopify has gained its popularity is a clear UI. It lets the person who sees this platform for the first time can handle it quickly and easily.
The above features make Shopify especially popular for those who want to save time and don’t want to care about any technical issues.
Revenue: $375,6 million
SurveyMonkey is a cloud software for conducting online surveys. Today the name of this company sounds like a gold standard in its niche and there are several reasons for that.
- User-friendly interface design. And again it’s all about being easy to use. SurveyMonkey dashboard will guide you through 5 main steps to design, distribute, and research your survey. As well, SurveyMonkey’s surveys work well on mobiles.
- A big choice of templates. This cloud platform offers more than 200 survey templates. They are divided into categories and are especially useful for beginners who struggle to construct an effective form. There is also a possibility to create a survey from scratch.
- The logic tool. This tool takes into account the user’s earlier answers and based on this information can hide some further questions. Depending on the answers the logic tool can redirect you to different pages.
SurveyMonkey managed to make complex software look user friendly.
Revenue: $401 million
Slack is the best cloud-based software for business communication. This real-time messenger allows employers to organize and manage dialogues according to specific topics, have private conversations, share files, etc. Slack has become a trusted means of corporate communication because of its:
- Design. Andrew Wilkinson, one of Slack’s designers, said that one of the reasons this messenger became successful is because it looks different:
“To get attention in a crowded market, we had to find a way to get people’s attention. Most enterprise software looks like a cheap 70's prom suit — muted blues and greys everywhere — so, starting with the logo, we made Slack look like a confetti cannon had gone off. Electric blue, yellows, purples, and greens all over. We gave it the color scheme of a video game, not an enterprise collaboration product.”
Slack’s interface was made not just for fun, it helps the user understand how the messenger works and makes it easy to use.
- Integration power. New technologies appear daily on the market and in case you need to include one in already existing software, there might be some problems. This doesn’t concern Slack, as it can integrate any technological innovations. For example, if you use Google Drive a lot in your work process, Slack can include its functions and allow you to interact with files from this platform without leaving the messenger.
Slack looks and feels different. The way the visual aspect is connected with this platform functionality makes it special and popular among users.
Okay, *slaps knees*
Now, if you’re making a SaaS startup, and everything seems too complicated – no worries. Take deep breaths, recall about the pitfalls that are waiting for you (carefully pay attention to your product’s market fit, its clear performance, personality, pricing, and life cycle stages), get inspiration from SaaS gurus' best practices, and come to Eleken for a human-centered design that will beat all your competitors.