Strategy & Planning

How to create a great SaaS website design

Regardless of the size of your SaaS business, your website is often the first contact point between a potential customer and your brand. For this reason, it’s important that you effectively relay your company’s message through great web design. But where do you begin? Distinguishing between good and great SaaS website design is hard. Keeping up with the ever-evolving new design trends is even harder. 

Your website should feel consistent and on-brand, just the same as your other marketing efforts such as SEO and content

By taking the extra time to build out your website using design best practices, you’ll be able to create an impactful design that promotes your marketing efforts. 

Throughout this blog, I’ll walk you through how to create a great SaaS website design that effectively represents your brand and message. 

The key components of impactful website design

Consistent branding 

Eight seconds. A user’s attention span on a website tends to last no longer than 8 seconds. So you might as well use those 8 seconds to make an impact. One of the crucial ways of getting a prospect to stay is by establishing trust. So how might you do that? Well staying consistent with your brand is the only way. This can be done by providing a consistent story website visitors can relate to and resonate with. 

Here are a few meaningful ways to get that done:

Logo

It’s safe to assume that the logo is the “face” of the company.  Brands like Nike, Target, and Microsoft are instantly recognized by their logos and are a major part of their brand identity. A brand’s logo plays a major role in your prospect's first impression of your brand and can also help you stand out from your competition. 

Since we tend to form opinions very quickly, it’s important to have an effective logo that displays the qualities you want your logo to have, for example professional, trustworthy, approachable, etc.  

Your prospects will form opinions about your brand very quickly, which is why your logo should display the same qualities as your brand voice. Are you trying to show you are trustworthy? Approachable? Witty? Regardless, a logo should be a reflection of the tone you want to set when a prospect first comes into contact with your brand. 

As a result, you’ll foster brand loyalty and create a memorable experience for your prospects. 

Color

I think this one comes by no surprise. We’ve all heard of color theory and how we as humans perceive colors. Color is perception. People decide whether or not they like a product in 90 seconds or less. 90% of that decision is based solely on color. That should help you visualize how important color is when it comes to branding. Picking an effective palette and staying consistent are very important when it comes to creating a great SaaS website design.

Imagery

Images have a far greater impact than we attribute to them. An image can encourage a prospect to make a purchase and evoke a collection of emotions, good and bad.

In web design, the role of images is unparalleled. In fact, visuals are considered one of the strongest aspects of web design. Yes, content is important, but studies show that people remember 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see. Imagery can expand from photography to illustration to data visualization.

 It’s time to change how we communicate important information and data just because we fail to understand the information we own. Images can deliver several emotions at a time, provide a better attention grabber, improve decision making, among other benefits. So say you have an idea, strategy, or data that is super important to your company's ideology. Rather than just giving it its own section on the website, why not reimagine that content in a visual way? Make it stand out from the rest of the page and display it in a way that anyone could understand.

The influence of great UX

Sure, you can have amazing visual design, with a great logo, effective colors, and impactful images. But we often find ourselves struggling to make that amazing visual design user-friendly. Now, what makes something user-friendly? Simply, it means it’s easy to use and understand. You might be wondering, why is this so important if my branding looks great? In May of 2020, Google announced the Page Experience Signal, a new ranking factor that is releasing soon. 

So what does this mean for you and your Google rankings? To rank higher in SERP (search engine results page), here are a few factors to keep in mind:

Loading time

Now, there are a few ways you can improve your loading time, but these are a few quick tricks I recommend to keep in mind: 

Reduce and condense media and images 

While images enhance the appearance of your website, they also can take a large toll on the loading time of each webpage, especially if the images and media are too large. In doing so, you are essentially reducing the “weight” of the file, therefore running smoother and faster.

Reduce redirects

Redirects can be useful, but if excessively used, it can really hurt your load time. A redirect is used to send a user to a different URL from the one they originally requested.  Every time a page redirects somewhere else, it prolongs the HTTP request and response process. Redirects should be decided case by case, sometimes they are needed but if deemed unnecessary, leave them out. 

Cache your web pages

Caching is one of the most effective ways to reduce load time and increase web page speed. Caching is essentially a technique that stores a copy of a given resource and serves it back when requested. It allows for the web page to load using fewer resources. Essentially, caching creates a “backup” version of your page which can be served up to a user in place of the most recent version of your page, therefore reducing overall loading time. 

Interactivity

Interactivity is the design of interaction between humans and a product, such as a website. This part of UX uses more visual-based concepts such as aesthetics, sound, motion, space, and more. Let’s pull the most important principles from this concept:

Language

Language, especially those used in interactions, like button labels/ CTAs, should be meaningful and simple to understand. A CTA is a doorway leading to a place where you get your answers or download some cool thing. The language along with the design of your CTA can disrupt your conversion rates so let’s talk about some examples. They should communicate information to users, but not too much information to overwhelm the user. Keep them short, yet effective.  

A CTA using unclear messaging or messaging that could be interpreted in different ways can cause confusion therefore frustration in a user. Let’s discuss an example of this. Say you have a section of the website that includes a body of text to read. Near the bottom of the paragraph, there’s a button labeled “click here”. 

While this might make sense if you read the entire paragraph, what if you didn’t? What would you interpret that button to do? It would be different for each person depending on their experience. Rather, let’s label that button “read more”. This makes it more clear that even if I didn’t read that paragraph if I click on that button it’ll take me to a page to read more about that respective section. 

Visual representation

Choose images, typography, icons, etc. that supplement the language chosen to communicate to users.

At the end of the day, a great website design has many layers, but if done properly, it shows a lot to a prospect. When successfully done, good design can communicate brand voice, raise visibility, drive conversions, reinforce messaging, and many other benefits. 

Creating a user-friendly website

Sometimes, designing a user-friendly website starts with a good structure. If you are building your website on HubSpot, there are plenty of templates you can choose from to get started. From there, it’s simply a matter of taking all the suggestions in this blog to wow your audience.

If you are not sure where to start, we recommend using Kalungi’s Atlas HubSpot theme. It’s a theme designed specifically for early-stage B2B SaaS companies and will allow you to build your entire website without code. If you have any questions about website design, Atlas, or how Kalungi can help your SaaS business, let’s talk. 

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