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How to convert your internal tool into a profitable SaaS app – episode 2

How to convert your internal tool into a profitable SaaS app – episode 2
Product Design
Product Discovery
SaaS

Let's dive deeper into the design

As we build upon the foundational concepts and business perspectives introduced in Episode 1, let's now explore specific features and functionalities that directly enhance user experiences. These elements are crucial in driving satisfaction and productivity. They play a pivotal role in creating a robust and user-friendly SaaS platform, ensuring not just effective functionality, but also user delight and sustained engagement throughout their journey.

Structure management

Organization management

At the core of a user-centric SaaS platform lies the ability to create and manage multiple organizations within the system. Each organization represents a distinct entity or group of users, allowing for clear segregation and resource management. This framework aligns with real-world hierarchies, improving management, security, and data integrity. Administrators have control over access permissions and user roles, enhancing data security. The platform's flexibility supports the scaling of organizational structures to accommodate changes, ensuring a seamless user experience as organizations evolve.

Navigation – app designed by Widelab

Role-based access control (RBAC)

In user-centric SaaS solutions, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) is essential for data security. RBAC allows precise management of access permissions, letting administrators assign roles and access levels based on user responsibilities.

This approach ensures appropriate access, aligning with job functions and minimizing unauthorized data handling. RBAC's flexibility allows it to adapt to organizational changes, maintaining security and data integrity in a user-friendly way, making it a key feature in SaaS platforms.

Role-based access control – Lumix app designed by Widelab

User-focused personalization

Personalization for optimal productivity

User-centric SaaS platforms prioritize personalization for peak productivity. Tailored experiences align with users' roles: sales managers monitor pipelines and revenue, support agents prioritize satisfaction and response times. Customization streamlines workflows, aids data-driven decisions, enhancing satisfaction, productivity, and decision-making in contemporary SaaS.

Personalized dashboards – Clarity app designed by Widelab

Customizable views and personalization

Customizable Views in user-centric SaaS solutions empower users to tailor their dashboard experiences to their unique needs and roles. They offer features like advanced filters, customizable widgets, and drag-and-drop functionality, enabling users to adjust views for their specific requirements. This ensures that diverse users can easily access and interact with relevant information for their roles and objectives.

Personalized dashobards – Vitality app designed by Widelab

Salesforce Einstein analytics

Salesforce Einstein Analytics evolved from internal data analysis to an advanced SaaS solution, offering customizable data views and AI-driven insights for actionable information in sales, marketing, and service.

Tableau online

Tableau switched from an internal tool to Tableau Online, a comprehensive SaaS platform for data analysis and visualization. It provides customizable data visualization tools, and interactive dashboards. Users can tailor data displays, apply complex filters, and share insights, and collaborate real-time.

Zendesk explore

Zendesk Explore transitioned from an internal tool to a comprehensive SaaS solution for analyzing customer support data. It provides customizable dashboards and reports on vital metrics such as ticket resolution, customer satisfaction, and agent performance. Zendesk Explore enables support teams to improve service quality and operational efficiency.

SaaS apps

Reporting capabilities

To enable data-driven excellence, it is imperative to seamlessly integrate a suite of robust analysis and reporting tools into the core of your SaaS solution. These advanced tools transcend the mere presentation of data; they stand as pillars of support for informed decision-making and the relentless pursuit of performance optimization.

Advanced filtering and customizable reporting periods

These tools feature advanced data filtering for precise insights and customizable reporting periods, aligning data analysis with business cycles or goals. This adaptability keeps data relevant and reflective of real-world conditions.

Advanced filtering and customizable reporting – Founderpath app designed by Widelab

Flexible data export for widespread accessibility

The reporting tools provide flexible data export options in formats like CSV, Excel, and PDF, enhancing accessibility and convenience. This feature allows users to access and utilize data from any location, overcoming geographical limitations.

Flexible data export – AdClarity app designed by Widelab

Multi-dimensional data views

SaaS solutions with multi-dimensional data views enable thorough analysis from multiple angles, revealing hidden trends and informing decisions. Robust reporting features further allow for both detailed local and broad global insights, aiding strategic planning and aligning departmental actions with overall organizational goals. This approach enhances continuous improvement and strategic mastery.

Multi-dimensional data views – Lumix app designed by Widelab

Adaptability tailored to user needs

Not all users have identical data requirements or preferences. Exceptional reporting tools are adaptable to individual user needs. Allowing users to customize dashboards, report templates, and data visualization methods enhances usability and user satisfaction.

Adaptability tailored to user needs  – Clarity app designed by Widelab

User onboarding

Account creation

Account creation – Trackable app designed by Widelab

Personalized onboarding

Personalized onboarding tailors the introduction to your SaaS platform, aligning it with users' goals. Achieve this through strategies like guided tours, tooltips, and contextual help resources. Slack and Trello exemplify this with AI-driven recommendations and customizable features. Allowing users to set preferences demonstrates commitment to their needs, improving onboarding and setting a positive tone for their journey.

Personalized onboarding – AirSMS app designed by Widelab

Interactive learning

Interactive Learning significantly contributes to effective user onboarding by promoting engagement and facilitating the hands-on exploration of your SaaS solution. Here are three examples of how interactive learning features enhance user onboarding from a functional perspective:

Guided design creation

In the realm of design solutions, platforms like Canva excel in interactive learning. They offer step-by-step interactive tutorials and tooltips that guide users through the process of creating visually appealing content. These interactive resources help users grasp complex design tools and templates more effectively.

Guided design creation – PeerPal app designed by Widelab

Setting up automated project management walkthroughs

Project management tools like Trello incorporate interactive features for automation. They provide interactive guides and walkthroughs that assist users in setting up and customizing automation rules within their project boards. This functionality streamlines workflow management and boosts productivity.

Automated project management – app designed by Widelab

In-app productivity tips

Productivity solutions like Google Workspace utilize interactive learning by offering contextual tips and suggestions within their applications. Users receive real-time in-app prompts that guide them in discovering and utilizing various productivity-enhancing features. This functionality enhances user productivity and collaboration.

Notifications – app designed by Widelab

Support and helpdesk

Support ticket management

Efficient support ticket management in a SaaS environment is vital for prompt and effective user support. Integrating systems like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Intercom with task management platforms like Jira streamlines ticket handling, automates responses, and provides real-time tracking. This improves response times, user satisfaction, and insights for product improvements, ensuring an efficient and user-focused support experience.

Issues management – Mona app designed by Widelab

Feedback channel

A feedback channel is crucial for collaboration and improvement in your SaaS platform. It enables users to submit feedback and feature requests, fostering communication with your development team. Platforms like Slack or UserVoice tools such as Canny and Productboard streamline feedback collection, organization, and prioritization. This user input-driven approach enhances user-friendliness and adds value to your platform.

Capturing user feedback using feedback form – Enhanced Services app designed by Widelab

Documentation and training

Documentation and training are crucial for a user-centric SaaS solution. Accessible resources introduce new features and guide users effectively. Integrating tools like Confluence or Document360 improves documentation with version control and collaboration. User guides and training materials are equally vital. Tools like Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline create interactive learning experiences. This empowers users to master your platform, boosting satisfaction and productivity.

Documentation and trainings – AddEvent app designed by Widelab

Takeaways for a profitable SaaS

The user-centric features, including user management, personalization, seamless onboarding, and efficient support mechanisms, form the foundation of a successful SaaS platform. They contribute to heightened user satisfaction and improved organizational productivity.

  • User-centric SaaS prioritizes customization, boosting user satisfaction, workflow efficiency, and data-driven decisions.
  • Robust reporting tools are crucial, offering advanced filtering, customizable reporting periods, and flexible data export for informed choices.
  • Personalized onboarding, with guided tours and interactive learning, enhances user confidence and engagement.
  • Streamlined support ticket management and a dedicated feedback channel ensure prompt responses and collaboration.
  • Accessible resources and tools for documentation and training empower users, improving satisfaction and productivity.

In our work at Widelab, we've successfully enhanced the design and user experience of many SaaS products. We're available to share our knowledge and skills to help elevate your product. Contact us to find out more.

Authors:

Magdalena Hendzelek
Magdalena Hendzelek
Senior UX Designer

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