What makes a great SaaS website design?

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

Join me at the forefront of web design and digital marketing innovation. I am obsessed with web design, business philosophy and marketing performance.
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As SaaS companies are quickly overtaking market segments, understanding what makes a great SaaS web design is becoming more and more vital if you want your business to thrive online. Your potential clients will usually form the first impression of your company based on the quality of your website and even decide whether paying for your product is worth it. You might be aware that a SaaS website needs to be visually appealing, user-friendly, and informative – but how exactly can you achieve this? In this article, our Chicago web design agency will introduce you to some of the key features that make a great SaaS website design and provide you with some of the most successful design examples for SaaS companies.

Table of Contents
great SaaS website design

What is SaaS, and what are SaaS websites?

Before diving deep into the best practices your website design team can use to make great SaaS website designs, it is a good idea to learn more about this popular business model. So we’ll start by explaining basic terms, listing SaaS advantages, and providing you with SaaS website examples:

What does SaaS stand for?

The Software as a Service (SaaS) model provides users with access to software applications over the internet. These applications are typically hosted on a remote server, and users can access them through a web browser. SaaS websites are typically subscription-based, with users paying a monthly or annual fee to use the software. Such websites are becoming increasingly popular as they offer several advantages over traditional desktop software applications.

Advantages of SaaS offerings include

  • Accessibility: People can access and use the software without installing it on their computers. Users also don’t have to worry about upgrading their equipment, making updates, and managing licenses.
  • Flexible payments: SaaS companies can utilize pay-as-you-go pricing plans and subscription models that can be scaled to meet users’ needs, increasing their SaaS website conversion rates. And this is also beneficial for businesses that don’t have enough resources to develop similar software on their own and those that simply need a short-term solution for a specific project.
  • Data Storage: Data is stored on the cloud server and made available to clients and their team members 24/7.
  • Ease of use: Most SaaS companies provide users with extensive knowledge libraries they can utilize to get a good grasp on the tool quickly.

You’ve probably come across different SaaS websites already, both in the professional and private spheres. However, checking on these SaaS website examples might help you get fresh website design ideas for your project:

  • MailChimp – A popular marketing, automation, and email marketing platform
  • Slack – messaging software that helps teams improve their collaboration
  • SocialFlow – a social media management tool that can help you tackle the challenges of the fast-paced digital world
  • CertifID – This SaaS company provides wire fraud prevention and recovery services
  • Hubspot – CRM software business owners with various needs can find useful. It can help with business management services, email marketing, sales tracking, and more
  • Dovetail – A customer research platform that helps businesses analyze, store and utilize data
  • Netflix – A popular subscription-based service that allows users to watch TV shows and movies online

SaaS website design best practices

Building a high-converting website for your SaaS company can be a challenging task. However, having the following best SaaS web design practices under your sleeves can help you tackle that challenge successfully and meet specific user requirements for a website:

Create Custom SaaS Web Design

Although drag-and-drop page-building platforms that require no coding knowledge are rising in popularity, this approach usually leads to much trouble down the road. Here is exactly why our web development agency Chicago strongly advises SaaS companies to build their websites from scratch:

  • Better website loading speed – Achieving high website speed is essential for increasing conversion rates, and it can be challenging for SaaS companies that opt for website templates. Custom web design is better for page speed because it allows for more control over the code. That means the website can be designed specifically for the needs of the user, which can help to improve loading times. For example, it can be optimized for the particular browser and platform users will access your website from, and professional web developers can enable caching to make content display faster to visitors.
  • Enhanced security – Templated websites are built with similar code, which makes them more vulnerable to hacker attacks. Besides having a custom code far out of hackers’ reach, you’ll also be able to monitor and manage custom SaaS web design to ensure that the security features are always up-to-date and effective. Experienced professionals will install only the most secure plugins or build custom ones for your SaaS company.
  • Unique features – By choosing a DIY approach when creating a SaaS website, you’ll be stuck with a limited number of plugins and features you can provide your team and customers with. On the other hand, by building custom plugins and designing unique website features, professional web developers and web designers can help you manage your business much more easily and also achieve a unique look and feel for your website – therefore boosting user experience. For example, web developers can implement a subscription management tool for your team to keep track of customers’ lifecycles.

Use Reviews and Testimonials to Build Trust with Potential Customers

Research shows that around 92% of people look for reviews and testimonials when considering a product. As reviews and testimonials help you provide potential customers with social proof, they are a vital part of a great SaaS website design. Listing features and benefits might get people intrigued about your product, but sharing the positive experiences of your previous clients is one of the most powerful ways in which you can ease their nerves and convince them into buying decision.  

With satisfied customers’ consent, place their photos next to short statements about your software. And if you believe video testimonials would better suit your SaaS website design, feel free to opt for video form instead. 

Make the Registration Process Simple

Investing efforts into designing a user-friendly registration process is one of the most important things if you want to end up with a great SaaS website design. As registration is the first interaction a potential customer will have with your product, it’s essential to make a good impression. A simple, easy-to-use registration process will make it more likely that a user will create an account and become a paying customer. Although this can be a difficult task, the following tips might help you:

  • Minimize the number of fields – Ask only for essential pieces of information, such as email and password. Avoid adding optional fields, as you can always ask additional questions once the client starts using your software.
  • Avoid using captchas – Even though captchas are helpful in preventing spam, they can be frustrating for your visitors. Consider implementing sliders and checkboxes instead.
  • Don’t require password confirmations – Designing a user-friendly registration process is all about reducing the number of necessary steps. So instead of asking your visitors to confirm their passwords when trying to register, provide them with an option to check what they had typed in.
  • Real-time validation – Clicking the final register button only to find out that some of the data we have typed in during the registration process is invalid is a very frustrating experience. That’s why it is crucial to provide immediate feedback to users about the validity of the data they have inserted. But don’t stop by just letting them know that they’ve made a mistake – you need to clearly explain why the error occurred too.
  • Keep mobile users in mind – It is crucial to make the registration process smooth for the users of both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Use different colors for login and registration buttons – You need to minimize the chances that users will accidentally hit the login instead of the registration CTA button on your SaaS website. A great way to do this is by simply choosing different colors for these two buttons.

Paying close attention to your website’s navigation is crucial, as it helps users find their way around your site and makes it easy for them to find the information they need. Here are a few best web design practices for creating a navigation scheme that is both intuitive and visually appealing:

Keep your target audience’s goals in mind

Designing navigation without understanding your visitors’ goals will almost certainly lead to poor user experience on your SaaS website. To be able to make better choices between various website design options for navigation, ask yourself which information your ideal customer wants to obtain upon landing on your pages – and make them quickly accessible.

Choose the navigation pattern that suits the complexity of your product

There are three common navigational patterns you can find on most SaaS websites: horizontal, vertical, and combination of these two. A horizontal navigational pattern is often considered very intuitive, and it’s used for products that don’t have too many features. With a vertical navigational pattern, your visitors will consume the content by scrolling – so it is an excellent choice for content-rich SaaS websites. And by combining both horizontal and vertical navigational patterns, you can find the perfect solution for complex SaaS products.

Don’t include more than seven links in your primary navigation bar

The navigation bar helps users move around your SaaS website more effectively. However, one of web designers’ most common mistakes is to include too many links in the primary navigation bar. Keep in mind that too many links can be confusing and overwhelming, making it difficult for visitors to find what they are looking for. So avoid placing more than seven links.

Use hamburger menus for mobile versions of your SaaS website

A hamburger menu is a great way to provide mobile users with a clean and simple navigation experience. When they click on this menu, it expands to show options for navigating to the most important pages on your website.

Conduct usability tests

By conducting usability tests with real people before the launch date, you can get a much better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your navigation design solutions. The most popular methods include tree testing, card sorting, and first-click tests. Experience has taught us that acquiring data about your navigation’s usability is essential for creating a great SaaS website design.

Emerging SaaS web design trends for 2023?

As we move into 2023, a few key SaaS web design trends are emerging as SaaS websites continue to evolve. Here are a few of the most important trends to keep an eye on if you want to build great SaaS website design and stand out in front of the competition in 2023:

Minimalism in color pallete

In recent years, there has been a shift in website design trends toward a minimalist color palette. Designers are using fewer colors, simpler shapes, and less clutter on websites – intending to create a more user-friendly experience that is easy on the eyes and allows users to focus on the content.

When creating a SaaS website, you want to choose colors that will help your website stand out from the rest. But you also don’t want to choose colors that are too busy or overwhelming – and that’s where minimalistic colors come in. You can make your website look clean and professional by sticking to up to two complementary colors and experimenting with white space.

Large Fonts for Headings

SaaS websites use big, bold text and a minimalist design to showcase the most important information to users so they can make decisions more quickly. As there is usually a lot of content on SaaS websites, it’s crucial to establish a clear visual hierarchy with your SaaS web design.

I’ve created a list of seven best fonts for SaaS websites, which you can use for inspiration.

Graphics and Illustrations that quickly convey information to customers

When it comes to website design, graphics and illustrations are often overlooked in favor of more traditional elements like text and photos. However, graphics and illustrations can be incredibly powerful tools for conveying information and making your SaaS website more visually appealing. They can help you set the tone of the site, add personality, and even explain complex concepts. Just make sure to implement only high-quality visual elements that respond to your brand identity system.

The usage of Micro-interactions and Animations

Micro-interactions and animations are small yet important details in SaaS web design. They can make your website feel alive and responsive. Micro-interactions give users feedback that their actions are being registered. You can guide users through a website and make the experience more intuitive by providing visual cues. And animations add a touch of personality to your SaaS website, making it more memorable and engaging. Combining them with micro-interactions can help you create a better user experience and increase conversion rates. While this has already been a huge trend in recent years, we see it evolving even further during 2023.

What Makes a SaaS Website Good?

Considering how important it is to keep users engaged while exploring your offerings, creating a clean SaaS website structure is crucial. SaaS websites must be easy to navigate and understand so that users can quickly find the information they need. That’s why you need to avoid cluttering your pages with text and establish a clear strategy. Here is what usually comes on top by analyzing amazing website designs:

  • A homepage that showcases the product’s unique value proposition – Before you start working on your SaaS website design, you should have a clear answer to the question of what makes your product unique compared to similar products within the industry. Then define that selling point in one sentence and highlight it on your homepage. It is an excellent idea to analyze successful SaaS websites and see how they convey their value proposition to potential customers. That might help you get fresh web design inspiration for your project. In most cases, companies show their value propositions above the fold.
  • Photos and Videos that show your software – Before they start paying for access to your software, people will naturally want to see how it works in action. And as simply describing your product with words is usually not enough to persuade them, it is crucial to use photos and videos to back up your claims.
  • Knowledge Library – When selling software, it is crucial to provide valuable resources for those who want to learn how to use it.
  • Features and Benefits page – This is where you list all of the features of your product and explain the benefits of using them. Having this type of page on your SaaS website is essential because it helps potential customers understand what your product does and why they should use it. If you fail to showcase your product correctly, many potential customers will simply move on to another product.
  • Use Cases pages – On these pages, your potential customers will learn how your product can help them solve their problems. To create a powerful Use Cases page, you need to understand the pain points of your target audience and use that knowledge to show the advantages of your product in action.
  • Pricing page – Before converting, your potential customers will want to know how much your product costs. That’s why the pricing page is one of the most important pages on your website. It’s where you introduce your website visitors to different pricing plans and models. Even if your prices are not fixed, you still need a pricing page to give people a clue whether it is worth contacting you for a customized plan or not.
  • About Us page – The about us page is your chance to tell your story and connect with your audience. It should be well-written and informative, but most importantly, it should be authentic. Your about us page should reflect your brand and what you stand for. This page will help you build trust with potential customers, and it’s also a great chance to show your team and let them know who stands behind the software.
  • Support page – A customer support page is a must-have for any SaaS website. It is a place where customers can go to get help with using your product. It should be easy to find and easy to use. It should also be updated regularly. A good customer support page can be the difference between a happy customer and a frustrated one.

Investing efforts into organizing the structure of your SaaS website will also help search engines index your content more easily, which can lead to higher rankings in Google and other popular search engines.

Do you need help with designing and building your SaaS website?

As SaaS companies are quickly overtaking market segments, understanding what makes a great SaaS web design is becoming more and more critical if you want your business to thrive online. As we can see in this article, creating a great SaaS web design is all about creating a simple, clean, and user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate. Not only will it help you make positive first impressions on potential customers, but it will also encourage them to engage in long-term relationships with your brand. However, if you lack website design ideas or resources for creating a high-converting SaaS website, it is best to seek a professional web design agency’s help.

With years of experience in providing successful SaaS clients with custom WordPress website design solutions and marketing tips, Alpha Efficiency can help your business secure a strong online presence too. Feel free to introduce us to your company’s culture and goals, and we’ll start creating a unique SaaS website design entirely based on your needs. So let’s get in touch today.


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