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Building A Design System For A SaaS Application

Building A Design System For A SaaS Application

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) products are gaining momentum today as convenient, agile, and accessible software tools for businesses and individuals. They offer many benefits to providers and users alike, mainly due to their cost-effectiveness and flexibility of operations in the cloud. Thus, the SaaS business will likely experience further growth, already exceeding $143 billion in the market valuation. 

The popularity of SaaS solutions drives more and more businesses to adopt the SaaS model of app delivery. Thus, the pressing task of SaaS designers is to make the production, design, and update process quick and frictionless. 

Your software agency will definitely benefit from a handy set of modules and elements that can be plugged into the core code to create a new SaaS product quickly. That’s what a design system offers, and here we explain how you can build one to streamline your operations. 

What Is A Design System? 

As the word ‘system’ suggests, a design system of any software design agency is an accepted set of standards developers and designers can apply in the construction of new products. Like a style guide, the design system offers a ready-made complex of tools that work like LEGO bricks to craft a functional build ready for customization. 

As a rule, the company’s design system should include some foundational elements (like the typography and color palette, logo design, and grid instructions), base design components (button design, panels, forms, and navigation style), and extra components (tables, visuals, modal, and alert icons). This system serves as a go-to reference guide for all developers in the company, ensuring consistency across products and compliance among various app parts developed by several teams. 

How Can A Design System Help Your SaaS Business?

Developing and using a uniform design system may be quite handy for your business and your coders as well. Here are some benefits you’re sure to reap: 

  • Speed of delivery. Once your team has a database of ready-made modules that can be compiled in various ways during product development, you’re sure to build and deploy new SaaS offerings quicker than your competitors. 
  • Scalability. Apps built with the design system’s modules are easily scalable, with numerous expansion options available. 
  • Consistency. The use of consistent style in the design, layout, and functionality creates a homogeneous impression on users and enhances your brand’s recognition. 
  • Better change management. A design system makes it easier to track and manage changes within various apps; all source code and modules are stored in one place, available for review.  
  • Reusability of modules. The design system typically includes generic modules with different functions and purposes. Thus, with considerable customization, you can tweak these modules in many ways to design fundamentally new products.

Building A Design System For A SaaS Application

Step-By-Step Guide To Building Your SaaS System 

Now that you know the gains a design system can yield for you, it’s time to set up such a system in your agency. Here’s how you can design one for convenient use by your entire team. 

Start With A Color Palette 

Color is the first thing your user sees when uploading an app or coming to your website. Thus, you should develop a visually appealing color palette that meets your business specialty and causes the right emotional appeal. If you strive for diversity in colors, you can consider shades of your primary color palette, which create a highly favorable visual impression. Don’t use too many colors; consistency and minimalism attract users more. 

Ensure Your Site Structure Is Balanced 

Users don’t like heavy pages full of text and lacking a visual structure. So, even if your app is tech-intensive and contains much professional terminology, you can ease the cognitive load on the users by introducing animation and graphics to break the wall of text into bitable chunks. 

Develop A Consistent Type Scale 

A user-friendly type scale is a vital UI/UX design component, as it ensures the proportionality of your layout. You don’t need to adopt one type scale for all products; it’s enough to provide some general recommendations, which can further be broken down depending on the page’s purpose. 

Plan A User-Friendly Layout 

The central aim of an excellent layout is to help users locate the needed information or CTA buttons quickly. Thus, you should include the layout recommendations in your design system, helping your users find what they need in the places where they expect to find it. The golden rule is to provide a superb overview and display information in the order of its importance, with critical information coming first. 

Design Intuitive Landing Pages 

In most cases, landing pages will be your major marketing and selling instrument. Thus, you should design them for maximum conversion effects. Present your business and explain its key benefits on the first screen so that the first-time visitors quickly grasp the point and stay with you. 

Outline your major services and products to elevate users’ interest; make the sign-up or purchase functions easy to use and visible throughout the page. These tiny design tricks can boost your conversion rates and improve brand awareness without excessive effort or investment. 

Take Care Of Data Visualization Standards 

Data visualization is an important UX point in your design system. Users get accustomed to specific styles and approaches in data visualization, and consistency in data presentation improves their comprehension. So, you should develop a concise style guide on the design of visuals to give your users a uniform feel. 

Provide Handy Filtering 

It’s okay to have many services, multiple content pages, and a variety of products on offer. Just think of Amazon – a huge marketplace with billions of products sold to millions of people. Nevertheless, nobody has ever accused Amazon of a cumbersome layout or inability to find the needed product item. Why is this so? 

The secret to such digital resources’ success is wise filtering and categorization. This approach helps users find their way through the multitude of pages, locating the needed services or products in a couple of clicks. Thus, no matter the complexity of your resource, you can still achieve stellar UX with proper filter design.