Redesigning SaaS: Without Upsetting Current Users

Divami Design Labs
6 min readFeb 3, 2023

Every product, during its lifecycle, goes through a redesign phase. Whether it’s for application of crucial feedback, inclusion of a superior security protocol, or simply getting with the times, redesigning a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product can be a challenging task –especially when it comes to avoiding upsetting current users. When redesigning SaaS products, the key is to approach with a user-centric mindset.

Designers and developers may face certain challenges in this process, such as balancing the needs of your user base with the need to innovate and stay competitive in the market. But with proper ideation and communication within the team, the SaaS redesign can be rewarding.

Maintaining User Interface (UI) for Seamless Navigation

A well-designed UI should be intuitive and easy to navigate, making it simple for users to find what they need and complete their tasks quickly. A key aspect of redesigning SaaS is UI consistency: keeping the overall layout and navigation structure similar to the current design will definitely help users easily adjust to the new design. This can be achieved by maintaining the same color scheme, typography, and iconography as the current design, while also incorporating new design elements that will improve the overall user experience.

In addition, designers should also focus on simplifying the UI elements. This step is crucial to facilitate users’ ability to understand and interact with the product.

Another important aspect to consider when redesigning the UI is accessibility. The product should be accessible for all users, including those with disabilities. This means using clear and large font sizes, high-contrast color schemes, and providing alternative methods for interacting with the SaaS, such as keyboard shortcuts or voice commands.

Enhancing User Experience (UX) for Improved Functionality

User Experience (UX) is a critical aspect of any SaaS product, as it determines how easy and enjoyable it is for users to interact with the product. A well-designed UX should be seamless and intuitive, making it simple for users to complete their tasks and achieve their goals.

In this part of the redesign, it is important to maintain the overall flow and navigation structure similar to the current design, as this will help users easily adjust to the new design. This can be achieved by keeping the same navigation structure, page layouts, and interactions as the current design, while also incorporating new features to improve the general user experience.

In tandem with the UI aspects stated above, usability and accessibility are big considerations in UX. This includes making sure that the redesigned SaaS product is

– easy to navigate

– buttons and other controls are easy to find and understand

– users are in the loop

For accessibility, ensure that the SaaS is compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers, and provide alternative methods for interacting with the SaaS, such as keyboard shortcuts or voice commands if these features aren’t yet present.

Keeping Existing Features and Functionality Intact: Backward Compatibility and Dependencies

While it may be tempting to completely overhaul the product and introduce new features and functionality, this can be disruptive and confusing for existing users.

Keep in mind that in B2B, many rely on the current features and functionalities to conduct their daily operations. And any changes to these can have a significant impact on their workflow.

A major facet to consider when redesigning SaaS is backward compatibility. This means the updated platform should work with older versions of the software and any integrations that pre-exist. Ensure that the redesign does not break any existing integrations or cause issues with older versions of the SaaS that are still in use.

Another such aspect to consider is dependencies. Many SaaS features rely on other features and functionalities to work properly. Carefully evaluate the dependencies of known functions and ensure that any changes to those do not negatively impact the functionality of other features.

Finally, consider the impact of third-party updates on existing features and functionalities. Most SaaS products integrate with other software and services, and updates to these third-party products can sometimes impact the functionality of the SaaS. In the same, meticulous way, evaluate these dependencies and ensure that any changes to the SaaS do not disrupt the functionality of these third-party integrations.

Securing the Future: Internet Security Considerations in Redesign

In every step of the redesign process, be vigilant and confirm that internet security is not compromised. New and outdated features or functionalities should be properly secured and any sensitive user data, always protected. More importantly, make sure that the redesign does not introduce any new vulnerabilities that can be a cyberthreat.

The only way to ensure is by conducting regular security assessments that keep the software and security protocols up to date. And, by regularly monitoring network traffic for suspicious activity.

Communicating Change: Keeping Current Users in the Loop

Communicating changes to the users can be done in a number of ways; by sending out emails or in-app notifications. This will help users prepare for the changes and will also make them feel more included and valued as customers. It’s also important to provide clear and concise information about the changes. These communications should highlight the benefits. And, update them of any new features or functionalities that are upcoming. This can help to build excitement and anticipation for the redesigned SaaS.

Involvement of current users in the redesign process is also crucial in avoiding disrupting their workflow. This can be done by conducting user research and gathering feedback from them. Useful feedback should drive the redesign process. By building trust and engagement with the users SaaS redesign can be smooth.

It’s also important to manage user expectations, ensuring that the redesign meets the user’s needs and wants. This can be done by setting clear and realistic timelines, providing regular updates on the progress of the redesign and addressing any concerns or feedback from users in a timely manner.

Testing, Testing, and more Testing: Identifying and Resolving Errors before Launch

Testing is an important step in the redesign process. It helps to identify and resolve any issues or bugs before the redesign is live for the entire user base. This helps to ensure a smooth transition for existing users and helps to reduce the risk of errors or issues that could disrupt their workflow.

When testing a SaaS redesign, test the new design with a small group of users before rolling it out to the entire user base. This allows developers to gather feedback and identify any issues or bugs to address. It also allows developers to test the redesign under realistic conditions. And, identify any issues that may not have been apparent during the development process.

Finally, it’s important to test the redesign for performance, making sure that the redesign does not negatively impact the performance of the SaaS. This helps to reduce the risk of errors or issues that could slow down the SaaS, making it difficult for users to complete their tasks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, redesigning a SaaS product can be a complex task. But, it’s a necessary step to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the market and the users. By approaching the redesign with a user-centric mindset, this can be easy. The key is to strike a balance between keeping current users happy while improving the overall user experience.

It’s like steering a ship mid-voyage towards a new direction. You want to change course, but you don’t want to leave your passengers adrift. With a little bit of planning, communication and user feedback, you can do a successful SaaS redesign.

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