SaaS

SaaS Dashboard UX: Trends, Guidelines, & Fundamentals

Imagine this: only in the United States, the number of SaaS companies has already reached 15,000. It means that when your brand new SaaS appears on the market, you need to beat over 15,000 local competitors.

The competitive field of the SaaS industry has never been fiercer and tougher. Today, it is not enough to be a good product or deliver a good service. Digital products should be over their heads with the users’ experience: if they have no idea how to use your product, they will never understand neither the idea of your product nor the quality.

"Today, it is not enough to be a good product or deliver a good service."

When we’re analyzing the performance of the SaaS products, we will definitely notice that they focus on the UX and UI. From the first seconds, a user should understand that the product is easy to use regardless of the overall experience of using look-like products. Admin panel must feature all key elements so that the user is absolutely clear on what he gets with the product.

Therefore, SaaS products should start with the UX of their basic elements. The SaaS dashboard is the first thing customers see when they start to use your product. And if you fail the UX, you fail the overall experience of the customer.

This article will analyze software-as-a-service dashboard examples to understand how a dashboard may affect the user’s experience and how to implement the best practices in your product.

What is SaaS Dashboard Design, and what user goals it covers?

Dashboards are used in SaaS products to provide users with an overview of certain information. As a rule, the Saas metrics dashboard is focused on the core features of the app. Depending on the product or service, the metrics will be different. 

The data that appears on the dashboard helps to assess the metrics you are interested in quickly. In fact, the dashboard uses graphs, pie charts, tables, scatter charts, gauges, metrics, funnel charts, and so on to visualize the information your business needs. Therefore, you get a report summarizing all information you need and putting it into a graphical layout.

Some products allow you to choose the dashboard depending on the needs of your company. For example, one of the biggest SaaS companies, Salesforce, offers several types of dashboard components.

Let’s analyze some of them to understand the basic needs the SaaS dashboard may cover.

Charts

Need graphical visualization of data? Choose charts for your dashboard. A huge variety of charts can come in handy for your project: line charts, map charts, pie charts, bar charts, density maps, scatter plots, bubble charts, and many others.

Gauges

Gauges are used for demonstrating a single value within a range of custom values. It is one of the core app dashboard features used by companies that want to track their effectiveness and get a vision of how the KPIs are reached.

Metrics

If you are interested in one key-value, add a metric component to your SaaS UI design. Metrics can be combined into one component.

Table

Report data can be put into a table if you prefer this data visualization approach. One can use tables for different types of dashboards, including sales dashboards or employee performance dashboards.

The more SaaS dashboard examples we’ve analyzed, the more conclusions we’ve made. Dashboard components that the company prefers to use mainly depend on the goals they follow. Thus, we have concluded 5 basic reasons any business must use a dashboard.

1. Monitoring several metrics at once

A well-designed dashboard is a must for a business owner, product manager, or basically any team member who needs to have a clear view of the current state of business. Analytics dashboard will help them take situations under control, set KPIs, and monitor whether these KPIs can be achieved.

Due to cloud-based solutions of the SaaS dashboards, every team member has access to information. It means that the KPIs are clear to everyone. Additionally, different departments can set their dashboards. For example, the sales team can use the dashboard for their KPIs, while the HR team can set their dashboard.

2. Information is available for anyone

Due to cloud-based solutions of the SaaS dashboards, every team member has access to information. It means that the KPIs are clear to everyone. Additionally, different departments can set their dashboards. For example, the sales team can use the dashboard for their KPIs, while the HR team can set their dashboard.

3. It’s easy to understand the information

With the Best SaaS dashboard UX/UI designs, any team member can easily understand and use the information presented in the dashboard. Currently, clear visualization of information is a must for any dashboard; it must be intuitive to be effective.

4. Reports always bring value

One of the major Saas dashboard trends is the evaluability of the information. When setting a dashboard, a company clearly understands reports on which information is necessary for them. Therefore, delivered reports always demonstrate the information that your business really needs.

5. Processes are optimized; therefore the business grows faster Businesses of any size have encountered the problem of scaling and growing at least once. Even if you hire one more team member, all the processes are changing. Using dashboards, you become more flexible with the changes and can adopt new changes faster.

SaaS Dashboard Design best practices and trends

Dashboard design examples help us to define the best practices and trends that we can use to create the most suitable SaaS dashboard for our needs.

Below we will provide you with a list of software as a service dashboard example features. All of them guarantee effective usage of the dashboard for your business.

Navigation

Efficient and clear navigation is perhaps one of the key elements for an effective dashboard. As we have already mentioned, the dashboard may consist of various components, and if the user has no clue how to operate these components, the dashboard will be poor.

Clear navigation has been one of the most popular trends of the last few years. Indeed, if you have no clear access to the features or tools, you won’t spend hours finding them. You better choose another service that offers you everything you need right on the main page.

Mobile dashboard design is also important. If you create effective navigation for the desktop version of your product and ignore mobile, you can lose many clients who use your service from mobile.

Data visualization

Any SaaS dashboard must represent the information in the clearest and easy to understand way. It is obligatory for the dashboards that work with huge volumes of information.

When the representation of information is messy, there’s no need for dashboards. Use charts, graphs, and tables instead of columns and rows. Omit to put numbers in digits, use visual components for sufficient representation.

Dashboard UX

Dashboard UX should never be vague for a user. Any customer, even the one who has never worked with SaaS dashboards, should be able to work with the interface from the very first second he starts to use the dashboard.

If you are not sure that everything is clear with the dashboard, better add guidelines that will explain how to use the interface. 

Layout

There are certain requirements the UI dashboards have. First of all, they must be clean. Secondly, the users should easily find any data they may need. It’s easy to achieve if the business needs a few components to add and a few metrics to track. However, if the company wants to combine different components in different ways, the visual representation of the information must be perfectly organized.

The best way to create a clear interface is to remove all unnecessary information. Obviously, you need to research to understand what can be omitted without losing the quality.

Research

Yet, research is important not only in complicated cases but also during the whole process of SaaS dashboard development. You need to know as much information about your users as possible. Therefore, don’t hesitate to conduct field studies, competitor research, user testings, card sortings, and TA analysis to know more about your business’s market and its needs.

5 stages to design an effective SaaS dashboard

Whether you have decided to create a mobile dashboard design for an application or dashboard design for a website, you have to know 5 basic steps that guarantee success.

Brainstorming the ideas

Before you start to work on a solution for a SaaS dashboard, it will be nice to start by brainstorming the ideas. What goals and objectives does your new project have? What benefits should it bring to the business? By answering these questions, you can define what results you should reach with creating a dashboard and how it can help solve different issues of your company.

Investigating the market and competitors

Designing a SaaS dashboard is a long-lasting process, as the studies and research take too much time. However, it’s impossible to omit this step. Otherwise, all the decisions that you make will be made intuitively.

When analyzing the market, your competitors, and your audience, you need to focus on different information you find and put it into the comparative table. Later on, you will use it to fill your dashboard with the necessary features.

Creating a prototype

At this stage, you should work on the UX of the future dashboard. User experience and user interface are two foundations that determine the further effectiveness of the dashboard.

Previous analysis and research will help you understand the best ways to present information. Also, use best practices and trends to create a prototype that will solve the users’ problems.

Testing and fixing issues

No matter how great a prototype may look, you will lose your clients if it is not working. Thus, before you start designing the project, conduct a few tests to show you whether the dashboard is ready to satisfy your clients’ needs.

You can ask your team to assess the prototype, as well as you can invite your friends to this stage. Additionally, you may conduct closed beta testing among the customers who have already been using your services.

Designing UI

Here’s the final stage of designing a dashboard for your SaaS project. As a rule, you already have all the information you need for the design at this stage. The designers just need to create perfect visuals that highlight the features and put them into clear layouts.

When the dashboard’s design is over, it is necessary to integrate it into the project and ensure that the data is presented correctly.

How much does UX/UI cost for Dashboard?

The price of creating UX/UI for the dashboard varies depending on different factors. First and foremost, the size of the project. Secondly, the scope of works that are to be done for the project. Thirdly, the deadlines. 

It is possible to estimate the cost of the project during the stage of research. A preliminary analysis helps to define the scope of work, therefore, the workload of the designers.

We would recommend you contact the Sales team of the company you are planning to work on designing your Dashboard. In this way, you will get the most detailed overview of the costs and estimation of the works that must be done.

If you are not sure what kind of dashboard you need for your SaaS, you can start with the design of MVP with the basic features you may need, like charts with real-time data processing, dynamic images, and printing bounds. You will have to pick a set of features to add to your MVP project so that you can get the maximum out of it. The average price for MVP is 25 000 USD.

You can also get a design for an advanced dashboard with a full set of features you may need for efficient work: chart filters, drill-through, and drill-down features, cross tab filters, different kinds of widgets, chart zooms, custom chart tooltips, information tooltips, hierarchical filters, and many others. Additionally, you can add easily customizable features of any kind, depending on the market and needs of your application or website. The price for designing an advanced dashboard starts from 7040 USD. On average, it costs 18 000 USD to design a dashboard that will satisfy all the needs and requirements of the business.

Company experience: dashboard design for SaaS projects

Metricly is one of the SaaS projects that required the development of UX/UI for AWS tools from scratch. Our main task was to develop unique and creative graphic materials and redesign some of the pages.

For Metricly, we worked on the design of the data sorting system (providing customers with the information based on accurate data). Rethinking the UX and UI of the platform, we also worked on the dashboard’s design for the project. Additionally, we developed the design of the report pages.

"The cooperation with Metricly for 3+ years resulted in $1 million of funding for the project."

Designing a dashboard for Metricly included all basic steps, including preliminary research, analysis of the competitors and TA, and creating prototypes and testing them. 

The overall scope of the project included:

  • Discovery & Strategy

  • UX/UI design

  • Web Design

  • App Development

The cooperation with Metricly for 3+ years resulted in $1 million of funding for the project.

Designing SaaS Dashboard for your business

If you plan to design and implement a dashboard for your SaaS project, you need to remember that this process requires attention and a deep understanding of the market. 

Design, as well as any other sphere, operates certain best practices that help to create effective and beautiful products. If you are not aware of this information, the design of your products will be poor, and your audience won’t like it.

Fortunately, you can always rely on Arounda when it comes to creating UX/UI for SaaS. We will gladly help you with any designing issue: including creating the design for your website, new product, or a design strategy for the dashboard.

Please give us a call or leave a message if you’re interested in cooperation. We will gladly explain to you what exactly you may need for your business.

Vladislav Gavriluk
WRITTEN BY
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.
Vladislav Gavriluk
WRITTEN BY
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.
Got a project? Let’s talk

Not ready for estimate? Book a FREE one hour consultation with one of our experts to discover the right solution.

More interesting

All articles

Hungry for more?

Sign up to our newsletter to get weekly updates on the trends, case studies and tools