The Importance of Design in B2B SaaS

Thu Sep 29 2022

Geunbae "GB" Lee

Head of Design, Statsig

A well-designed product is a strong foundation

In the current landscape of B2B SaaS, design is becoming increasingly important. The expectations of a delightful user experience—previously reserved for the realm of B2C products—have bled into B2B space as well, with enterprise customers expecting to be delighted by the look and feel of the products that they’re using.

At Statsig, we believe that a well-designed product can shape the culture of other companies that use our product. Therefore, we’ve been investing a lot in design since the early stage of our startup journey. And this is something we’re prioritizing at every step of our product’s journey, to continue to deliver a first-class UX.

So far, design has contributed not only to the product, but also to the emerging brand. We’re proud of how far we’ve come in just over a year and we’ve heard a lot of positive feedback on both the look, and the usability of our product from our customers. As we build more and more, our responsibility is to maintain the high-quality aspects of the product that our customers deeply appreciate.

For context: Statsig is a faithful replica of the growth infrastructure used inside Facebook that allowed it to grow quickly. Our core product is centered around product experimentation and how you build, ship and measure the impact of your features. We offer tools like feature flags, A/B/n testing, holdouts, analytics and more. For more information, please visit our website.

statsig the number one experimentation platform product images

A well-designed product is your value prop, an edge vs. competitors

Fundamentally, the product should be designed and built to solve customer problems in the best, most elegant way possible. Although this is easier said than done, a well-designed product is what ultimately differentiates your company from your competitors. It’s your value prop, an edge against other competitors in the market.

Just to be clear, a well-designed product doesn’t simply mean that it looks beautiful. It should also check the box around the ease of use that leads to customers having a great experience. All too often, B2B SaaS product builders make mistakes by either focusing too much energy on making the product look nice or cluttering the interface with too many features that most customers won’t end up using.

For a B2B product, things get infinitely more complex as you add more features and it’s really easy for the product to get out of control. You wind up with too many buttons, complex navigation systems, and inconsistencies in the user interface. Suddenly, those attempts to make the product more powerful by adding increased functionality ironically end up weakening your product’s value proposition.

For this reason, designers at Statsig are always striving to keep the balance between user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) as the product grows—putting equal amounts of emphasis on aesthetics and usability. Sometimes, this requires taking a holistic point of view instead of being laser-focused on solving one problem in certain ways. Sometimes, it pushes us to re-evaluate what we’ve shipped before and iterate on it to make it better and feel consistent with the rest of the experiences. The right way to balance these is by always thinking from the customer’s point of view.

*The UI of your product defines how your product looks and the UX of your product defines how your product works

A well-designed product helps your team to move faster

As more people discover your product and find value in it, there will be more feature requests. This is great because you’re successfully converting leads into paying customers and, you’re continuing to make your current customers happy. Suddenly, your team needs to move faster than before to keep up with the product’s constantly evolving needs and use-cases.

At Statsig, we’ve been very successful at converting prospects into customers and knocking out feature work day by day. One thing that our customers always comment about is how well-designed our product is. But not only that, they’re always impressed at our speed of execution. Even with a long list of customer asks and road map items to get to, we’re confident that what competitors build in 6 months, we’ll build in a week.

featured statsig customers

The speed at which we execute feature items doesn’t just come from the “move fast” culture that we carry on from Facebook. While there are a number of contributing factors to how we’re able to move so fast, one of the key drivers for this is caused by the presence of the design system and how the product teams work within it.

From the get-go, we saw various reasons to establish our own design system while we were building our product from the ground up. This helped us to plan ahead and establish the overall layouts, design patterns, and components necessary to continue to build a great user experience even as we shipped more and more features.

The design system took care of many things including the look and feel of the product as well as the smooth workflow between design and engineering. For design specifically, it helped us to focus most of our energy on solving customer problems in the best way possible instead of reinventing new UI/UX patterns. For our customers, this builds stronger trust and confidence in our capabilities and the product we offer.

A well-designed product is key in establishing your brand

Building a well-designed product is an integral part of building your brand. It’s essentially a stepping stone to attracting and converting new customers. The product is what continues to wow your customers but it’s also what turns them into your biggest advocates. Therefore, a well-designed product has the ability to become a strong sales tool—a megaphone for your brand’s unique voice.

At Statsig, we’re still at the starting point of establishing our brand. Right now, we’re in the process of building our Marketing and Brand team to help out on this journey. However, we’re confident that our product will continue to act as a strong foundation in getting our name out in the world.

In summary, here at Statsig we’ve invested heavily in design since Day 1, ensuring we’re building a product that is as well-designed and delightful to use as it is powerful. We believe a well-designed product is not just nice to look at, but a competitive advantage, and helps enable magical moments that convert our customers into advocates.

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