How SaaS Products are Changing the Web Design Industry
The web is a constantly evolving and changing organism. A few short weeks ago, what was considered the height of technological development may be an obsolete discovery today.
In this shifting world, the latest trends in SaaS often dictate how many web-based industries will evolve. Web design is no exception, and we are seeing rapid SaaS adoption by design freelancers and design agencies.
Let’s explore what software-as-a-service means for the world of web design and how the two are intertwined.
How Do SaaS Products Work?
SaaS products no longer require users to download or purchase and install an application. Instead, the product is hosted in the cloud and accessed via an internet connection. This means that you no longer have to carry the same device with you if you want to use a specific piece of software.
Compatibility issues are no longer a challenge either, as SaaS products work across different versions of different operating systems.
The main appeal of SaaS can also be its downside, as an unstable internet connection or the unavailability of the provider’s server can disrupt service delivery. This is rarely an issue, however, and most SaaS products are stable and readily accessible by many users from the same organisation at the same time.
With the value of SaaS increasing, we can expect the industry to continue expanding at an even more rapid pace. Thus, the benefits it can offer the web design industry are also likely to increase.
Web Design Is Easier to Grasp
Designing a website is a complex process, and it used to require a fair amount of knowledge and experience. Designers either had to understand the basics of a specific language or needed to work with a web developer to make a project come to life.
Today, there are SaaS web builder platforms that even those with minimal design experience can use. True, you will need to teach yourself how the software works, but you no longer need to attend a class or a course. There are plenty of online resources available that can help you out.
You may not even need to understand how the solution works. You need to implement the elements that you like and need on the website, and you’ll become your own web designer in a matter of minutes.
Templates and presets will never replace the years of experience a web designer has. Nevertheless, companies can now start their online ventures with minimal investment thanks to SaaS products.
There are also more advanced SaaS design solutions out there. They won’t be as noob-friendly, but they offer the more experienced designer the chance to work on a project from various devices and locations.
The Process of Design is Streamlined
The process of designing a website used to be rather tedious and slow-moving. First, a designer would create a mockup of the finished website. It would then need to be coded, often from scratch, by a developer.
If an element needed to be changed, the designer would do another mockup, and the dev would need to code it again. There is a lot of back and forth in this kind of workflow, and projects would often take months. The more complex the code, the longer it would take, and the higher the price would be as well.
SaaS web builders have cut this process down significantly. Blocks of code are now created automatically, and a designer can create a website from scratch, even if they have no idea what the code itself means. Of course, understanding it makes fixes and changes simpler, but even if a dev needs to be brought on board, their work will take much less time.
The testing phase of a design project can now be reached much quicker, and there is no time wasted. You can now create a functional prototype in a manner of weeks.
This way, SaaS solutions provide designers with much more freedom and flexibility.
The Costs of Design are Lowered
The costs of web design are also significantly lower, thanks to SaaS. A single person can now work on a large-scale design while a project used to require both a designer and a developer – or even several of them if the website in question was a large one.
SaaS subscriptions can also cut operational costs for design freelancers and agencies, who no longer need to purchase a software solution for every employee’s computer. They can register as many accounts as they require and cancel them when they no longer need them.
These lowered costs also mean that even small businesses can afford to design unique websites, making them more competitive in their respective markets. Once they start earning a steady income, they can divert some of it to improve their initial design and work on improving their website UX.
Quality Web Design Is Made More Accessible
Businesses that can’t afford an entire website design team can even create a website in-house with minimal design experience. True, the results may never be stellar, but you can have a website up and running in hours with pre-made themes and templates.
Even if you know nothing about colour theory or the basic principles of quality website design, the tool is there to guide you and help you make the right choices. The SaaS solution also handles both mobile and responsive web design. You can even set up an eCommerce venture without having to hire someone to handle the task for you.
Thus, it is much simpler and more affordable to set up a website yourself using a SaaS web builder and outsource the more complex design tasks, like customising a logo.
The latest AI-based developments in web building services may also soon make the process even simpler. Leia, an AI-based builder, uses keywords and descriptions to gauge a brand’s voice. It automatically generates a website that aligns with the information she has been given.
These SaaS developments will likely make web design even more accessible and cut the development process down even further.
Designers Can Freelance More Easily
As the amount of work required per project is further cut down, designers can accept more freelance jobs, knowing they can complete them while working a full-time job. Even freelancing full-time, they can earn more by working on many projects simultaneously.
Some SaaS solutions have been designed specifically with freelancers in mind as well. Webydo, for example, has an option for tracking hours, helping freelancers bill their work more efficiently. There is also a white-labelling option available, so a freelancer can easily add their logo design to the work they have completed.
It is also much more affordable to become a freelancer, as you don’t have any upfront costs. You can invest in the SaaS tools when and as you need them.
Software Updates are Made Obsolete
Outdated software can pose a significant issue in web design. For example, a no longer updated plugin can pose a significant security threat, slow the website down, or disable some of its functionalities.
Security is a significant point in favour of SaaS solutions – SaaS companies can’t afford to let even the most minor threat go unchecked, as it can quickly lose their clients.
SaaS products also don’t need to be updated. As they are a web-based tool, you will practically always run the latest version. Support teams will also likely be readily available, and you can quickly get all the help you need in fixing any issues you may be facing.
This is rarely the case with traditional software. Updates are sometimes unavailable, and you are expected to spend money on a new version every time it is launched. Security patches are also often only developed after a breach has already occurred.
Your device might also be the main vulnerability point, which won’t be a concern when using a SaaS solution, as no data is stored on the device itself.
Advanced Features are Easy to Implement
You can quickly implement advanced web design features using SaaS products. You can create much more innovative and comprehensive websites without considering the code.
For example, you can add eCommerce back-end features, content management systems, email marketing automation software and practically anything else to a website with just a couple of clicks. You don’t need to partner with someone who understands how to add these elements: they are just a plugin away.
This allows designers to create websites for which they can demand higher prices, making this one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative industries.
User Experience Is Made More Important
User experience is one of the critical elements of modern web design. It is the one feature of every project that requires a human touch, trial and error, and plenty of testing. While AI solutions may be able to handle this task in the future, human involvement is still imperative.
SaaS solutions allow web designers to devote more time to this element by reducing the time they previously needed to spend on the basic architecture. As they can set up the framework very early on, they can allocate most of their working hours to usability testing, audience research, and emotional design.
Let’s not forget that the best and highest-converting websites have a designer’s years of experience under the hood. A good designer will tweak those seemingly small elements that a SaaS tool could not have come up with. However, creativity in modern web design has soared because designers can use SaaS tools to lay the foundations well.
Offering Access to Unprecedented User Information
SaaS companies collect vast amounts of data about their users and the websites that have been created with the aid of their solution. They can thus solve the problem of most of their users and create templates and themes that are likely to be in high demand.
Some even offer these data-gathering capabilities as a part of their service, allowing designers to understand better the audiences of the website they’ve built and make any necessary tweaks.
This analytical approach to development also ensures that most SaaS products are constantly developing new features based on how their tool is currently being used, catering to the real-life needs of web designers and website owners. This is how most trends in design expand: as the more inexperienced utilise the same kinds of templates for their projects.
Content Management Is a Simpler Process
Most websites will publish content regularly, making CMSs an integral part of every web design project. WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular website builder out there, and it’s used by both household names and small businesses across the world.
WordPress enables the designers who use it to create stunning websites and allows the end-user to experience quality content regularly. The owners of WordPress websites don’t need to ping a designer to help them out every time they want to push something live. They can do it themselves, allowing the designers to work on the more creative aspects of the website.
Other SaaS solutions aren’t as robust and not as widely used specifically.
As SaaS products keep expanding, we can expect the world of web design to keep adopting the latest developments, making the future of digital design even brighter.