We invest in products to be a better version of ourselves. The same goes for companies. If we compare today’s software design to those of the old days, there is a huge difference in UI and UX. Designers today are becoming more empathetic with designs that help users get things done more efficiently.
New and better design approaches have arisen to fix challenges that designers or clients might be facing.
The term “design thinking” for example, isn’t just a buzzword. There’s a logical reason behind it. Design thinking is now known as a creative problem-solving approach designers use to create different new values and positive impact.
Now, how do we approach designing for B2B SaaS with design thinking? Here’s how.
Understanding Users: Boomers vs Millennials
In comparison to startups and growing businesses, B2B companies, especially matured industrial and manufacturing companies, mostly consist of an ageing workforce. This is because older workers are much more likely to have a specific set of skills revolving around particular tools, plants and systems. Manufacturing companies hold on to them to avoid being faced with a skills gap dilemma. However, while having seniors in the game is important, as the world slowly submerges into new tech and advanced software, hiring the tech-savvy and digital natives is as important to survive and stay on top.
When designing an enterprise software, a firm needs to keep in mind the people who are going to be using their products. In this case, designers need to create experiences that feel familiar to older workers but are, at the same time, attractive to new users.
On the one hand, a software interface that is familiar to the older workforce will shorten their learning process and encourage them in their journey into new tech. On the other hand, old school tools can feel like a hindrance to the younger workforce. Millennials are accustomed to tools that can be accessed anywhere at any time, like mobile apps. Making software products that meet the needs of both sides can make working together an elevated and efficient process.
Design Thinking for Productivity and Safety
Unlike B2C products, B2B software is much more complex due to its multiple data states, visualization options, management operations, multiple-user collaborations and system integrations with existing softwares. All of these affect every design decision made to meet one another’s requirements.
When dealing with complexity, sometimes the best solution is simplicity.
Side by side with B2C apps, one may say that B2B apps look boring. The justification is that most industrial and manufacturing firms don’t invest in design for the aesthetics — they invest in design to boost productivity while keeping safety as a priority.
One of the best examples we have that focuses on productivity and safety is our project with Honeywell’s Building Management System (BMS) after they talked to us about exploring the possibilities of real time alerts on equipment downtime as well as tracking maintenance and team performance with a mobile app.
Industrial and manufacturing companies often come with mountains of data that they need to monitor, manage, maintain and use in managing equipment. When designing software for such purposes, cramming these large amounts of data on a single dashboard can cause distraction and overwhelm the user. The best approach is to build data visualizations that simplify and help users make quicker decisions with lighter cognitive load.
Next Step for You
If you are a CXO of a B2B company looking to invest in design that boosts productivity and safety, Snappymob might be the partner you’re looking for.
Our team has helped local and international clients from startups to large organizations create solutions that speed up their business processes. From building SaaS to IoT sensors, we might just have the experience and expertise to help you pave the way to efficiency.
Contact us to learn more and discuss your goals!