The trends, guidelines, and fundamentals that will make your SaaS dashboard beautiful! WANDR Studio, the top UX agency in LA, brings to you an overview of the best dashboard UI.

How to get the best dashboard UI, from award-winning WANDR Studio, a UI/UX Agency

Software as a service (SaaS) dashboards tend to include lots of information. Depending on the industry and type of software, it may feature many different sources of data. 

To transform the data into understandable content, designers need to create an intuitive dashboard user interface (UI). 

Designing a quality SaaS dashboard UI is not a simple task, but the following trends, guidelines, and fundamentals should help steer you in the right direction.

The Basics of SaaS Dashboard UI Design

The dashboard UI for SaaS applications needs to quickly provide users with access to the most relevant data or features. Users should also enjoy the overall visual design of the interface. To achieve these goals, the best dashboard UI should include the following fundamental features:

  • Effective navigation
  • Clear data visualization
  • Clean layouts and designs
  • User research and analysis

Effective Navigation

Effective navigation starts with the global information structure of the application. Global navigation includes links to the main features, tools, and settings of the SaaS product. 

Users should not need to dig through multiple menus to find the information they require. Every page or feature should fit into a category represented in the global menu. 

The global navigation menu is typically located at the top of the dashboard UI design or placed vertically along the left or right side. 

Clear Data Visualization

Many SaaS dashboards present users with lots of data. Without clear data visualization, the information becomes difficult to quickly scan and analyze.

Instead of simply presenting rows and columns of data, the best dashboard UI designs visualize the data using various charts, graphs, and tables. 

For example, the keywords, number of visitors, traffic sources, and other metrics are well-organized, with key data presented on a single page.

Clean Layouts and Designs

A clean layout makes it easier for users to scroll through the dashboard and quickly find the data or links they want. Poor dashboard UI design tends to be full of clutter. This keeps users from finding information or making the interface incomprehensible.

Poor dashboard UI design tends to be full of clutter from WANDR Studio

One dashboard UI strategy for keeping the layout simple is to analyze every element on the screen to determine its relevance to the overall application. 

Every word, image, and chart should provide a specific function or benefit the interface. Remove any unnecessary text or graphics to create a simple layout.

User Research and Analysis

 Detailed user research is essential to good SaaS dashboard UI design. In fact, it is often the first step in designing a quality dashboard UI.

User research often requires multiple sources, including:

  • Questionnaires
  • Field studies
  • Card sorting 
  • User personas
  • User testing
  • Market research

Through a combination of analysis and user feedback, we can gain a better idea of the features that users want most. Usability testing is a common approach. This allows real users to test features before or after launching a product.

How Much Does UI Cost for a Dashboard?

The total production cost of a SaaS product directly impacts potential profits. However, creating a stellar user interface helps deliver a greater ROI. 

So, how much does UI cost for a dashboard? This depends on many details, including the size and scope of the SaaS dashboard.

For example, it costs more to design a complex dashboard UI with dozens of pages and sub-menus compared to a single page dashboard UI design. 

You can also expect to pay more to receive the best dashboard UI for your project. Although, most design agencies will try to work within the budget that clients provide. 

If you have more resources, the designers can spend more time on each stage of the project. Designers can only deliver results based on the scope of your the amount of work, how long it will take to execute, and your budget.

What Are the Latest Dashboard UI Trends?

As mentioned, the best dashboard UI designs tend to include innovative features, helping the interface stand out from the competition.

Some of the best trends to follow include:

  • Dynamic sorting
  • Mobility
  • Color blocking
  • Interactivity

Dynamic Sorting

Users can easily compile relevant data through dynamic sorting. This dynamic sorting should include multiple criteria for filtering information. 

Dynamic sorting is an alternative to static sorting. With static sorting, the software sorts search results based on preset filters. With dynamic sorting, you allow users to define how they want the results sorted.

Many eCommerce sites employ dynamic sorting. These sites include options for filtering results based on price, shipping, and other criteria. 

Dynamic sorting is another example of customization. Whenever users can choose options to suit their specific needs, we increase the overall usability and accessibility of the design.

Mobility

Designing a mobile dashboard UI is essential for modern applications, as more people now use smartphones and tablets to complete tasks. 

Designing a mobile dashboard UI is essential for modern applications shared by WANDR UX Design Company

The best designs ensure that the applications work perfectly on mobile devices. This may require the use of responsive design and features commonly found on mobile platforms. For example, adding swiping to the interface gives mobile users greater usability. 

Additional suggestions for mobile dashboard UI design include:

  • Keeping users informed
  • Maintaining a clean interface
  • Starting with the smallest screen

When viewing information on a smaller screen, users may struggle to keep track of the actions they just performed. Always provide feedback for any activity, such as clicking on a button or opening a menu.

It also helps to maintain a clean, simple interface, as mobile devices provide less real estate for adding elements to the screen. Every graphic or text block limits access to the information that users want or need.

When designing for mobile devices, start with the smallest screen and work your way up. It is easier to scale elements up compared to trying to shrink the layout and remove elements.

Starting with a smaller screen also forces you to focus on only including relevant elements, reducing clutter and creating a streamlined UI.

Color Blocking

Color blocking is a dashboard UI design strategy for creating a more visually appealing interface.

Color blocking is a dashboard UI design strategy for creating a more visually appealing interface according to WANDR Studio Product Strategy and Design Firm

Avoid monochrome color schemes or designs that incorporate too many colors. Dashboards without any color appear dull and boring.

However, if you add too much color, the interface becomes difficult to browse.

Color blocking provides an alternative. With color blocking, you use bright colors to help balance the use of monochrome background colors.

Not only does this look more visually appealing, it also helps draw users’ attention to important data. 

 

 

Interactivity

Users tend to enjoy interactive elements in a design. Adding sliders, overlays, and filters increase user engagement.

When users remain engaged, they spend more time using the application. This tends to lead to increased satisfaction with the product, resulting in greater customer retention and referrals.

Closing Thoughts

Along with the dashboard UI guidelines and trends discussed, your product may benefit from the expertise of a skilled UI design agency. Working with professional SaaS designers ensures that your application includes the fundamental components needed to create a quality user interface. However, it also gives you a competitive advantage by a collaborative team of experts at the same cost of a single in-house designer.

We’d love to learn more about the best dashboard UI for your project.

Contact us and we’ll see how we can help!

Here are top tips for building the best dashboard UI. If you need dashboard UI for your SaaS product, look no further for the fundaments and best tips. From WANDR Studio, the number one product strategy and UX/UI agency.

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4 Comments

  1. Luis January 10, 2020 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    A great dashboard I believe is the result of the right balance between information hierarchy and User Experience. A great dashboard does not only have to let the user consume information in a better way, but it also has to allow the user to take quick actions upon that information, in the new era of data that’ll become a powerful currency.

    • Jinny Oh January 13, 2020 at 2:18 am - Reply

      Yes! It’s the era of data, and dashboards are the bank.

  2. Nareh January 14, 2020 at 4:36 am - Reply

    It seems like the dashboard is replacing customer service; the user and the dashboard need to constantly be interacting with one another, giving feedback/having a conversation to complete the transaction. Visual cues and animation that not only make for a more usable interface, but also give feedback to the user so that they know they are being heard are interesting strategies to simulate good customer experience.

    • Jinny Oh January 23, 2020 at 4:09 am - Reply

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Nareh! I couldn’t agree more.
      As artificial intelligence advances, companies will save a lot of money and time by having their customer service be entirely digital through an easy to understand and highly functional dashboard.

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About the Author: Jinny Oh

An entrepreneur who's lived, studied and traveled around the world. Launched over 250 products; working closely with startups and Fortune 500 companies to meet their goals. International keynote speaker passionate about culture and community.

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