As cloud computing’s Software as a Service (SaaS) grows, and more companies launch their applications as web-powered portals, discussions about user experience (SaaS UX) and user interface design (SaaS UI) become increasingly more important. Utility-based computing in the cloud will still have all the resources of on site applications, but with the simplicity and clarity to work well on any smart phone or tablet’s browser, and without the same update and maintanence issues.

Employees, clients, customers, and principals need access to the tools, power, and processing capabilities of your company or organization with more than simple branding. At every step in developing a comprehensive user interface design, the balance of functionality, utility, efficiency, and value go into assessing the overall user experience. Practical but simple icons, dynamic interfaces, and overall usability suggest the directions for SaaS UI and SaaS UX, but it must work on an aesthetic level as well. The best systems often require no manual for initial use, and often very little training to access the full capabilities of the applications. The design should suggest the application’s potential.

How is your SaaS portal branded? Can a logo attached to the front end of a web developer’s engine give you what end users expect from a solid SaaS UX? Graphic design is about more than just images, icons, and logos. It’s about a feel, flow, and coherency that connects all aspects of the form, function, and other elements together.

Software as a Service has exploded because of the collaborative results that organizations receive by having their sales, accounting, enterprise resource planning, content management, and ever-important customer relationship management (CRM) connected in the cloud. This model of on-demand software is only expected to grow as possibly all of information technology (IT) itself becomes a service. But when you ask end users about their sense about a SaaS system’s value, they very often speak only of the look and the feel and their overall user experience. Don’t make this something that your SaaS business app overlooks.