April 26, 2024
min read

3 Key Stats Showing How SaaS Users Vary

Understanding the user variability in SaaS can arm you better in approaching your next SaaS project from the perspective of design, onboarding, training and support in order to increase the return on investment in technology and drive retention efforts. We examine 3 key stats covering differences in information retention, speed of work and ability to complete complex tasks that influence why how you can help your users and your SaaS succeed.

Written by

Marc Chia

In the world of software, we often use User Stories to focus our software development as well as our engagement efforts. However, the assumption of a homogenous user based is in most cases patently a fiction. There is a huge amount of variability in users and this can significantly impact the experience of using SaaS, ultimately impacting the return on investment on SaaS for businesses as well as retention for SaaS vendors. In the following, we examine some key stats that show why users can vary so much and provide some tips for your next SaaS project from the perspective of software design but also the onboarding, training and support process.

Short Term Memory Only Holds 7 Pieces Of Information (Plus or Minus 2) & Fades in 20 seconds

Famously the average human is only able to retain 7 pieces of information. What few don’t realise is that there is a variance of plus or minus 2 for this. Having the ability to retain an additional 2 pieces of information may not seem much. However, in percentage terms, remembering 9 pieces of information as opposed to 5 means you are a massive 80% better. Despite this, the memory of such information typically only lasts for 20 seconds.

In real world terms this means in designing SaaS we need to be wary of processes that require the user to recall or compare information in order to complete the process. This clearly applies to the usage process of SaaS but another oft forgotten part relating to the overall user experience is the experience of onboarding and training. Indeed, this is often the most critical part which determines whether users pick up or drop using your software. Keeping training modularized and bite sized while minimizing complex instructions can be key to a straightforward learning experience for users.

The Top 25% Of Users Are 240% Faster Than The Bottom 25%

In a Nielson Norman Group study where users were given the task to find the location of Agere Systems corporate headquarters using the company's website, it was found that the top quartile was 2.4 times faster than the bottom quartile in completing the task. The very fastest user completed the task in 28 seconds, while the very slowest required 420 seconds for the same task.

This simple study shows us the difference in value that a power user can extract from a software. If software is supposed to bring cost savings and generate efficiency then having the right users, namely power users is central to the return on investment in SaaS. The fine line between a SaaS that generates a great return on investment as opposed to a marginal one can be simply the number of power users that are present on your platform.

It is highly unlikely that a SaaS solution can pre-select power users to justify the investment on SaaS. Instead, the ability to groom and train users from amateurs into power users should be central to the work that account executives and customer success can do to improve business outcomes and drive retention efforts. In other words, even with an average SaaS solution, good training and support can make the difference in the return on investment and retention.

Only 5% Of The Population Can Complete Complex Digital Tasks

A study on computer skills conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with over 215,000 participants across 33 countries showed that for complex digital tasks only 5% were able to successfully complete them. That number shows why the homogeneity or diverseness of your user base will have a huge impact on digital proficiency. An application designed for software engineers is likely to have users who are much more proficient at computers than one targeted at voters.

This tells us that we need to scale the way we design systems, onboarding, training and support for SaaS according to our user base. Advanced users can accommodate much more complex usage and are more independent and willing to problem solve themselves. Users on the other end of the spectrum will require simple usage and plenty of assistance.

Users Make Or Break SaaS

The stats above explain why understanding the specific base of users you have can make or break the success of your SaaS application. Whether you are a SaaS vendor yourself or you are a team deploying SaaS for a enterprise having a good design, onboarding, training and support process is central to long term success.

If you are interested in deploying in-application walkthroughs in seconds that help you scale the onboarding, training and support process check us out at Usertip or follow us on Linkedin for more tips to drive user adoption. Usertip is the first Southeast Asia digital adoption platform designed to help scale your onboarding, training and support for digital solutions. Operating from Singapore, Indonesia and Australia our no-code platform delivers in-application walkthroughs directly on your digital solutions. Seamless user experience and on-demand learning are all delivered to your user’s fingertips within seconds. Click here to find out more.

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