April 26, 2024
min read

Redesigning UX for SaaS Adoption: Peak-End Rule

Dive into the science of Memorable Experiences, Creating Peaks of Delight and Unforgettable Endings with the Peak-End Rule. Discover how when applied to Software as a Service platforms, it can transform the way we think of UXUI flows in order to delight users, engage them and ultimately drive digital engagement and adoption.

Written by

Marc Chia

In the fast-paced world of software-as-a-service (SaaS), user experience (UX) plays a pivotal role in determining the success of a product. As digital adoption becomes more prevalent, SaaS companies are continuously seeking innovative ways to enhance user engagement and drive adoption rates. One psychological principle that holds the key to achieving these goals is the Peak-End Rule. In this article, we will delve into what the Peak-End Rule is, how it applies to UX/UI design, and provide examples of its effective implementation.

Understanding the Peak-End Rule

Coined by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, the Peak-End Rule states that people tend to judge an experience based on its emotional peak and how it concludes, rather than evaluating every moment of the experience. In simpler terms, we remember the most intense point of an experience (the peak) and how it ends. This cognitive bias has been found to significantly influence how we perceive and recall events.

Applying the Peak-End Rule to UX/UI Design

When it comes to digital products like SaaS platforms, user experiences are inherently virtual, making the application of the Peak-End Rule particularly interesting. Here's how it can be effectively applied to UX/UI design:

  1. Creating Emotional Peaks: In the context of UX/UI design, creating emotional peaks translates to offering users moments of delight, surprise, or satisfaction. These emotional highs can be achieved through micro-interactions, animations, personalized experiences, and unexpected rewards. For instance, incorporating a delightful animation during the onboarding process or surprising users with a small incentive upon completing a task can create positive emotional peaks.
  2. Designing for Memorable Endings: The conclusion of a user's interaction with a SaaS product is as crucial as its beginning. Users tend to remember the end of their journey, so ensuring a seamless and satisfying ending is paramount. This could involve providing clear and appreciative feedback when a task is accomplished or guiding users through the successful completion of a complex workflow.
  3. Minimizing Negative Peaks: Just as positive peaks are memorable, negative peaks can leave a lasting negative impression. UX/UI designers must identify pain points and obstacles within the user journey and work towards minimizing them. By focusing on reducing frustrations and streamlining processes, designers can prevent negative experiences from overshadowing the overall journey.

Examples of Peak-End Rule in UX/UI Design

  1. Slack: Slack, a popular team communication tool, excels in applying the Peak-End Rule. The platform's onboarding process welcomes users with a playful and interactive experience. As users complete each step, they are met with positive affirmations and a sense of progress. The process concludes by celebrating their successful setup, leaving a positive end note.
  2. Duolingo: Language learning app Duolingo implements the Peak-End Rule by gamifying the learning experience. Users receive immediate feedback on their answers, and lessons gradually increase in difficulty, leading to a sense of accomplishment (peak) and ending on a high note. Additionally, completing a lesson often comes with a cheerful celebration, reinforcing the positive end effect.
  3. Netflix: Even streaming giant Netflix leverages the Peak-End Rule to enhance user engagement. The platform uses autoplay, which keeps viewers immersed in content by reducing the gap between episodes. This minimizes the chance of a negative experience (such as deciding whether to continue watching) and contributes to a memorable peak and end.


The Peak-End Rule is more than just a psychological phenomenon; it's a powerful tool that UX/UI designers can leverage to create exceptional user experiences in the realm of SaaS adoption. By crafting emotional peaks, ensuring memorable endings, and mitigating negative peaks, designers can positively impact user perceptions and adoption rates. As SaaS products continue to reshape how we work and interact, embracing psychological principles like the Peak-End Rule will be crucial for driving user satisfaction and success. So, remember, when redesigning UX for SaaS adoption, crafting unforgettable peaks and endings will set the stage for a triumphant digital journey.

Usertip is the ultimate change asset and digital adoption platform designed to help scale your onboarding, training and support for digital solutions. 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.

Usertip Blogs