SmartBill is a Visma company that serves over 75,000 small businesses in Romania. Their cloud software includes features for invoicing, accounting, inventory, and point-of-sale. Their Product Net Promoter Score (pNPS) is also one of the highest in the industry worldwide, averaging from +65 to +89 in different modules.
In her role as Co-founder and Product Manager, Ioana Hasan has dedicated her career to building engaged developer teams that create great products.
“It’s not easy to create products that users love. It’s a combination of the features, how convenient and trusted the software is, and at what price it’s sold. The value is always perceived in the customer’s everyday life – not ours.”Ioana Hasan
When asked what the top five things to keep in mind when building customer-centric products are, here’s what Ioana shared from her experience.
Note: These insights were written by Ioana for our eBook, Building products that users and developers love.
Keep your software clean
There’s always more demand for features than what you should actually implement for all of your users. We ask ourselves constantly: “Is this feature, element, or anything else something everyone should see?” We strongly believe in keeping the application clean. Of course, it can sometimes have downsides when the software is simplified and has more capabilities than what’s easily seen. But we add those only when we discover the absolute needs based on the client’s feedback, user tests, or user data.
Focus on the main user flows
At SmartBill, we do a lot of user testing on the essential flows in the system. User onboarding to the product is the most important step in creating products that users love. We look at how the software is registered and taken into use, how to implement the first steps in the product intuitively, and how to make it convenient for invoicing and other main processes. Finding a balance between flexibility for users on one hand, and boundaries that maintain clarity and prevent errors on the other hand, is crucial. User testing is the best method for accomplishing this.
Make users feel successful and confident
Enforce users’ feelings of being on the right track. SmartBill provides feedback via the software so they can feel secure using it. We improve this by constantly identifying and evaluating patterns that create user confusion, struggle, or stress.
Users need to have their first small wins fast in the application, like sending the first invoice. You need to scrutinise everything that might be a flow blocker. A guideline that’s been excellent for us is the “peak-end rule”, which says that it’s not the entire experience that users judge, but rather how they feel at key milestones and at the end. It means that software creates positive feelings of accomplishment in short cycles, like climbing a mountain and stopping at basecamps to celebrate. User onboarding to the product is the most important step in creating products that users love.
User onboarding to the product is the most important step in creating products that users love.
To read Ioana’s final two tips and more insights from our product experts, download a copy of our eBook! You’ll find insights and quantitative data from Europe’s largest network of SaaS companies that help identify the key drivers of a successful product.