Website Design Case Study – Finding out what worked for these 10 Websites

Updated on October 13 2023
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In the evolving digital marketplace, 94% of the overall population make a purchase with a web search and 86% of customers pay more for better consumer experience. SaaS companies are heavily investing upon building their websites and improving the user experience. It is crucial for any form of business, serving consumers online to have a good website design. And for a good website design and user experience, it is necessary that SaaS websites focus upon the following key elements of a good website: 

  • User-Friendly Navigation
  • Responsive Design
  • Clear and Concise Branding
  • Compelling Visual Design
  • Use of fonts 
  • Engaging Content
  • SEO
  • Loading Speed Optimization, etc.

With competition increasing everyday in every business category, you need to make sure you provide a good experience while the user is on your website. And companies have been updating their sites since the inception of internet. 

In this article, we have gone back in time analyzed each version of every biggest SaaS website throughout their journey to find out what really worked for them. We analyzed the changes and the impact it had on user experience and their traffic. 

However, before we jump to the SaaS Website Design Case Study, we need to explore a bit about what are the challenges SaaS startups face while designing their websites. 

Design and UX Challenges for SaaS Apps 

A number of SaaS companies have incorporated changes and considered the use of SaaS tools for startups. With evolution within the SaaS industry, competitive leaders have integrated AI within their business models. For example, Salesforce Einstein, introduced by Salesforce, offers businesses to automate their operations, and predict outcomes. In addition, it also offers personalized recommendations to enhance customer engagement and sales performance. This update gave their site a great bump in their traffic and userbase.

Introduction of Vertical SaaS

With developments in the digital era, SaaS companies have introduced vertical SaaS solutions. Vertical SaaS solutions are cloud-based software solutions that address their clientele’s unique needs in terms of specific industries or market segments. To be precise, vertical SaaS startup offers solutions based on a specific set of audience and tailors strategy and marketing approach for a single industry to offer solutions and acquire consumers. Few of the examples of vertical SaaS companies are; Veeva Systems, Procore, and Mindbody. Vertical SaaS solutions serves the following benefits: 

  • Personalization: With tailored solutions offered by Vertical SaaS, it offers enhanced customizations. These cater to meet the demands of niche industries, and ensure increased consumer satisfaction. 
  • Reduced Market Competition: Vertical SaaS narrows down the market and target audience which leads to reduced competition. Decreased competitors lead to building a substantial market presence and establishment of long-term relationships with consumers. 
  • Increased Credibility: Solutions that are industry specific helps SaaS companies to potentially demonstrate their knowledge and expertise of the sector leading to enhanced brand recognition and credibility. 

According to Business Quant, Veeva Systems, post introduction of Vertical SaaS, generated a revenue of $395.7 million in Q4 of 2022. 

Increased Emphasis on Data Security and Privacy 

Concerns around data security and privacy have increased as a result of organizations’ growing reliance on cloud-based SaaS solutions. Companies are now stressing upon the possible risks involved with keeping sensitive data in the cloud due to high-profile data breaches and the constantly changing environment of cyber threats. In order to maintain consumer confidence and comply with legal requirements, SaaS startups are therefore obligated to place the utmost focus on data security and privacy. SaaS websites have effectively focused upon building a platform that addresses the security needs that concerns the population. 

A number of regulatory impacts have been witnessed in the SaaS industry. The implementation of regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States signifies a concerted effort to safeguard consumer data and privacy. SaaS providers find themselves subject to rigorous requirements under these regulations, including the necessity to obtain user consent, offer transparency regarding data usage, and grant users access to, correction of, or deletion of their personal information. Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to substantial fines and reputational harm.

Changes in Website Design

Numerous changes have been incorporated by startups in terms of SaaS website design. Best SaaS startup website designs are difficult to differentiate in the current market scenario as each and every SaaS company is working towards eradicating the traditional website design approach. Listed below are few of the major changes in terms of website designing that has been considered by SaaS startups:

Design Aesthetics:

Traditional Website Design: 

  • Static Design: Many SaaS websites had static designs with limited interactivity.
  • Heavy Graphics: Reliance on heavy graphics and Flash elements for visual appeal.

Current Website Design: 

  • Responsive Design: Almost all SaaS websites now embrace responsive design for optimal viewing across devices.
  • Minimalistic Design: Shift towards minimalistic designs, focusing on clean layouts and easy navigation.
  • Modern UI/UX: Integration of modern user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) principles.

User Experience:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Limited Interactivity: Basic user interactivity with fewer dynamic elements.
  • Standard Navigation: Traditional navigation menus with limited dropdowns.

Current Website Design:

  • Interactive Elements: Extensive use of interactive elements, sliders, and dynamic content.
  • User-Centric Design: Prioritization of user-centric design principles, leading to intuitive and seamless user experiences.

Content Strategy:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Text-Heavy: Emphasis on text-heavy content to communicate product features.
  • Static Content: Limited use of dynamic content or personalized experiences.

Current Website Design:

  • Visual Storytelling: Integration of visual storytelling through multimedia elements.
  • Dynamic Content: Personalized and dynamic content delivery based on user behavior and preferences.

Mobile Optimization:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Limited Mobile Optimization: Websites were often not optimized for mobile devices.

Current Website Design:

  • Mobile-First Approach: A shift towards a mobile-first approach with optimized experiences for smartphones and tablets.

SEO Practices:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Basic SEO Practices: Relatively basic SEO practices with a focus on keywords.

Current Website Design:

  • Advanced SEO Strategies: Implementation of advanced SEO strategies, including structured data, semantic SEO, and user experience signals.

Security Measures:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Basic Security Measures: Implementation of basic SSL encryption.

Current Website Design:

  • Advanced Security: Implementation of advanced security measures, including HTTPS, two-factor authentication, and heightened focus on data privacy.

Integration of Emerging Technologies:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Limited Tech Integration: Few SaaS companies actively integrating emerging technologies.

Current Website Design:

  • AI and Automation: Integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation for enhanced user experiences and product functionalities.

Customer Engagement:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Traditional Support: Traditional customer support channels like email and phone.

Current Website Design:

  • Live Chat and Self-Service: Adoption of live chat, chatbots, and self-service portals for enhanced customer engagement.

Load Times:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Varied Load Times: Load times were variable, and heavy graphics could impact performance.

Current Website Design:

  • Optimized Performance: Emphasis on optimizing website performance for faster load times.

Compliance with Regulations:

Traditional Website Design:

  • Limited Compliance: Limited focus on regulatory compliance.

Current Website Design:

  • Stringent Compliance: Adherence to data protection regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, with transparent privacy policies.

How Have SaaS Startups Changed their Backlink Strategy? 

Traditional approach for B2B SaaS websites in terms of backlink strategy involved building large amounts of backlinks neglecting the quality. This resulted in vague and faulty backlinks which were devalued by Google. However, in the current digital era, strategy towards backlink has significantly changed and the SaaS industry is focusing upon building high-quality backlinks from relevant websites. Contents which involve SaaS startup website best practices are intended to provide value to its consumers by means of an information piece and promotion of other valuable websites. Moreover, SaaS startups have taken to social media as a means to connect with their customers and build potential relationships which are crucial for backlinks.

Quantity vs Quality:

Traditional Website Design: In the early days, the quantity of backlinks was a major focus. SaaS companies often engage in practices like link farms to accumulate a large number of links.

Current Website Design: The emphasis shifted to quality over quantity. Search engines, especially Google, became more sophisticated in evaluating backlink quality. SaaS companies started focusing on acquiring backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources.

Link Relevance:

Traditional Website Design: Relevance was somewhat considered, but the primary goal was often to get any link.

Current Website Design: SaaS companies became more discerning about link relevance. Links from contextually relevant and industry-specific websites gained more value. Relevance became a key factor in determining the impact of a backlink on search rankings.

Natural Link Building:

Traditional Website Design: Link-building strategies were often aggressive and not always natural, involving tactics like directory submissions and link exchanges.

Current Website Design: Natural link-building became a priority. SaaS companies aimed at earning links organically by creating high-quality, shareable content that naturally attracted backlinks. Outreach strategies also shifted towards relationship-building rather than transactional link acquisition.

Anchor Text Diversity:

Traditional Website Design: Exact match anchor text was commonly used to signal the relevance of the linked page.

Current Website Design: Diverse anchor text strategies emerged. SaaS companies realized the importance of using a variety of anchor texts, including branded, naked URLs, and generic terms, to appear more natural and avoid over-optimization penalties.

Social Signals and Brand Mentions:

Traditional Website Design: Social signals and brand mentions were not directly considered as backlinks.

Current Website Design: Social signals gained importance, and brand mentions without a link started contributing to a website’s authority. SaaS companies started leveraging social media for brand building, which indirectly influenced their backlink profiles.

Link Earning Through Content Marketing:

Traditional Website Design: Content marketing was not as central to link-building strategies.

Current Website Design: Content marketing became a cornerstone. SaaS companies shifted towards creating valuable and shareable content to naturally attract backlinks. High-quality blog posts, infographics, and other forms of content played a significant role in link earning.

NoFollow vs DoFollow Links:

Traditional Website Design: DoFollow links were prioritized as they passed link equity.

Current Website Design: While DoFollow links still hold value, the importance of NoFollow links increased. A natural backlink profile includes a mix of both, and search engines became more nuanced in understanding and valuing NoFollow links, especially from reputable sources.

Penalties for Manipulative Tactics:

Traditional Website Design: Manipulative tactics like buying links were more common and didn’t always result in severe penalties.

Current Website Design: Search engines, particularly Google, became stricter in penalizing manipulative tactics. SaaS companies shifted away from black-hat practices, recognizing the long-term risks associated with them.

Link Building for Local SEO:

Traditional Website Design: Local SEO considerations in link building were not as prominent for global SaaS companies.

Current Website Design: With the growing importance of local search, SaaS companies began incorporating local SEO strategies into their link-building efforts, including local citations and links from locally relevant websites.

Influencer and Collaborative Link-Building:

Traditional Website Design: Influencer collaborations were not as common in link-building strategies.

2021: SaaS companies started engaging with influencers and industry leaders for collaborative content and link-building efforts. Influencers’ endorsements and collaborations added credibility to their backlink profiles.

Analyzing the Changes for SaaS Companies 

This section of the article aims at providing an overview of the changes that have been made in a defined period of time. This section will track changes in terms of user experience, website accessibility, and which model was opted by the organization in order to embrace and adapt to the necessary changes. 

Salesforce 

Salesforce, the global leader in terms of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which revolutionized the model of engaging with customers was launched in the year 1999. Salesforce empowers businesses across diverse sizes and industries to undergo digital transformations centered around their customers. By leveraging the capabilities of automation, artificial intelligence, and real-time data, Salesforce aims to enhance every customer experience, making it more personalized, valuable, and memorable. Beyond being a business entity, Salesforce is a platform for change, fostering a global community united by shared core values.

Salesforce has potentially evolved in terms of website and promotion of content. Following this, Salesforce launched another website service, “AppExchange” in the year 2005. Below is a snippet of the then website of AppExchange which offered business owners with a platform where they can undertake development of their own application and launch it for the Salesforce consumer base.

Salesforce initial website design
Salesforce initial website design

Salesforce has undergone a number of changes since 1999 and offered its consumers a multiple services. In the year 2000, Salesforce launched its first advertising campaign which quoted, “No Software.” The campaign’s primary objective was to promote Salesforce’s service, emphasizing its unique aspect of being software-free. This service was easily accessible over the internet, requiring only a simple registration process for users to avail themselves of its benefits.

Salesforce continued its optimization approach for its users. In the year 2013, when the global scale of mobile users reached 55% of the total population, Salesforce undertook the measure for mobile optimization. Prior to 2013, Salesforce had a mobile application known as Salesforce Mobile, providing users with access to a limited set of their information on their phones.

However, in the growing smartphone age, this proved insufficient. People were in need of a more robust and efficient way to engage with all their data, applications, and customers. Thus, this paved the way for the launch of the “Salesforce1”. 

Salesforce's initial mobile design
Salesforce’s initial mobile design

Major move by Salesforce was made in the year 2015 when they considered transforming the website which was termed as “Lightning.”

The Lightning experience was gradually introduced to the community throughout the summer of 2015, culminating in an official launch at Dreamforce a few months later.

The primary goal of the Lightning experience was to bring about a permanent transformation in the way Salesforce appeared in a web browser. Additionally, it sought to establish a consistent look and feel across all Salesforce platforms, regardless of the type of device being used. With the launch of this feature by Salesforce, it experienced a sudden spike in the organic traffic as shown below.

Salesforce's redesign in 2015 and its impact
Salesforce’s redesign in 2015 and its impact

With constant adaptation and development, Salesforce came to exist as one of the global leaders in terms of Customer Relationship Management. 

Salesforce's website design in 2023
Salesforce’s website design in 2023

The current webpage of Salesforce has incorporated all the necessary models and principles.

HubSpot

HubSpot was launched in 2006. With people turning to new forms of media, and seeking assistance on the web, HubSpot took to the internet and launched its digital services. During the initial days, HubSpot websites lacked appropriate design and modeling. Mentioned below is a table which shows product launch timeline for HubSpot: 

YearEvent
2006HubSpot founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
2010HubSpot acquires Oneforty and releases multiple free tools as inbound marketing assets
2011HubSpot releases a Twitter tracking feature
2014HubSpot launches HubSpot CRM Free
2016Launch of HubSpot Academy, an online digital marketing training platform
2017HubSpot acquires Kemvi and introduces machine learning and AI to their solution
2018HubSpot integrates Taboola, a global pay-per-click native ad network
2019HubSpot acquires PieSync, a customer data synchronization platform

When HubSpot was first launched, the website had basic formatting and lacked any creative approach. In the year 2007, according to reports, HubSpot reached its first milestone of generating a revenue of $255,000. In 2007, HubSpot introduced Website Grader, a tool that attracted over 25,000 organic visits monthly and has accumulated an impressive 1.2 million backlinks. Notably, this feature contributes to millions of dollars in Hubspot’s annual revenue. 

Hubspot first website design
Hubspot first website design

HubSpot opted for the sales representative strategy in the year 2008. With its extensive growth in the concerned industry, HubSpot now has 184,000+ customers globally.

In 2021, HubSpot’s growth reached $15.6 million. During the same year, the company acquired Oneforty, the Twitter app store founded by Laura Fitton. Additionally, HubSpot unveiled an innovative feature enabling businesses to customize their websites for individual visitors. Alongside these advancements, they rolled out several free tools as valuable inbound marketing assets.

Hubspot growth in 2008
Hubspot growth in 2008

Following Website Grader, HubSpot focused on these strategies for growth: 

  • Strategic Acquisitions (2010): Acquired Oneforty and began releasing multiple free tools as part of their inbound marketing assets.
  • Twitter Tracking (2011): Added a Twitter tracking feature to their suite of tools.
  • Launched free CRM (2014): Launched HubSpot CRM Free, expanding their offerings to include customer relationship management.
  • Launched HubSpot Academy (2016): Established HubSpot Academy, an online digital marketing training platform.
  • AI Integration (2017): Acquired Kemvi, introducing machine learning and AI to enhance their solution.
  • Taboola Integration (2018): Integrated Taboola, a global pay-per-click native ad network, into their platform.
  • PieSync Acquisition (2019): Acquired PieSync, a customer data synchronization platform, further expanding their capabilities.
  • Financial Growth (2021): HubSpot’s revenue grew to $15.6 million in 2021.
  • Oneforty Acquisition and Personalization Feature (2021): Acquired Oneforty, the Twitter app store, and introduced a new feature allowing businesses to personalize their websites for each visitor.
  • Continuous Free Tools Release: Throughout the years, HubSpot consistently released free tools as part of their inbound marketing strategy, enhancing their users’ experience.

Zendesk 

Zendesk in terms of website and services have undergone a number of changes since its launch in the year 2007. The snippet below highlights the homepage of Zendesk from the year 2007. It is evident that the homepage was designed in a simple way with a white background and basic fonts.

Moreover, in the year 2008. Zendesk launched its consumer support. The consumer support section on the Zendesk web page highlighted a few creative and catchy lines, and it didn’t have any form of multimedia or visuals to appeal to its consumers.

Zendesk website design in 2007
Zendesk website design in 2007

In 2009, Zendesk introduced a redesigned website characterized by a sleeker design. This overhaul showcased a fresh logo, a minimalist aesthetic, and an enhanced responsive layout. The intent of SaaS startup here was to shift from IT sectors to large and small businesses as shown in the screenshot below:

Zendesk revamped website in 2009
Zendesk revamped website in 2009

Zendesk attempted major changes in its website from the year 2010. It started implementing SEO strategies, extensively used multimedia and website optimization. 

Zendesk’s Website Design between 2010-2013
Zendesk’s Website Design between 2010-2013

We can see the differences between each of the homepages of Zendesk. 

Zendesk’s Website Design between 2014-2016
Zendesk’s Website Design between 2014-2016

One of the most interesting adaptations by Zendesk was seen in the year 2017 when it utilized geometric shapes to denote a complete suite of products. The catchy tagline of the then website read; “Zendesk builds software for better customer relationships.”

Zendesk’s Website Design in 2023
Zendesk’s Website Design in 2023

We can see in the above images that Zendesk has potentially evolved and adapted to the changing market. What started as a simple white background homepage is now a beautifully designed website which focuses upon words to acquire consumer attention. 

Microsoft 

Microsoft’s design journey has been diverse, commencing with a homepage built on image map technology, offering links to a range of products and services. During that era, the prevalent use of a gray background was notable, as it served as the default web page backdrop color for early browsers.

Since, the internet revolutionized the way people looked for information, Bill Gates, in the year 1995, quoted, “the Internet is the most important single development to come along since the IBM PC was introduced in 1981. It is even more important than the arrival of the graphical user interface (GUI).” 1995 was also the year when Microsoft launched Windows 95 and changed the way its website looked. As Microsoft adapted to leveraging the internet for user information and services, the evolution of Microsoft.com reflected a growing sophistication and utility. The pivotal launch of Windows 95 in that period marked a significant milestone, bringing substantial and valuable content to the website. By 1997, Microsoft took another step by prominently displaying its stock price on the homepage.

In the year 1996, Microsoft’s web page was redesigned a number of times keeping the priorities of users in mind. Snippets below highlight the home pages that were designed and used in the year 1996:

In response to the legal actions from the US government, Microsoft employed a range of communication channels, both digital and traditional, to advocate for its position. The outcome of this effort held the fate of Microsoft’s continuity as a unified corporate entity. The Freedom to Innovate Network emerged as a lobbying initiative, aiming to foster grassroots support and opposition to the lawsuit.

In 1999, the release of the IE 5 browser marked a notable event. Interestingly, despite being unconventional by today’s standards, a popular choice at the time was ordering a CD containing the browser software. This unconventional method gained traction due to the prevalent slow connection speeds, making lengthy downloads impractical. Dial-up internet via phone lines remained a common and enduring feature of that era.

Evolution of Microsoft website from 1999 to 2003
Evolution of Microsoft website from 1999 to 2003

The homepage of Microsoft’s website in 2000 reflected the company’s high priority efforts at the time. The most prominent headline above the fold urged the dismissal of the government’s breakup lawsuit against Microsoft, a case that the company was vigorously fighting.

Another high-profile link on the homepage was to a page informing users about the Love Letter virus, a computer worm that had infected millions of Windows PCs by running malicious VBScript code disguised as a love letter email attachment. This link would be a recurring theme on the Microsoft website for some time, as the company worked to help users protect themselves from the virus and other threats. In other words, the Microsoft homepage in 2000 was focused on two main things: defending the company against the government’s antitrust lawsuit and helping users protect their devices from malware.

Evolution of Microsoft website from 2004 to 2006
Evolution of Microsoft website from 2004 to 2006

Microsoft went on revolutionizing its website with all the content it could include. The website highlighted all the major resources, launches and news that was associated with Microsoft and its future options.

Microsoft’s Website in 2023
Microsoft’s Website in 2023

Today, Microsoft’s website mostly features its latest launches, B2B product and highlight its focus on AI technology.

Atlassian

Atlassian website in 2002
Atlassian website in the initial days

Atlassian was launched in 2002. The website, when first launched, featured a simple white background with basic fonts and branding.

In the year 2005, Atlassian redesigned its website by adding colors in the background and describing what it offers to its consumers in detail. It added multiple sections within the 1st fold of the website and support section as well. 

Evolution of Atlassian’s Website from 2005-2023
Evolution of Atlassian’s Website from 2005-2023

With constant research and development, Atlassian came up with a website which features its services and products all at once. Moreover, it integrated the name of the big giants who availed its services for better consumer attraction and retention.

The year 2019 saw a major change in the website’s visibility. Atlassian completely revamped and redesigned the website in the year 2019and made the background with a company’s official choice of colors. It feature all the products and services offered by the company in the first fold of the website and concluded with top firms which availed its services.

By the end of the year 2015, the company started targeting startups with attractive taglines. The website was redesigned to target the startups. 

The snippets below follow the evolution of website from offering services in the first fold to adding attractive taglines to acquire consumers. 

Atlassian opts for marketing strategy which is focused on the mentioned elements. These elements are a key aspect of driving traffic on the website and acquiring potential customers:

  • Content marketing: Atlassian has worked towards creating a high-quality content that is relevant to its target audience. This content comprises blog posts, articles, white papers, and webinars. Atlassian has potentially work towards promoting its content on social media and other online channels.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Atlassian has optimized its website and content for search engines so that potential customers can easily find it. This includes using relevant keywords and phrases throughout its website and content.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Atlassian has implemented the use PPC advertising to reach potential customers who are already searching for its products and services.
  • Social media marketing: Atlassian has incorporated the use of social media to engage with potential and existing customers. This includes sharing content, running contests, and answering customer questions.
  • Email marketing: Atlassian has implemented the use of email marketing to stay in touch with potential and existing customers. This includes sending out newsletters, promotional offers, and product updates.

These strategies have been potentially reflected on the website of Atlassian which has evolved effectively in the given market scenario. According to financial reports published by Atlassian, 260,000 total customers and generated over $3.5 billion in revenue in the FY 2023. The user base was from; Cloud, Enterprise, and ITSM.

Shopify

Shopify was launched in 2006. The platform has since evolved into a robust e-commerce solution, empowering businesses to create online stores with ease. Its user-friendly interface, diverse themes, and extensive app ecosystem facilitate customization. Shopify ensures secure transactions and offers analytics tools for performance tracking. With responsive design and seamless integration of payment gateways, it caters to a global market. Regular updates and customer support contribute to its reputation as a leading e-commerce platform, providing a reliable and scalable solution for businesses of all sizes.

Shopify's website first design
Shopify’s website first design

After several optimizations and changes, Shopify reframed the following strategies and policies: 

  • Added a new pricing page that is easier to understand and navigate.
  • Added a new features page that provides more information about Shopify’s products and services.
  • Added a new customer support page that makes it easier for customers to get help.
  • Added a new blog that features articles about e-commerce, entrepreneurship, and business.
  • Updated the website’s content to be more informative and engaging.
  • Improved the website’s performance to make it faster and more reliable.

Here is a detailed look into Shopify’s website evolution: 

Evolution of Shopify Website from 2016-2021
Evolution of Shopify Website from 2016-2021

We can see from the screenshots above that Shopify has evolved since its launch in the year 2016. It has considered potential implementation of all the necessary strategies to consider its growth. Reshaping its website in accordance to the modern needs and optimizing it for the search engine is a very crucial approach which is evident from the revenue model of Shopify. According to Shopify Financial reports, total revenue of the SaaS startup increased by 31% to $1.7 billion in comparison to previous year.

Zoom

Zoom's initial website design
Zoom’s initial website design

Zoom was launched in the year 2011, and over the years, its website has become more modern, user-friendly, and informative. The website now features a more colorful design, a more responsive layout, and more engaging content. It also includes more information about Zoom’s products and services, as well as resources for customers and partners.

One of the most notable changes to the Zoom website has been the increased focus on security and privacy. This is a reflection of the company’s commitment to making Zoom a safe and secure platform for its users. The website now features a dedicated security page that provides information about Zoom’s security features and practices. Additionally, the website now includes a privacy policy that explains how Zoom collects and uses user data.

Zoom website design evolution from 2015 to 2021
Zoom website design evolution from 2015 to 2021

With changes and evolution in the strategies to promote products and services, Zoom has transformed its website with time. 

Zoom's website design in 2023
Zoom’s website design in 2023

Zoom has specifically focused on user experience and ease of navigation. The revamped website of Zoom offers visitors with the ease of access to desired information which is a key aspect of user experience. Highlighted below are the key changes that Zoom has incorporated in the website:

  • A new navigation bar that is easier to use and provides more direct access to key pages
  • A new home page that is more visually appealing and informative, with a focus on Zoom’s latest products and features
  • A new pricing page that is more transparent and easier to understand
  • A new resource center that provides a wealth of information on Zoom, including tutorials, FAQs, and case studies
  • A new support page that makes it easier for users to get help with Zoom

Slack

Slack's early days website design - 2012
Slack’s early days website design – 2012

Slack is constantly updating and improving its website to make it better for its customers. As a result, the website has changed significantly since it was first launched in 2009. However, the core goals of the website have remained the same: to provide information about Slack’s products and services, to help customers get help, and to build relationships with customers.

Notable change to the Slack website is the increased focus on Slack integrations. Slack integrations allow users to connect Slack to other software applications, such as Google Drive, Salesforce, and Jira. This makes it easier for users to work collaboratively and efficiently. The Slack website now features a dedicated integrations page that provides information about all of the available Slack integrations.

Slack promoting using Nasa
Slack using Nasa for its promotion

Slack approached a creative strategy towards designing its website where it incorporated NASA’s approach towards exploring outer-space. As shown in the screenshot above, the first fold of the website is centered upon visuals only which is appealing to the eye.

Slack 2021 vs 2023 Website Design
Slack 2021 vs 2023 Website Design

There is a major change when we compare the website design of Slack from the year 2021 with 2023. Mostly in terms of visuals and letters, the changes have been considered.

  • The Slack logo has been updated with a more modern and minimalist design.
  • The website now uses a more contemporary color palette, with a greater emphasis on white space.
  • The website now features more interactive elements, such as a “Try Slack for free” button and a “Slack tour” video.
  • The website now includes more social media icons, making it easier for visitors to follow Slack on social media.

Oracle 

Oracle was launched in 1977 by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates. The company’s original name was Software Development Laboratories (SDL), but it changed its name to Oracle in 1982.

Oracle’s website provides information about the company’s products and services, including its cloud computing platform, database management systems, and enterprise software applications. The website also includes resources for customers, partners, and investors.

Oracle 2021 vs 2023 Website Design
Oracle 2021 vs 2023 Website Design

Oracle adapted to the latest digital marketing strategy to consider promotion of its products or services. These strategies comprised the following:

  1. Content Marketing: Oracle has employed content marketing strategies, creating and distributing valuable content to engage and educate their target audience. This includes blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, and videos.
  2. Social Media Marketing: Utilizing social media platforms for brand promotion, customer engagement, and community building is a common aspect of digital marketing. Oracle has worked towards establishing its presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and others.
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Ensuring that Oracle’s online content is optimized for search engines has helped improve visibility in search results, and has made it easier for potential customers to find relevant information.
  4. Email Marketing: Email campaigns are often a key component of digital marketing strategies. Oracle has effectively used email marketing to nurture leads, provide updates, and promote their products and services.
  5. Webinars and Online Events: Hosting webinars and virtual events is a crucial way adapted by Oracle to interact with the audience, and demonstrate necessary solutions.
  6. Personalization and Targeting: Tailoring content and advertisements to specific audience segments is a common strategy which Oracle has utilized by implementing data-driven approaches in order to personalize the user experience.
  7. Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with influencers in the tech industry has helped Oracle reach a broader audience and build credibility.
  8. Paid Advertising: Using paid channels like Google Ads or social media advertising to target specific demographics and increase visibility has helped Oracle to reach wider audiences and acquire potential customers. 
  9. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Oracle, being a major player in the CRM industry, has leveraged from CRM tools for customer segmentation, targeting, and personalized communication.
  10. Analytics and Data Insights: Employing analytics tools to measure the performance of digital marketing efforts, track customer behavior, and make data-driven decisions are the key components of Oracle’s marketing startegy. 
Oracle initial Website Design
Oracle initial Website Design

The versions of Oracle’s website have been portrayed and we can easily understand and spot the differences of how changes have occurred. Oracle has evolved from being a simple website to being an informative website. Oracle’s website in the year 2003 when compared to other versions of website, offers a very detailed visual and content in the first fold with the use of right colors for branding.

Oracle 2006 vs 2011 Website Design
Oracle 2006 vs 2011 Website Design

With new strategies and models coming up, it is necessary for organizations to offer their customers with the right services. Oracle did the same by opting for the new strategy of website build, and optimizing the content by making it more appealing to its visitors, it transformed the website by redesigning it completely. Above is a website comparison between the website design in the year 2006 vs 2011.

According to reports from Statista, the revenue of Oracle for FY 2006 was $14.38 billion. However, Oracle, with the new website design and its top notch services, successfully generated a revenue of $35.62 billion.

Analyzing the Overall Evolution of SaaS Websites and its Impact

Considering our analysis of 10 SaaS website designs, this section highlights the overall changes which have been incorporated by SaaS Startups in terms of building their website. Mentioned below are the changes and amendments which have been considered by these 10 SaaS startups with time: 

Website Design

Early SaaS startup websites often had a more technical and utilitarian design, reflecting the industry’s focus on functionality. However, over time, there has been a shift towards cleaner, more visually appealing designs. Modern SaaS startup websites prioritize simplicity, with intuitive navigation and engaging visuals that communicate the product’s value proposition effectively.

User Experience

User experience has become a central focus in SaaS website evolution. Responsive design, mobile optimization, and seamless onboarding experiences are now crucial. SaaS startup invest in user research to understand pain points and streamline the user journey. Trial sign-ups, demos, and free tiers are often prominently featured to encourage user engagement.

SEO Strategies

SEO for SaaS websites has evolved from keyword stuffing to a more holistic approach. Content marketing plays a significant role, with informative blog posts, case studies, and video content. Companies are also optimizing for long-tail keywords and focusing on creating content that answers user queries. Backlink strategies and social media presence also contribute to SEO success.

Call to Action

The evolution of CTAs is marked by a shift from generic buttons like “Sign Up” to more personalized and persuasive messages. SaaS websites use targeted CTAs based on user behavior, offering specific solutions or benefits. Interactive CTAs, such as chatbots for immediate assistance, have become more common.

Other Elements Which Have Evolved

Security and Trust Indicators: With the increasing concern for online security, SaaS websites prominently feature trust indicators like SSL certificates, customer testimonials, and security badges.

Personalization: SaaS websites now often employ personalization to tailor the user experience. Personalized content, recommendations, and even dynamic website elements contribute to a more individualized user journey.

Impact on Business Model and Profitability

The evolution in these elements has a direct impact on the business model and profitability of SaaS companies. A well-designed website with a great user experience increases the likelihood of user acquisition, conversion, and retention. SEO strategies contribute to organic traffic, reducing customer acquisition costs over time.

  1. Subscription-Based Revenue Model: SaaS websites typically operate on a subscription-based model, where customers pay a recurring fee for access to the software. This model has shifted the revenue stream from one-time purchases to ongoing, predictable income, providing more stability and predictability for businesses.
  2. Scalability and Flexibility: SaaS allows for easy scalability, as businesses can adjust their subscription levels based on their needs. This flexibility is beneficial for both customers and providers, fostering long-term relationships and accommodating changing business requirements.
  3. Continuous Updates and Improvements: SaaS providers can continuously update and improve their software without requiring customers to install new versions. This results in a better user experience, as customers always have access to the latest features and security updates.
  4. Global Reach: SaaS startup websites, being accessible over the internet, have a global reach. This has allowed organizations to expand their customer base beyond geographical boundaries, reaching a more diverse and expansive market.
  5. Lower Entry Barriers: The subscription model often involves lower upfront costs for customers compared to traditional software purchases. This lower entry barrier can attract more customers, especially smaller businesses, leading to increased market penetration.

Effective CTAs and personalized experiences enhance conversion rates, leading to increased revenue. Additionally, a positive user experience can translate into positive reviews and referrals, further boosting the customer base.

To conclude with, the evolution of SaaS websites reflects a broader trend towards user-centricity, clarity, and engagement. These improvements contribute to a more competitive edge, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately, enhanced profitability for SaaS companies. 

About Appscribed

Appscribed is a comprehensive resource for SaaS tools, providing in-depth reviews, insightful comparisons, and feature analysis. It serves as a knowledge hub, offering access to the latest industry blogs and news, thereby empowering businesses to make informed decisions in their digital transformation journey.

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