Jan 13, 2023

How to Design a SaaS Dashboard: Best Practices and Trends

How to Design a SaaS Dashboard: Best Practices and Trends

Today's article will cover the most scintillating dashboard design of the SaaS business model. SaaS companies are growing off the charts, and if you are among these companies, you need to have a coherent SaaS dashboard design to measure your company's growth & performance. Therefore we have dedicated this article to SaaS dashboard designs and their trends.

There are a couple of aspects of a SaaS dashboard design that we will uncover in this article. Such as designing your SaaS dashboard concerning the best practices and trends. Let's begin with establishing the foundation of SaaS dashboard design.

What is SaaS Dashboard Design?

One thing you will see common in successful SaaS companies is that they are vigilant and hyperconscious about their companies' key metrics. And to do so, they have a foolproof SaaS dashboard. This type of dashboard is essential for any SaaS company to run successfully. They need the perfect SaaS design dashboard with essential features for monitoring the company's performance. Furthermore, every SaaS Company has a unique product or service; therefore, the dashboard design must be customized based on the product.

Founders, Executive teams, or managers don't have much time to skim through a bunch of numbers. To keep the process of analyzing the product's performance more efficient visual aid such as charts, graphs, gauges, and tables are used. All the data is transformed into a graphic layout in a SaaS dashboard to get the most out of them.
To completely understand the different features of a SaaS design, you need to first understand the basic features it includes:

Data visualization in SaaS Dashboard Design

User Research:

You might be confused about what user research is doing in this section, but it has a vital role in choosing the type of chart you will use. Before analyzing your data, you first need to do ample user research; in this research, you will be able to understand the type of user you are catering to. The needs your SaaS dashboard will be fulfilling and what specific features they are looking for. These user interviews will be essential when it comes to designing your dashboard.


Collecting data is daunting, but choosing the right type of visual representation is harder. If you have finalized your data and chose the wrong chart or graph, all that work will go to waste. Therefore understanding the difference between them is essential.

The user research will come into play here and help you decide which chart is best for your SaaS dashboard.
Let's get into the types of charts so you have a guide as to what you should use to present the data.

Types of Charts

Column Chart: 

In this chart, vertical bars compare two values. When comparing large values from one category to another over a time interval, column charts are used.

Bar Chart:

In bar charts, the variables are planted horizontally, and fixed value such as time is planted vertically. 

Stacked Column & Bar Chart:

When dealing with a lot of data, you can consider stacked columns or bar charts. As evident by the name, stacked columns comprised several columns with stacked bars vertically. Regarding a Stacked bar chart, the bars are plotted horizontally with stacked bars. The value of data points determines the length of each stacked bar of the column. 

Line chart:

A line chart tracks changes for a short or long period. To plot a line chart, you simply plot a series of points and draw a line through them to see the variations of the variables. 

Pie Chart:

A circle chart or pie chart is a circle divided into slices to present different numerical statics. 

Waterfall chart :

The representation of net change through addition and subtraction shown by bars is known as the waterfall chart.

Timeline Chart:

When you want to visualize the timeline of events in chronological order, you will use a timeline chart.

Map Chart:

With the help of a map chart, you can see the visual representation of data from underlying source data on geographic regions of your preference.  

Funnel Chart:

As you can guess from the name, this chart looks like a funnel. This chart shows how any data is processed from beginning to end. The top bar(the longest) shows the value in the beginning. The bottom bar(the shortest) shows the data after progressing through different steps and reaching the final step.

For example, funnel charts are usually used in businesses to keep track of the user flow of any customer that visits their webpage to add a product to the cart and purchase the product. It will show the percentage of customers that visited their online store to the ones purchasing the product.

Combination Chart:

In combination charts, different charts, such as lines, columns, maps, etc., are combined to analyze different data points.

Reference table for charts

Another visual aid tool is a Gauge; it is quite similar to the speedometer in your car, which displays the speed at which you are driving. For SaaS dashboard, it displays key metrics of your business performance.


For additional data, if you want, you can add tables to your SaaS dashboard, for example, locations, employee information, product listing, etc.

Now that we have covered some basics of using different visual tools for your SaaS dashboard, let's get into the trends and practices!

Trends & Practices of SaaS dashboard:

One major factor neglected or taken a bit for granted is choosing the suitable KPIs for your SaaS dashboard. Without the correct KPI, the dashboard will fail to serve its purpose.

Therefore you should look into the essential KPIs in the next section, so you know what to choose for your SaaS dashboard.

Essential KPIs for your SaaS dashboard

1- Customer churn and conversion rate:

Customer churn is the metric that shows the number of customers that stopped using your software over a time period.

Contrary to customer churn, the conversion rate is the number of customers subscribed to your software after the free trial.

2- PQLs:

Product-qualified leads (PQLs) are the most critical asset for any business. They represent the customers who have shown interest in your product.

3- Customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value:

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a key metric for any business that wants to measure the success of its marketing and sales efforts. It is the total cost of acquiring new customers, including all marketing and sales expenses.

Customer lifetime value(CLV or LTV) is the amount you expect from a customer when they use your service over a period of time.

4- Activation rate & Active Users:

The time at which any customer views your product for the first time and subscribes to it.

Active users metric calculates the number of people using your software daily, weekly, and monthly.

5- MRR & ARR:

A monthly recurring rate(MRR) is a business's monthly revenue.

Similarly, the Annual recurring rate(ARR) is the revenue any business generates annually.

6- Renewal:

Last but not least renewal metric measures the customers who renewed their subscription to your service.

Dashboard UX:

When designing the dashboard, you should remember that the UX design should be easy for any user, even those without prior knowledge of a SaaS dashboard.
If a part seems difficult or confusing, you should add a guideline so the user can operate it easily.

Data Visualization:

The primary purpose of any SaaS dashboard is to provide the user with data efficiently. To do so, use the visual aid tools mentioned above and keep the data points as visual as possible. However, you mustn't overwhelm the user by a bunch of data; the only way to do so is to transform that data into graphs, charts, gauges, etc.


After you have finalized your SaaS dashboard, you must test it among people with different skill sets. By doing so, you will be able to remove any errors or hurdles in the user flow and will be able to provide your client with the best SaaS dashboard possible.


SaaS dashboards have become a vital part of any Saas company, and there is a growing need to design the most efficient SaaS dashboard. Hopefully, this article will answer some of your questions regarding SaaS dashboard design. If you want an expert to assess your dashboard, you can have a free consultation with our experts. And you can look at the dashboard we provided one of our clients, Applaudence. For more blogs, stay tuned!

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