B2B products incorporate challenges similar to B2C products, yet present another layer of complexity. The scale of the businesses using the product, the different industries/niches and integration to existing solutions are a part of the complexities B2B products present.
With that, I believe the major UX/UI challenge that these products encapsulate, is that in most cases they are being used by users who did not necessarily choose to use them. The purchasing decision is largely made by senior levels, while users, holding different technological savviness, roles and agendas, are practically 'forced' to become the users.
The following are examples of strategies we used for some B2B products to address this issue in particular:
A "Smart Agent"
Allowing users to continue using the tools they are used to while benefiting from the product
Globes Tenders revolutionized the tenders market in Israel with scrapers that find hidden tenders and opportunities for all kinds of businesses, including many in the field of building and infrastructure.
Users of this product range from the owners of the companies, through their assistants to new and inexperienced staff.
By providing a smart agent that can be set up once according to their priorities, all relating tenders reach a tech platform they are already used to - their email.
Therefor, the product provides the value they are looking for and reduces friction.
KPI - Finance
Exposing users only to what's relevant to them to reduce clutter and help focus on the task at hand.
One technique is, for example, what we did for KPI-Finance. We incorporated advanced filtering options throughout the product. These remain collapsed unless triggered. The system remembers a user's choice and will display it accordingly in their next visits. Unlike reducing functionalities through admin workspaces for example, this technique still allows for these features to be accessible to the user.
Focusing on your main target group to avoid losing value by trying to cater to everyone's needs.
Reducing options is the best thing we can do for our users. However, when we try to provide different values to every possible user we risk losing everyone. Hard choices have to be made and the best way to do them is by user research. Getting to the core pain-points, finding out what takes users most time, money and effort leads to the best decisions.
In a product in the field of agriculture (still confidential) the amount of possible user-types was extreme. We worked long and hard to research and find the right questions to lead us to the tough and important choices of which features to include.