Discover benefits of app redesign and a step-by-step process for success in this comprehensive guide. Refresh your application and maximize product impact!
In the fast-paced environment of mobile applications, it's common for apps to become outdated or ineffective as technology and user expectations change and evolve. It is where app redesign comes into play. Well-executed necessary app redesigns can improve functionality, enhance the user experience, attract new customers, and improve app ratings and popularity. Redesigns can be a complex process requiring careful planning and careful execution.
Whether you're a seasoned app designer or just starting out, check out this OnePlusOne guide that provides the tools and knowledge to inform you of what it takes to refresh an application and ensure it remains relevant and effective in today's competitive mobile app marketplace.
Motivation behind an app refresh
The world of mobile apps is constantly evolving, and what may have worked a few years ago may not be the best solution today. Apps that were once innovative and highly utilized can become old and irrelevant as technology, as well as user needs and expectations, adapt and change. There are a few reasons why an app may need a redesign, and it's important to keep them in mind if you are interested in or currently responsible for managing an application.
Apps that don’t stay up to date with modern design aesthetics can easily look old-fashioned next to the plethora of new apps released every day. The visual design and layout of an app is critical to attracting and retaining users. If an app feels tired to users, may turn to more visually appealing alternatives. Effective and timely redesigns can keep an application competitive.
Negative user feedback or poor reviews are another reason why someone may want to update an application. If users report a negative experience about app usability, design, or performance, it's no question that improvements should be considered. User feedback is one of the truest forms of product evaluation, and acting on it is critical in ensuring the app is continuing to meet the needs of its target audience.
Unintuitive or Complex Interfaces
Undergoing a rebrand or brand optimization would motivate an app refresh to match the look and feel of a new brand direction. The app's visual design, messaging, and overall client interaction must be adjusted to reflect the new brand image.
When Redesign is Not a Solution
While app redesign can be an effective way to boost client interaction and address issues with the app, there are situations where a redesign may not be the best route forward. To save time and resources, it's best to weigh options and consider when a redesign may not be a solution.
One situation where redesign may not be a reasonable option is when there are issues with app performance or feature functionality. While a redesign might be helpful with faulty or atypical navigation that affects usability, core functionality failures will need to be addressed in development. Technical problems, such as bugs or crashes will also have to be diagnosed and solved in this way.
App utility might also be a situation where a redesign is not enough, if the application is no longer solving the initial user problem or meeting the needs of consumers. Taking time to rethink what improvements are necessary to satisfy market and user demands is a key step before moving to app redesign.
Steps for the app redesign
Redesigning an app can be a complex process, requiring careful planning and execution to ensure that the final product meets the demands of its target market and satisfies the objectives of what initiated the redesign process in the first place. Following a few application design steps can ensure the smooth execution of the project.
Define the goal
The first step is defining the goal of the redesign. It involves identifying the critical issues and determining what the redesign should achieve. For example, the purpose of the redesign may improve the app's usability, update its visual design, or address negative customer feedback. Defining goals is vital to ensuring the redesign process stays on track and accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish.
Once the redesign goals are established, the next step is to conduct a UX audit to review the app's current user experience through analysis and feedback, and review and summarize app data and analytics regarding use and functionality The insights gained from the UX audit will help in establishing objectives for the redesign.
The redesign process will likely involve revisiting the user journey, establishing an information architecture, reviewing key features and functionality, rethinking layouts and design criteria, prior to moving on to a wireframing process. With approval from stakeholders and positive feedback from review, screens can be designed in the following steps.
A UI kit is a collection of design components, such as buttons, icons, and color schemes, that are used consistently throughout the app. A UI kit will ensure that the visual design is consistent with brand identity and guidelines, and reduce design time by having pre-approved assets and components from the UI kit component library for designers to reference and use.
Its typical process for screen designs to be built and approved prior to development to test the visual appeal and viability of new layouts and designs for all screens. Hi-res screens will be approved before potentially moving to a staging environment for pre-production testing and a final round of evaluation. At this point, all graphic elements are built and ready to be implemented.
Development & QA
During development, the app is put into production and becomes a fresh and fully functioning product. Once the redesign is complete, quality control is a requirement to test the app, ensure everything runs smoothly and the app is free from glitches, inconsistencies, errors and bugs. Early user testing can help identify any remaining issues and ongoing user feedback is an excellent source of gaining insight into the user experience post-launch.
To keep your app running smoothly, pay close attention to app data and analytics and track quality metrics to confirm that your app refresh accomplished the goals it set out to achieve in your initial goal defining step. Monitoring app downloads, market interaction, and app store ratings can help identify other areas for improvement for your app as more users interact with your product.
To see how we have approached application redesigns, check out some of our works to see the benefits of a product refresh.