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Main Reasons to Consider an App Redesign

by Krutika Lohakare
Main Reasons to Consider an App Redesign

We all know that feeling of deception when we update software that we’ve been using for a while to find out that it has a completely new design. Things feel unusual and uncomfortable and it is hard to believe that there was a team of professionals conducting research and designing a better user experience (when the best decision would have been to leave things as they are). 

Most people hate redesigns as users but love them as product owners. Revamping your app means that you’ve been on a market for long enough time for the design to become outdated. That’s something to be proud of, considering that 95% of startups don’t survive till that moment.

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At Eleken design agency, we more often have to explain to clients that they don’t really need redesign rather than convince them of the opposite. People often believe that redesign would magically solve their issues, make their conversion rates higher and churn rates lower.

However, redesign is not a magic stick that can solve all the issues with the product. Good design can enhance user experience and increase the level of satisfaction, but it can not fix the flaws of the product, marketing, or sales issues.

Some people believe that the need to redesign is obvious, that you just know when you need it. We argue that this feeling is often misleading. To avoid making unnecessary work, check if the redesign is reasonably and justified by the needs of the product. Here are some of the things to look at:

Users feedback

Users feedback

There are two types of products: those that collect and analyze user feedback on a regular basis and those who only do it only once in a while, trying to find the reason why things go wrong. And there are also those who never analyze the feedback, but these products never live until the redesign phase.

If you are thinking of redesign, it is time to take a closer look at the user feedback. If data shows that users are not as happy as you wish them to be, that probably should motivate you to change something. What is important here is to get a qualified evaluation of a user experience professional who can tell if redesign would really improve the level of satisfaction or no.

If you follow user feedback regularly, it may be harder to notice the moment when the redesign is needed. If that is the case, try looking for an opinion of a person outside of the company, be it a consultant or just a user experience professional who can have a fresh view of the situation.

Added features

Many apps start with one core function and then start growing extra features like a dog growing extra hair for winter. It is a natural step in software evolution. And just ike a dog has to lose winter hair when there’s too much of it, apps need a redesign to get back to look as sleek and user-friendly as they were at the beginning.

Having to fit too many features in the structure of an app is one of the biggest challenges for UI/UX designers. Adding new complex elements is easier than simplifying. Redesign here works a bit like wardrobe organizing: take a cluttered space, clean it up and put things back in a different way, so that they instantly start looking nicer and bring joy to the users.

Rebranding

There is no rule that says that rebranding should necessarily go hand in hand with the redesign. Replacing a logo with the new one is much faster and easier than making a redesign. However, if the new brand was created based on new values, addresses a different target audience, and represents a new era in the life of a product, it is a good occasion for a redesign.

Rebranding

However, keep in mind that rebranding is not the same as redesign. Naturally, they often go together, but it is not a rule. In some cases, product managers want rebranding to be as subtle and unnoticeable as possible, while in other cases rebranding is a huge event that you want everybody to know about.

Whatever is your situation, remember that rebranding also benefits from previous research. Getting feedback from users would define whether you need a redesign, rebranding, both, or none of those.

Please remember that these are just some of the most common reasons for the redesign that we face when talking to clients. And there are so many more reasons that we hear all the time that follow a basic fallacy: the newer, the better.

False reasons to redesign

False reasons to redesign

However important are the reasons for the redesign, the reasons to not-redesign are no less important. Here are the most popular erroneous reasons that our clients name (collected through years of experience working as a design agency). So, think twice before redesigning if:

  • You want to “make it pop”, add flashy animations
  • You want to turn the app into a design masterpiece
  • You want the design to be more trendy and cool
  • You just want some changes

Professional UI/UX designers always would see something in existing designs that could be improved. In some cases, the improvement can be highly beneficial, in others, it would be just a cosmetic change that doesn’t fix anything.

Unneeded redesigns appear when designers’ perfectionism joins managers’ will to do the most for the product. Be careful. “Something could be changed” does not equal “Something has to be changed”.

To sum up

So, how do you know if the reasons pushing you to redesign are real? We always tell our clients that the first step of the redesign is the UX audit. Here we get back to the place where we’ve started: user feedback. The motivation to redesign should come from users’ insights, not from managers’ will for changes.

To sum up

Remember the old proverb that says “treat others like you would like to be treated”. Would you like Uber and Google to redesign every month? If the answer is no, it is likely that your users wouldn’t appreciate unnecessary changes. The new is not always the better.

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Once you have run through a thorough UX audit and analysis of user feedback, and the decision is taken, it is time for the next step. Want to know how does redesign start? Read this article on app redesign.

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