With a fast emerging market, mobile app UI design is pacing ahead with the change. Innovation is always on the rise as creative designers and professionals chalk out new ideas to create a mobile app UI. Now, whether these ideas will convert into trends or not depends on the type of response generated by the mobile users. In order to qualify as a competent mobile app UI designer, one must be well acquainted with the latest design trends and how the audience, in general, is changing. There comes a time in every UI designer’s life when he is compelled to redesign the project.

Be it a new corporate style, the arrival of another season or reformed trends in app design, eventually every app demands a brand new look. It needs a refreshing layout. Yes, it is a daunting task especially with all the criticism and chaos that is witnessed on the web whenever a major app goes for a makeover. The challenge is massive as you have to restyle an app with a unique touch yet maintain its original identity. You can’t even replace completely as that will lead to losing all the certificates, users and analytics data.

Mobile-App-Redesign

Speaking of that, are you also stuck with the redesign thing and wondering how to proceed? What are the points to be considered while redesigning an app? This post will answer all your questions and ease out the design process-

1. The Purpose

Mobile-App-Redesign-1

Mobile app redesign is a big task. There are fewer chances that anyone will go for it just for the sake and without solid reasons to support. Before unleashing the world of new designs, think. Remember that an app redesign is not only limited to improving the look and feel of the UI but the entire user experience of the app. Keep track of all the goals that you have made for mobile app redesign.

As it a redesign project, there will surely be some data to refer to. As is the case with any UX design, here too you have to study who is the target audience and what are their expectations. Then measure its feasibility with the objectives of the business and how can the app achieve these. Even if you don’t understand the dynamics of user research, a mobile app redesign gives you the perfect chance to understand data-driven design. You have to study the data thoroughly and find where it flaws in the user flow. Only then, you can interpret how to rectify it.

It is important to figure out the rationale behind the improvement of design so that you keep that in mind throughout the design process. The entire team should understand these goals and put their best foot forward in achieving them. Be very clear about ‘why’ you want the change as it will help you to make a more intuitive and user-centric app.

2. Effective Communication

Communication-In-Mobile-App-Redesign

Communication is often taken for granted in the redesign process. At this phase, you very well know what the motives of your app redesign are. Further, you have to inform the foreseen change to people who are loyal to the app and are fond of using it.

Once you have told them this, you can interestingly involve your users and understand what they prefer and don’t prefer the current mobile experience or what improvements they are expecting. Let the communication channel be very effective with your users. It can prove to be really fruitful if you not only listen but also act upon the feedback offered by them.

3. Consider Reviews

Mobile-App-Consider-Reviews

Data that is present in your app will be of two types i.e. quantitative (dealing with figures on in-app usage and interactions) and qualitative (dealing with reviews and messages). Gather all the data and try to study the trends.

Do you find that majority of people are annoyed with a particular issue? Are users inquiring how to update a particular element of their account? Are users selecting a typical button when they are trying to finalize something else? As you gather these insights, it is important to involve your team in the analysis. Link everyone together; let the research team explain their findings to the design team implementing the changes. This reflects that design team has full exposure of the goals made by both the company and the users.

4. Execute Changes

A mobile app redesign is not meant to be delicate. It is meant to be targeted. It is quite a game changer. The aim is to have a long lasting effect on both the business and the brand. Changes are not just to add novelty but to make a brand reach its full potential. At this stage, don’t neglect the idea of tweaking colors, experimenting with layouts and trying other forms of combinations.

That said; don’t make changes just for the heck of it. Let your choices not be restrained by your comfort zone. Remember to bring these decisions to the table when it’s time for an internal review.

5. Testing

Testing-Mobile-App-Design

Okay as you have created different versions of the redesign, it’s the stage to get feedback from people outside the organization. Suitably, you should capitalize on your existing user base and dwell on their feedback to get an insight into the problems that your app is facing and needs changes. Going for this early research will initiate raw and authentic feedback.

There are chances that you will come across comments that will question your own ideologies, but remember it is a part of the process. Getting to know the users’ mindset will heighten your chances of introducing something that won’t be a blot on the brand.

6. Check For Usage

Mobile-App-Usage-Design

After putting in so much effort through research, iteration, design, and development, it is finally the show time. Here you have to be careful that the launch of this updated version of the app shines in the market with the right communication, right from PR to online marketing. You must publicize the story that inspired redesign soon after you roll out the new and refined app. Ultimately, the feedback and usage data will start pouring in.

Just like feedback was employed to conduct this redesign, you must evaluate new data regularly to ascertain that you are fulfilling the redesigns original goal. Yes, it all sums up to ‘why’. To decide whether the redesign reached its mark, evaluate it with the goal that you initially set out with. Afterward, you will know if you have accomplished it or not.

Look at the usage. Consider the engagement ratio. Have the positive reviews increased in the app store? Are there more conversions? This is where you need to fix your attention. Use your data and feedback as a determining factor to calculate your success and also to discover opportunities to iterate and change.

There Are Two Ways To Redesign Your App-

1. The Offline Way

Offline-App-Design

The first category is to redesign the offline copy of your app. For this, you have to first copy your live app and save it in the app dashboard by some another name. This copied app is the one you will redesign as it is not live. It is possible to change or update the live app too. Do document your redesign steps as you will have to do it later on. Redesign your copied app and examine the changes with the app previewer.

You can make as many copies as you desire and give a client various redesigns. In case not satisfied, you can do it again. Remember not to update the live app while you are executing the new design. This is because all updates will reach the user and there is no point in showing them a design that is not completed. Ensure that your app is completely finished and then update. When everything is sorted go to the Publish tab in the CMS. Click new screenshots and remove the old ones. Modify any app info that you want to.

A redesign generally implies a content update when it displays ‘just design’ and content changes. As soon as you add a new functionality your app might require a Store Update which takes around 8-10 days for iOS and 2 days for Android and Windows.

2. Be Live

Live-App-Design

If you want to save yourself from the task of implementing your redesign a second time, you can go live with redesigning. This is suitable when you don’t update your app on a frequent basis or when you have quite a time to do the redesign. Firstly, make a copy of the live app. Also, keep your copied app as a backup. Restoring the backup though is not easy.

Let’s say that your new design fails to be successful then you have to restore every part of your live app manually. So, it is better that you document all the major settings of your old app. If you have to display two or three designs to a client, again you have to choose a copy of your app that is not live.

This still implies extra effort when the clients opt one of those designs. Another demerit with redesigning a live app is that you don’t want to update your app while the design process is going on. By clicking ‘update’ you will be hampering the performance as all the changes will be visible to the app users. If you update the app on weekly basis, the redesign must be completed within the week or you can delay the updates until the app is ready.

If your app is that of the restaurant with weekly menus or news app with daily updates, it is suggested to redesign a copy of your app first. If yours is an event app that comes in use next month then you have lots of time to complete your live app. Before the update, go to Publish tab in CMS and put up the new screenshots of your app. Delete the old ones and create a new app icon if needed. Modify any app info if you want.

Your app redesign is ready to be launched now. A redesign generally refers to content update when is ‘just design’ and content changes. Once you add new functionality your app might require a Store Update ranging from 8 to 10 days of time on iOS and 2 days for Android and Windows.

End Note

Mobile app UI is made of interactions. It is not static, so don’t make it anything less than active. The process of redesign might seem complex at first, but these tips, if followed, can give you best of results. You can surely achieve your goals and deliver a powerful user experience to your users in the longer run. Just make the best of your creative space, go, experiment!

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Prince Pal

UX/UI Strategist & Usability Tester at Think360 Studio
For 12+ years I have designed, developed and marketed websites / apps startups in New York, California, Florida and in India. Always focused on great User Interface is key.

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