If you want your app to be a long-standing one, you should adapt it to the environment. Times change, and user tastes are changing with them, too. New technologies and advances in user experience research provide new standards for what modern apps should be. Ignoring them means giving your opponents a cue to overcomplete you.
The guide to app redesign is important for any modern web and mobile app developers and designers. It’s important to check trends and monitor app statistics to be sure that you’ll change everything at the right moment. Let’s dive into the app redesign basics, principles, and process with a focus on Linux.
Why change the app’s look and functionality?
Look at Google’s website from the 2000s. A good example of an app redesign.
Imagine that Google continues to use such a website up to nowadays. Probably, for some time people would continue to use it, taking the large number of its users already in these times. However, it would create a high vulnerability for the company. Every new search service that would maintain its look and user interface more suitable, such as its competitors Yandex and Yahoo, would eventually surpass Google in popularity.
It’s important to catch the right moment and change the app’s interface and look, ensuring that it remains relevant for people. App design may become outdated for several reasons, implying that it was relevant when initially created and attracted some customer base. Changing user preferences and new technological advances are the most common ones. If your app becomes slower than competitors, users will turn to them very quickly: each additional second in the app decreases conversion by 7%!
So, let’s see several reasons why your app may become obsolete and how to deal with it in each case.
Maintaining your app good-looking and reasons why it isn’t
Here we’ll overview which changes matter for your app redesign and how to conduct it.
Changing Design Trends
Stay updated on current design trends and periodically refresh your app’s design elements without functionality changes. Too frequent rebrandings certainly aren’t what you and your users want. However, slight changes in look make your app more fresh and relevant, so use them!
New technologies can offer better user experiences and solve user problems more efficiently. In addition, they provide new ways of interaction, which makes your app obsolete.
Integrate modern technologies where possible, either as parts of your app or use them to enhance UX and development. Start by thinking where AR/VR, AI, blockchain, voice interaction, and other relevant technologies may be applied to your functions.
Inconsistent User Experience
New features and preferences changes might result in reduced user experience. It’s what you may indicate via your metrics: frequent dissatisfaction with your app and its inability to solve user problems properly.
Conduct a UX research, identify pain points, user flows, and user journeys. Improve your app’s navigation and interface to ensure a consistent and intuitive experience.
As your app accumulates features, its performance may slow down. In addition, new platforms and coding techniques improve the app’s functionality, and ignoring them is giving your competitors a case to beat you.
Increase your app’s performance by optimizing its code, reducing unnecessary features, and improving loading times.
A large problem for any app and website is when it cannot be properly displayed on all screen sizes and formats. It leads to clumsy and very refuting experiences.
Implement responsive design principles and test the app on various screens and sizes: PC, tablets, and smartphones. If there are problems anywhere, redesign how the app looks on the problematic screen without changing anything else.
Changes in your corporate branding are inevitable sometimes, and when it happens, your app must reflect your company’s history.
Redesign your app’s interface to align with the latest branding and change the functionality according to your new features, mission, and vision. Make sure to save everything actually from your previous app design.
When to change?
We see now how app redesign may take place, but when to apply it? How to catch necessary moments and start changing your app?
Redesign guide: Necessary steps
The first two steps are what you’d better do periodically, at least several times per month, to monitor your app. They show you the necessity of app redesign with an emphasis on Linux. The next three steps are what you need to do to actually redesign it.
- Evaluate the current app’s state empirically and compare it with the latest design trends. Don’t orient on them only: they are rather markers, and can always change. However, they show you what you can use instead of your current look. Stay updated with the latest Linux and open-source trends, as well as changes in user behavior and preferences. As you probably have some experience in feeling what’s relevant and appealing today, you’ll understand what you need to change and to what extent.
- Gather data about the current app’s states and metrics. After the qualitative analysis, conduct a quantitative one: are there negative statistics of user engagement or negative reviews/feedback? How much users value your app and whether they value it less than several months before? Any negative metrics are the sign of the necessity of change, but analyzing them, you’ll determine what exactly you should change.
- Write a plan of the app redesign, showing which features you must change, why, and which time it’ll take. It’ll also show you the complexity of the redesign: whether it’ll include several slight changes to be more modern or some functionality changes.
- Assign tasks, deadlines, and jobs to your team, so the app redesign plan will be implemented.
- Conduct a quality assurance (QA) analysis which will show you how well your new app version serves its purposes and how it’s appealing for users. It’s necessary to ensure that you’ve done everything right. Linux users often prefer lightweight apps that don’t consume excessive system resources.
Incorporating these principles and processes into your app redesign efforts while considering the Linux environment will help you create a modern, user-friendly, and sustainable application that stands the test of time.
It’s not enough just to change how the app looks: it should reflect new user needs and solve them as fully as possible. The rich history of app development has many examples of such a redesign, so let’s list several of them for your inspiration!
- Google is the most popular search engine and website in general, and you’ve already seen how clumsy it was in the 2000s, despite in these times, we didn’t demand anything more. Now, however, everything is different, and while Google Search is still similar, the website is drastically different, providing all information about Google’s services much more comfortably.
- Facebook became a popular social network in the 2000s when it looked more like a board with messaging options and user photos with descriptions. Then, it started to add various games and other interactive elements. Subsequently, it became much more feature-rich, and today, all its features are clearly organized, so using them is simple and engaging.
- Pinterest, an app for picture sharing and organizing on board, was nothing more than a simple picture board in the early 2010s. Gaining popularity, however, it constantly evolved, monitoring how users interact with it and making picture finding and saving as convenient as possible.
App redesign is the way to make it evolve over time. Look at it as some kind of directed evolution, as the principle of survival of the fittest is actual for the whole universe. Ask yourself, what fits today? Which design patterns and user experience elements are relevant now? Which technological advances can you adopt and implement regarding your app’s functionality? Based on the answers, you’ll find when you need to redesign an app and how to do this. Good luck!