Re-design: do I need it?
The day an entrepreneur thinks over the re-design of their business mobile app, is probably the day when they understood:
1. something doesn’t work in the app’s original design, or
2. they want their app to “shine brighter”.
Still, it’s natural to enhance the app design over time. The design that made one generation to scream with delight may annoy the next one.
That’s why brands, even with millions of true followers (e.g. Facebook, Starbucks, YouTube, etc.) invest in re-designing their already successful mobile apps.
Facebook mobile app re-design
Nevertheless, it should be considered with care. You definitely don’t want to draw your users away.
In this article, we would look through the main issues when it comes to a mobile re-design: when it’s time to think about it and how to do it well. For your convenience, we’ve divided the post into the stages. By following them, you get a quick guide towards the re-design of your mobile app.
Stage #1: Why do you need a re-design?
First, you need to determine the goal – a reason for changing the app design. What do you want to accomplish with the re-design? Do you want to fix some existing user interaction problems? Are you not satisfied anymore with the visual presentation of the app? Do you want to engage a new audience by visually transforming the app?
Once you answer these questions, you will understand your path to a renewed app. As soon as you specify the goal, move on to the next stage that will help you to accomplish the mission.
Stage #2: What do the users like/dislike in your app?
Luckily, there are dozens of ways to get the information about your app from the users. In-app feedback, customer’s review in App Store/Google Play, email interview, social media polls, and analytics are only few of them. Remember, you design the app for the users. They are not interested anything but a final experience with the app. So, do measure what the users think of it.
Do not overlook the stage. Once you’ve re-designed your app, you either hit the jackpot with it, and the users would love it. Or, they would be completely confused with it and abandon the further interaction. When the second case happens, it’s usually because you underestimated the data-gathering stage.
Stage #3: What do you like/dislike in your app?
Now, let’s have a look at the re-design from the developers’ perspective. Nevertheless, it only partially relates to them. It is more about the functionality they embedded in the app and its usage.
Before addressing the re-design, think of the features that actually matter to your users. Clearly, some of them are more important than the others. Detecting this functionality will give you an insight in what requires the priority while re-designing.
Stage #4: How trendy is your app?
As we already highlighted previously, one of the reasons of re-design might be the desire to offer foremost and edgy visual design to the users. Keeping up with trends is important for brand’s presentation. If your mobile app feels and looks like it is designed for 3rd iOS generation, you would hardly succeed with it.
Then, let’s dig into the latest design trends, so as to be up-to-date with all the changes in this sphere.
The control over the moves in an app has far ago switched from the button control to gestures like touches, drags, swipes and more. The apps with such ‘invisible’ interaction would be a trending part of any mobile app user experience.
What differs user experience on desktops from the one in apps is that scrolling with fingers on mobile happens much quicker than scrolling with a mouse. Hence, typography used for mobile apps should be chosen in such way that the most important information be consumed the quickest. Call-to-action button requires larger font size and corresponding font color.
Once the visitor opens your app for the first time, you need to give them an immediate access to the principle feature of the application (e.g. Snapchat immediately brings its users to Camera, as it is their primary feature). If you can’t detach the only feature to highlight, give an information about the core functionality by means of the animated(!) tutorial. That would ease users’ further interaction with the app.
Besides, probably everyone, at least once, interacts with hamburger menu in an app. A few years ago it was a boom, and many apps hid various functionality in this ‘hamburger’. Still, with time quite a lot of drawbacks of such approach were found. Today, we can witness a switch from hamburger menu to tab bars or icon menu.
Animated app design delights the users and catches their attention. It is and will be the prime way to highlight something that you want to stand out.
This app has done it:
Users don’t have time and patience to wait for the action that they initiated in your app would bring them to the requested result. They expect to get a response immediately. Still, there are situations when it requires some time to load the required screen/page. Display the progress of loading in a light and graphic manner to not wear the users down.
Airy and neat design
Today, less is more. It concerns either the color palette of the app or its overall design. Airy screens, previously known as blank space, are now the part of design many companies go for. Designers highlight this space in order to focus users’ attention on other elements.
Once you feel ready to start your app re-design, before jumping in, make sure you take into consideration the specified stages.
We personally don’t recommend the re-design for ‘young’ apps. If only it is not obliged by the necessity to fix some features. Still, the cases differ.
In case, you nonetheless arrive at the decision of the re-design, polish it from A to Z, and you will breathe new life into your project. Attention to each and every stage of the re-design would help you to succeed with a renewed and advanced application.