Several products start with a simple design, mostly using a responsive framework such as twitter bootstrap. As the product evolves and gathers momentum new features are added to it. You realize that the current design has its limitations and the competition has a much better and appealing design. It’s time to redesign your product.
You would love to redesign. But it always stays as an important activity in your business roadmap, but never an urgent one. This is because you are supporting your existing customer base and probably adding those new features that are business critical. Does this resonate with you?
What’s the Reason to Procrastinate?
As we found out, here are some myths that run through the minds of entrepreneurs and CTOs:
- Design is not a show stopper yet
- The team is busy with other features in the product roadmap. They are urgent
- You are more of an engineering firm and do not have a design team in place
- The design changes might make the existing customers uncomfortable and they may lose trust
- Moving away from twitter bootstrap will slow down the development
It is important to realize that you may lose good prospects to competition with better design. People buy what they see and even though your competition might have a few features less, it would be more appealing. It would hurt even more if you start losing existing customers to them who might not be extremely pleased with your product.
Does your Product need a Redesign?
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Below are some of the key indicators that you should look for which will move the redesign project from being important to urgent. Nonetheless, you still want to act on it while it is important and not urgent.
- If your monthly active users are reducing with each passing month, you need a redesigned strategy
- When users are spending more time searching and less time engaging, you need a redesigned Information architecture
- If the users are coming on your mobile footprint and you are failing to convert them, you need a redesigned approach
- When your competitors are getting ahead of the game and you are watching them go feeling helpless, you need a redesigned product
So how do you go about Redesigning?
If you do not have a sharp design thinking team in place, hire one. Your product team can continue to focus on the urgent feature development and bug resolution tasks. This new team could help you identify the gaps or give you a complete overhaul. This depends on several factors and that would be out of the scope for this blog.
Before you begin you and the design team must:
- Nail the problem. Identify the design weakness and reach the core of the problem. It will help you get a holistic view and aid in further decisions
- Keep an eye on the competition. Conducting competitive analysis is the key here. It’s always good to know where you stand
- Focus on the ever-evolving user and all else will fall into place. Identify the needs and pain points of the users through various user research techniques
- Prioritise the friction points and create a plan for the design and release of user task & features
- Always be aware of the quantitative data. Keeping track of the important KPIs is the key to inform the design decisions
You may find problems with your product. You may even redesign it completely. But how do you plan well for the launch?
Here are the two broad approaches you may take:
- Launch the new design all in one go
- Launch In Phases
Does one go all-in or take calculated steps and release one thing at a time? The answer to this question is not straight. But not that difficult to find out too. User research helps here by leaps and bounds. If you have an idea about the user and their perspective about your product, this decision is easy to take. You must keep a few things in mind for both the approaches:
Launch the New Design All In One Go
One of the ways to go about it is to launch the redesign at once. The advantage is you get to instantly wow your users and on the flipside you could end up confusing your users. Kind of confusing, isn’t it? These strategy help products that are relatively new and the user count is moderate. But it has the potential to go further and we are missing to hit it big due to bad design.
Launch In Phases
Another approach is a more conservative take on launching a redesigned product. Launch in bit and pieces. Micro launch as we call it. This approach doesn’t startle your users at once and you do the hand holding till they are used to that redesigned piece. Good thing is that if the new design section or component doesn’t work as planned, you could experiment with another option. Test it, fix it and hit it. This way you are constantly evolving your design and slowly but steadily you end up launching the redesigned version. Your users don’t even realize the change consciously but end up having a great experience with your product and you have a redesigned product.
So what do you think? Still unsure? Ping us and let’s talk about how can we help you realize your redesign and be your change partners.