As the market evolves, so is everything else. New technologies and design trends are coming up, at the same time making other technologies and trends redundant. This results in lower app’s ratings, shrinking user base and ultimately, falling behind the competition. Hence, more and more entrepreneurs decide on app redesign or software rewrite. So as not to make that happen.
However, such practices are more costly, which is why they should be done after due research. Sometimes, all it takes is carrying out a code review, fixing the bugs, and it already works. But, in other cases, it’s about a complete redesign and software rewriting, which means developing a new app from scratch.
In this article, you’ll get to know about:
- the difference between software rewrite and app redesign,
- how these processes can help your business,
- signs that you need to do app redesign or software rewrite,
- good practices & tips.
Let’s get into it!
App redesign vs software rewrite
How to differentiate them? Simply put, app redesign is about visual aspects and user experience (UX), while software rewrite is all about the code. And from that short sentence alone, you can already tell that they can complement each other in software development. How?
If we enter any visual changes (frontend), they always have their way in code (like changing the margins). Similarly, if a frontend developer alters something in code, there will be a change in design. As simple as that.
Also, when we’re talking about app redesign, I feel like we should mention that there are 3 approaches, namely:
- complex redesign, in which the whole product is remade,
- redesign of a given feature,
- light redesign of UX, where we alter how a component works.
So, doing an app redesign doesn’t always mean the same – sometimes, the process is much quicker since the team gives the product some cosmetic changes. And it already brings enormous value to the target audience.
5 signs that you need an app redesign
How do you know when it’s time to redesign your app?
- When the app is obsolete – it may be in terms of functionalities or visual aspects. After comprehensive research, the team determines what kind of app redesign the product needs – complex or partial one.
- When there’s a change of target audience – maybe the users got older, or the product has grown in a different direction, which resulted in targeting different users. Either way, we have to adjust the app to their new needs, problems and how they might navigate through the app.
- When there are expansion prospects – there’s a project that prospers well and gains more users, so now we can think about expanding the product. Thanks to analytics tools and regular research, we can see how people use the product and what functionalities are missing – once we know that, we get to prioritize them. So during redesigning, we get to expand the app by the features that help users perform specific actions.
- When the metrics results are poor (conversion rate, adoption rate, retention) – such metrics are critical in the process. Thanks to them, we can track users’ path and patterns within the app and see what works or which components need to be redesigned.
- When there are more and more bad customer reviews – never ignore them. Users are your most valuable asset here. Because of user feedback, you get a bigger picture of what’s going on with your app. Plus, it’s helpful when coming up with new solutions – after all, those people are using your app, so meeting their needs and addressing their concerns should be among priorities.
4 signs that you need a software rewrite
Now that we know when it’s an excellent time to redesigning an app, the next question is – how bad does software have to be before it is worth rewriting? Our CIO, Dominik Guzy, has come up with the 4 most common issues.
- When the app is complete but doesn’t work correctly – there are bugs, the app crashes at the most unexpected times,
- When you want to add new functionality that is big enough to become a separate product,
- When the app is based on outdated technology – hence, it’s fragile, and it may not pass the app’s update review,
- When the app is just for the one platform – in such a situation, we recommend rewrite a whole app in React Native (you get to have one app on two platforms -Android and iOS).
The pros and cons
Let’s get into the advantages and disadvantages of both of these processes. How can app redesign help your business? And why has software rewrite such a bad reputation?
Thanks to the app redesign, you get to:
- achieve new business goals (higher conversion rates, more cohesive brand image),
- meet users’ needs & attract new ones – a refreshed look is a great opportunity to get more customers,
- improve the app’s quality – boost the performance, enhanced UX – all these factors influence the app’s quality, which in turn impacts users’ attachment to the brand. That’s how you get customers in the long run – by building trust and creating a seamless experience for them,
- enhance user paths within the app – thanks to the redesign, the intuitiveness is increased. Owing to this, the users can now use and navigate the app effortlessly,
- be aware of the new market trends and standards – the user expectations change and evolve over time. By keeping up with the advancements, you provide your target audience with innovative solutions both in UI design and technology.
But on the other hand, it can be:
- maybe unsuccessful if approached wrong,
- rather costly,
- depending on the product, it needs diverse labour input (if the app is extensive, then more people have to be involved in app redesigning).
As you can see, app redesign brings a lot of benefits. But to redesign the app for the sake of the redesign? In many situations, it’s a waste of money and doesn’t benefit the business in any way. Remember, this process can be time-consuming, and because of that, it should be done correctly and with a specific goal in mind.
Do you want to increase the app’s ratings? Improve user experience? Gain more users? App redesign can help you achieve all those things.
- the app is up to date with technological needs,
- the app is secured against cyberattacks,
- there’s no longer a poor state of the original codebase, which translates to lower maintenance costs, faster updates and fewer developers working on the product.
- takes a lot of time,
- with the wrong team, it may be a disaster.
Why are people afraid of rewriting software? It’s not a clear-cut issue. For once, it’s hard to evaluate the scope of such a project properly – even if you do the primary research with due diligence, you may discover new things while you get to the process. But it does work in particular situations.
Good practices for app redesigning
- Get to know the users’ opinion
At Gorrion, the team browses through the user feedback of your product – every review, especially a negative one, is a valuable insight into what needs to be improved in the app. And sometimes, there’s no such information about the product, which means we have to reach out to the users ourselves. By interacting with the target audience and observing their behaviour, we can gather the most valuable insights about the product.
- Test the app with the users
Usability tests are one of the best sources of knowledge since they also involve customers. Testing allows us to validate the UX and check if everything is in place.
We get to see the customers’ reactions, observe their behaviour, and how they interact with the product. Also, we can ask questions on the users’ experience with an app, its intuitiveness, responsiveness, and suggestions on how to improve it. You’d be surprised at how much you can get from it.
- Evaluate the user feedback
We gather all the data we have – the reviews, comments from social media, usability test notes – everything. Once we have that, we can start looking for trends – do some of the complaints are about a specific feature? Thanks to this, we can pick the most relevant remarks – those that are most frequently coming up are the most significant for the users – and prioritize them accordingly.
Tips for successful software rewrite
With the bad reputation that surrounds app rewriting, how to do it right?
- Code audits are essential – carry out code audit, both technical and security ones. Thanks to this, you get to know what’s wrong and adjust the process to it (we can rewrite a part of it, like some module or a whole app).
- Legacy code – get familiar with legacy code and then start working on it. Not the other way around.
How to deal with poorly optimized UX
Many apps on the market struggle to take off because of the poor or confusing UX. Annoying popups, buttons in the wrong places – the list is endless. A conclusion? Yes, the app should be aesthetically pleasing, but it should also provide a seamless experience. Because that’s what the target audience wants.
How to handle the problem of poor UX/UI? We’ve had quite a few projects that were mainly about thorough UX redesign. Our clients wanted better, refreshed versions of their products because too many customers complained about the bad user experience.
This is when our UX/UI designers step in – after many hours of research, usability tests, and wireframes, you get yourself a new version of the app. Just like that (not really, though, but you get the point).
Do you want to know the secret of a great user experience? Here it is: make your target audience your priority and focus on their needs. That’s how you’re going to succeed because UX is about empathy.
Curious about the projects we’ve delivered? Visit our Dribbble profile.
I hope this article gave you an overview of both of these process. Redesigning and rewriting can be highly beneficial for the business once appropriately done. For that to happen, you need to have a team of tech experts that you can trust. If you’re still looking for one, book a free consultation with us. Let’s see what we can do for you.
AppToDate – enter the market with a refreshed version of your app – the sign of a new generation.