Even the most well-planned digital product designs may have usability flaws, negatively impacting user experience. Whether due to oversights during the initial design process or evolving user expectations, there comes a time for necessary changes. 

While it may be tempting to throw a bunch of money at a problematic website or app and replace it with something entirely new, consider a product redesign. This approach involves evaluating strengths and weaknesses, building upon existing foundations, and making improvements to enhance the user experience.

In this article, we explore use cases for redesigning your product, what to consider when approaching a redesign, and walk through a step-by-step process for undertaking a redesign. Let’s get started.

What is product redesign?

Product redesign involves a thorough assessment of an existing digital product, analyzing its  performance through analytics, user testing, and customer feedback. It encompasses modifications to the visual design, UI elements, content, and information architecture, and may include implementing better search engine optimization. 

Rather than rushing into drastic changes, product redesign is often a gradual process, allowing time to observe how revisions impact the user experience and determining if further actions need to be taken. 

Why redesign a product?

There are a number of reasons why you might redesign a product, from outdated designs and negative feedback to changing market needs and business goals. In this section, we delve into the various factors that can prompt an overhaul.

Out-of-date designs

Design trends come and go – and often return in slightly different forms (we’re looking at you, Gaussian blur). Overdone graphic embellishments like skeuomorphism, generic stock photography, and complicated navigation systems were once widespread but have fallen out of favor as web design evolved into something more sophisticated and meaningful. If your website looks like something from the Wayback Machine circa 2005, it might be time for a refresh.

However, updating outdated websites doesn’t necessarily mean a complete do-over. Product redesign may involve modernizing graphics, typography, UI elements, or other features that feel antiquated and replacing them with something fresh and contemporary. 

Negative feedback

A common usability problem visitors encounter when using digital products is their functionality and responsiveness on mobile devices

If you’re seeing a recurring pattern of customer complaints through emails or, even worse, in the oh-so-public sphere of social media, there are legitimate problems you need to address. Your website or app should meet the needs of your users, so if you keep hearing about how it falls short, it’s time to look into a product redesign to take care of those issues. 

Common usability problems that visitors often encounter include:

  • Functionality and responsiveness on mobile devices

  • Difficulty finding information

  • Struggles with completing tasks like checking out or filling in forms

  • Lack of accessibility for those with visual or other impairments

  • Broken links or other errors

Changing market needs and business goals

Trends and evolving technologies impact how people perceive digital products. If your competitors all have slick and modern websites, while yours appears clunky and difficult to use, users will form a negative perception of your brand. 

Product redesign helps you meet your customers’ expectations, inspires them to engage, and leaves them with a better impression of your brand. It’s also a way to set yourself apart from your competitors. With product redesign, you have the opportunity to incorporate visuals and content that better represents your brand, demonstrate the value of your offerings, and communicate how you’re different from the competition. 

But product redesign shouldn’t always be a response to your competitors’ actions. Scaling up, shifting demographics, rebranding, and other business shifts may also make it necessary to change your website or app design. 

The product redesign process

Product redesign

Now that we’ve got an idea of why you might undertake a redesign, let’s look at how the process can play out. In this section, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of redesigning your digital product for success.

1. Identify what’s working 

While it’s essential to address problems and shortcomings, don’t get hung up on minor details that might only bother you and your team. Instead, prioritize fixing the obvious issues that significantly impede your visitors from having a positive user experience. 

2. Focus on the small things first

Start by addressing minor, yet obvious issues before tackling major changes. Product redesign is an iterative process that allows you to make adjustments, observe their impact, and refine further. Sweeping changes require a great deal of effort and, if they don’t work, reversing them can be time-consuming. It’s more efficient to make minor tweaks and assess their impact on usability. 

Minor issues might involve:

  • The placement or appearance of call-to-action buttons

  • UX microcopy

  • Headline sizing

  • Inconsistent styling

  • Confusing navigation

3. Take a holistic approach

A successful product redesign involves considering a wide range of factors, where data-driven decision making and creativity come together to solve user problems. Conversions matter as much as artistry, and taking into consideration how these elements intertwine will result in more effective and impactful designs. 

A website or app is like a microcosm of a brand, where content, visuals, UI, and UX intermingle in a delicate balance. If one piece is out of whack, it can disrupt the harmony of everything surrounding it. 

4. Decide how you’ll measure success

At the beginning of a product redesign, establish the criteria you’ll use to judge its success. Like any experiment, you’ll have a hypothesis to test, and the results will show if it was accurate.

Metrics provide insights into the successes and failures of a product redesign, revealing how many visitors arrive, stay engaged, and interact with your website or app. Data-driven decisions lead to better outcomes, replacing hunches or guesses.

Conversion rates

Conversion rates indicate how many people successfully completed actions like clicking on social media buttons, completing a purchase, or filling out a customer information form. Comparing the analytics from the redesign with the previous version will reveal if the new design is performing better. 

Organic search traffic

Organic search traffic brings visitors who are looking for specific information or products.  Analytics related to organic search traffic will indicate if the redesign has improved your rankings.

User engagement

User engagement data illustrates how users interact with your website or app. Metrics like unique views, visitor locations, and popular pages provide valuable insights. An increase in actively engaged visitors may indicate that the design changes have paid off. 

Bounce rates

Bounce rates show the percentage of visitors who left your site quickly without exploring further. High bounce rates suggest a poorly designed website, indicating frustration or lack of interest. Keeping a careful eye on bounce rates can show if a product redesign has improved user engagement.

5. Follow and maintain a design system 

A design system acts as a central repository of UI elements and patterns, colors, typography, layout templates, and brand guidelines. During a product redesign, it helps to maintain consistency and ensures that everyone follows the updated brand guidelines.

6. Finalize and launch the redesign

After you’ve made a few targeted alterations, conducted quality assurance, and everyone has signed off on the revisions, it’s time to go live. 

Even though things may seem wrapped up, your work isn’t done. You’ll need to monitor metrics like user engagement, conversion rates, and bounce rates to see if the changes are having a lasting positive influence.

7. Continue usability testing and gathering feedback

A usability test in Lyssna

Once the redesign is live, continue gathering feedback from users to ensure that the changes are beneficial. Establish a feedback loop, where each iteration is tested, and user insights are collected, creating a cycle for evaluation, improvement, and further testing.

Usability testing and feedback loops keep people at the center. By observing how users behave and interact with a redesigned website or app, you can identify and solve usability issues. Ongoing user testing helps measure the health of your digital product, generating qualitative and quantitative data for continuous improvement. 

Redesign your product with confidence: Try Lyssna and make informed design decisions

A product redesign can significantly improve the user experience and performance of your product. By identifying what’s working and focusing on small yet impactful changes, you can gradually make iterative enhancements. Remember to establish clear metrics to measure success and, as you finalize the launch of your redesign, keep a close eye on user engagement, conversion rates, and bounce rates to ensure lasting positive results.

At Lyssna, we can help you gather valuable user feedback. Our platform allows you to test and refine your redesigned product continuously, keeping user satisfaction at the center of your efforts.

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Frequently asked questions about product redesign

What is product redesign?
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Why redesign a product?
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How do you redesign a digital product?
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