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How to Redesign Your Mobile App: Guide, Costs, and Tips

Polina Hrudieva

Polina Hrudieva

UX/UI expert

11 min

In today’s world, having a mobile app is crucial for many businesses and startups to reach their customers.

However, as smartphones and user expectations evolve rapidly, even successful apps risk becoming outdated after a while. It may be time to redesign your mobile application when users encounter performance issues, unintuitive designs, or leave too many negative reviews.

A well-executed app redesign can breathe new life into your mobile presence.

As examples like Spotify and Airbnb have shown, not all app redesigns successfully achieve these goals. Making major changes without thoroughly understanding your users can easily backfire.

So, how do you thoughtfully redesign a mobile app to boost growth? What factors should you consider, and what pitfalls should you avoid? How much investment does an app redesign require?

This guide covers crucial tips and insights to help you refresh your mobile app strategy. Let’s get started!

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Why Redesign Your Mobile App?

Every application goes through certain phases in its life cycle.

For instance, an app may earn a revenue of $100 in the first month, $90 in the second month, and end up generating only $50 by the fifth month. This is a normal process that every application experiences.

As the number of competitors rises, the demand for the application decreases. This is one of the reasons an app needs constant redesigning.

Redesign can help achieve and maintain the desired ROI and customer base.

Now, how is it helpful? What role does it play? Let’s see!

A slide in revenue is one of the key indicators of a bad user experience. It also helps in understanding user behavior and predicts the actions of future customers.

However, acquiring new customers is difficult.

A new customer costs x5 $ more than retaining an old customer. Still, it is less than the cost to redesign an existing app.

Retaining the old customers presents a silver lining. Thus, redesigning the mobile app offers a great way to do it. Here are some reasons to redesign a mobile application.

ReasonDescription
Provide users with better UXUser experience drives the growth of an application. As per statistics, 88% of the users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience. So often founders have to think about UX redesigning a website or app.

Hence, any business looking to capitalize on its product or service should focus on providing a good user experience.

To deliver a better UX, it is important for the founders to make sure the app behaves optimally.

An application redesign is a combination of three main components:

  • design,
  • engineering,
  • and psychology.

One has to focus on all three to amp up the UX experience.

You can also study the mental models to enhance the UX.

Your user research should help you understand if UX is the reason for a slide in performance.

Fix it with redesigning. It helps in retaining the customers, gaining more traction, and impacts ROI greatly.

Update UI to current trendsAn old UI design cannot beat competitors. Experts also suggest upgrading the UI as per the latest trends every five years.

Regular UI updating will help you understand the user preferences, expectations and stay unbeaten.

Mailchimp’s latest redesign made its UI look much cleaner and flat.

There is sufficient white space and clear CTAs to help users at each step of the process in the new version.

Better and improved UI reflects a good impression and thus helps in retaining customers.

This reduces the cost of acquisition and an enhancement in Lifetime Value (LTV) of the customer.

There is a list of 3 reasons on why and how to redesign mobile app in a constant and iterative way

Step-by-Step Guide to Redesigning Your App

Make an outline of the app redesign process. If you falter, you can always revisit the plan and see what went wrong and correct it. Keep aside some cost to redesign an existing app.

Phase 1: Laying the Groundwork

The preparation stage decides the final outcome of the app design process. Give ample time to this stage.

To know how to redesign a mobile app, first know your end goal clearly. The application founders can apply the SMART framework to achieve goals.

  • Is there a change in user experience trends?
  • Are you introducing a new feature?
  • Are your competitors faring better?

Awareness about these questions and many others is a must for application redesigning to put forth a stellar product.

Take the example of Uber; they understood their goal first, which was reducing the confusion for the users.

The application offered various different options that confused the users, and this led to redesigning of the app.

The following list should help you in understanding your goals.

ActivityDescription
CommunicationAsk your users what they like and don’t like.

Note them.

However, do not just listen but act upon the feedback while redesigning.

Evaluate Reviews and FeedbackCheck customer feedback on different social media platforms.

Social media: See what users have to say about your mobile app on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Monitor brand mentions on:

  • Buzzsumo
  • BrandWatch
  • Mention

Reviews on Play Store and App Store: App owners can filter reviews on the basis of ratings and the latest version of the apps.

Surveys: Gather user recommendations and feedback using the following:

  • Email: Add a strong and effective subject line to your email copy for users to open and participate
  • Online surveys: Provide your users with a link to a survey. Use services such as:
    • Google Forms
    • SurveyMonkey
    • LoopSurvey
    • Zoho Survey
  • Pop-up: Be cautious using pop-ups. It can play havoc with the user experience and can result in a negative review.

An excellent example of this is Airbnb that redesigned its app based on studying its user behavior and feedback.

User JourneyUnderstand users and their journey. Create a customer journey map.

It helps in knowing the bottlenecks faced by the users affecting the conversion rates.

Review AnalyticsEvaluate real design performance.

Traffic and pageview analysis:

  • Track entry and exit from application pages
  • Screen size and browser a user is using.
  • User location

Funnel creation and analysis:

  • Analyze conversions
  • Create baseline metrics

Behavioral Flowchart:

  • Check how a user is behaving on your application.

Activation rate:

  • Check the number of users completing the onboarding process.
  • Compare the number of downloads to the number of people using the app.

Drop off rate. Check three things:

  • Where do users get stuck?
  • What is the reason?
  • Why did they leave the application?
Active User RatioCheck Daily Active Users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU).

A drop in the numbers indicates a problem. Evaluate user satisfaction. Ask for feedback.

The old design could be the reason.

Define improvement metricsDefine the steps in the user journey that need improvement and changes.

Identifying what you want is just one part of the game. The process of how to redesign mobile app cannot be completed unless you decide on the doers.

You have two options:

  • Do it yourself

No one can understand your business, your goal, and metrics better than you do. So, if you have full confidence in your abilities, there is no harm in redesigning the app yourself.

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It is relatively cheaper. However, you may have to spend time learning to code. Or else, get ready to pay designers the cost to redesign an existing app.

  • Hire a team

Outsource the redesigning job to a team of specialists. It may be a little expensive, but you get guaranteed results with a consultancy.

The preparation is the first stage while you thinking about how to redesign an app

Phase 2: Researching Users & Evaluating Metrics

Analyze your goals to decide ‘How to redesign mobile app.’ Use the SWOT method. Pen down the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat.

This strategy helps in zeroing down only on the pain points, saving time and money.

  1. Analyze existing solution

Overlooking the existing design completely is one of the gravest mistakes a designer may commit in redesigning. The mobile application was built with sufficient effort earlier.

Therefore, based on the acquired user feedback and issues, take up all the features that deliver value and eliminate or improve the rest.

You may not even have to hire a specific team if you have studied the user feedback well. The steps of how to redesign mobile app will reduce with this.

  1. Analyze competitors

Check your competition. There are several things you can learn from your competition. Analyze and look for the following:

  • The target audience of the competitor
  • Features and the advancements
  • What is the revenue model?
  • What is their market share?

The above will help you understand your stand in the market. Check the commonalities. Analyze their UX and UI.

Compare it with your app and note all features or functionalities your app is missing..

Take lessons from your competitor’s flaws. Are there any gaps? You can consider overcoming them with new and innovative features.

  1. Analyze global and niche trends

Your competitors are not the only source of inspiration.

Check other applications running successfully in your niche. There are several apps providing the same solutions as yours. These may be international players with a global presence.

Study them closely. See what they are doing, how they are doing it, and what can work for you. You may incorporate features that may serve your users and business goals.

The overall analysis of all these will also give you a slight idea about how much does it cost to redesign an app.

The analysis stage defines how much does it cost to redesign an app as show the scope of work to be done

Phase 3: Creating New Wireframes & Visuals

Redesigning an existing product is different from designing. You already have the data required. There is a user base, information of competitors, sales, and other essential information required to start the process.

However, there are certain procedures you need to follow, just like in designing.

1. Ideation

Once you have reasons for how to redesign an app, it is time to ideate and refine the idea with the design. Your ideation should be based on the user base.

Perform user research in two ways.

Method

Benefits

Discount usability researchSimple, Quick, and inexpensive
Unmoderated remote usability research (for small redesign work)Receive customer insights when there is not enough time or budget.

User research will help you know your users and understand the problems faced by them.

2. Mindmapping

Mind Mapping is a great way to make everyone understand the product they are trying to redesign – the main sections to be reworked, the features to be redesigned, and how the newly designed features would interact with the existing application.

Mind mapping is a visual form of an app and the working of its various aspects. It helps the designers to iterate the problem to be solved. And also whether the problem will get fixed eventually.

As an example, we designed an app named SwiDate. It is a dating application for which we studied the target audience and trends. Based on that, we produced a user flow or a mind map of the app.

It helped us design the app in 150 hours.

The cost to redesign an existing app depends on many factors, and mind map of the app is one of these

3. Prototyping

Post mind mapping, create a dummy version of the to-be redesigned app.

After all the elements of the interface are made, install them to measure their performance. Conduct several tests, preferably in real-time.

You may use or suggest the following prototyping tools to your mobile application development agency.

These help in understanding the pain points and scope for improvement. Fix the bugs and the problems.

  1. Justinmind
  2. InVision
  3. Flinto
  4. Marvel
  5. Balsamiq

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4. UI Design

Bring all the newly redesigned graphics together. This merging of the old and the new designs helps in guaranteeing a high-quality interface and user experience.

Microsoft decided to redesign logos in 2019 to boost their user experience in Office365.

After months of brainstorming and designing, the designers and developers came up with the version we are most familiar with now. Users need not switch between different tabs anymore.

Another cool example is the Click to Ride app developed by Spdload. It is a taxi application that needed to have multiple screens based on the number of roles.

So, our design team dedicated ample time to design the best UI for all the screens that included registration, requesting a ride, payment, navigation, and others.

How to redesign mobile app? There is a complex answer, that includes both UX and UI aspects on the example of taxi app.

How Much Does It Cost to Redesign an Existing App?

The next phase of how to redesign an app is the price estimation.

If we have to arrive at a close range, the app redesign process may cost you anything between $5k to over $30k. The situations listed in the table impact the final cost of redesigning the mobile app.

SituationThe Impact
Mockups are readyWith handy customer research, the cost will be lower.
The design team has no expertise in mobile app designingDesigners required. However, no need to pay for brand guidelines, brand development, and marketing materials.
No design teamComprehensive planning and customer research. Hire a consultancy.
The app is old. Not sure if it requires redesigning.You need to implement a user-centric approach to understand what the user wants.

For everyone, the situation of how to redesign an app is different and needs a different level of approach influencing the cost of redesigning.

Key Factors That Impact Redesign Budgets

Many factors influence the cost of redesign ranging from app platform to research and analysis, visual design, project size, and location.

Besides, there are more reasons you must be aware of.

FactorsDescription
1. The complexity of an appThe complexity of an app heavily influences how much does it cost to redesign an app.
2. Number of rolesThe cost to redesign an existing app is also dependent on the number of roles in the app.

For instance, if you are building a food application, there will be 2-3 roles, the customer, the admin, and the delivery partner.

The more the roles, the more will be the cost. Let’s take the example of Click to Ride app again. The taxi service application has three roles just like Uber, the user, the driver, and the admin.

Moreover, the number of people working on the project also affects the cost to redesign an existing app.

Our application development team had 10 people working on it.

3. Number of screens with unique featuresIf your app is simple with 3-4 screens, the cost to redesign will range between $1500 to $7500.

On the other hand, if your application is as complex as Uber, be ready to spend as much as $50,000 toa few hundred thousand.

A design intern’s attempt to redesign the UberEats mobile app with multiple screens took him months to have a product he could call sorted.

The designer felt that he took up a massive task at hand.

Had it been a smaller project with a lesser number of screens or just partial redesigning, the scope of work would have been lesser.

4. The complexity of features and business logicYou must be interested in knowing how much does it cost to redesign an app with more complicated features.

It demands more designing hours and has a direct impact on the price.

The business logic of an application determines how the data is created, stored, displayed, and altered.

DocKids app is a fine example of this. The app has a slightly complex information infrastructure. I

t has an application for the patients, a website for the doctors, and another website for the admin.

To redesign an app like this would mean working not just on the app but also the two websites soaring the overall cost.

There is 3 key factors, that defines how much does it cost to redesign an app

Ready to Redesign Your App?

With the strategies above, your next mobile app can leapfrog capabilities rather than just play catch-up.

Ready to reimagine what your mobile experience can offer?

Our talented teams know how to build and modernize apps that customers love while avoiding common redesign pitfalls. We stay on top of leading technologies and UX trends, so your app offering stays a step ahead.

Contact us today for a consultation on rebooting your mobile presence with an optimized redesign.

Our experts will assess your current app issues, user needs, and growth opportunities to set your next version up for success.

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