The Cost to Redesign an Existing App [a Founder’s Guide]
- 22 Nov 2023
- 11 min
Many startups and businesses need a mobile application these days.
The reason being the widespread use of smartphones. Moreover, designing an app is a task of proper planning and analysis.
Hence, you need to be careful while doing it.
Now, it is pretty evident that with time your application will get outdated. Besides, you may also experience a high bounce rate or lag in app functioning as it may not run properly on the new devices.
You may also have to face criticism in user feedback.
These scenarios will definitely require you to learn how to redesign an app and improve it.
Besides, it is a must to redesign your mobile app either completely or partially after some time. As all the users are not the same, your new application update may not be liked by all.
Remember Spotify! The user journey displayed confusion in navigation earlier. This prompted the owners to undertake redesigning of the application.
Now, the new interface not only attracted new customers but also increased their user base and revenue.
Other than this, Airbnb and Uber also faced criticism from the users. All because their new app update wasn’t that good.
As these giants faced issues with their application updates, the question that surfaces here is how to redesign mobile app properly?
If this question is hovering over your mind, we are here with the answer in detail. We will also apprise you about how much does it cost to redesign an app.
How to Redesign Mobile App & Reasons to Do So
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.
|Provide users with better UX||User 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:
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 trends||An 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.
How to Redesign an 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.
Stage 1: Preparation
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.
|Communication||Ask your users what they like and don’t like. |
However, do not just listen but act upon the feedback while redesigning.
|Evaluate Reviews and Feedback||Check 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:
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:
An excellent example of this is Airbnb that redesigned its app based on studying its user behavior and feedback.
|User Journey||Understand users and their journey. Create a customer journey map. |
It helps in knowing the bottlenecks faced by the users affecting the conversion rates.
|Review Analytics||Evaluate real design performance. |
Traffic and pageview analysis:
Funnel creation and analysis:
Drop off rate. Check three things:
|Active User Ratio||Check 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 metrics||Define 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.
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.
Stage 2: Analysis
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Stage 3: Design
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.
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.
|Discount usability research||Simple, 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
|Mockups are ready||With handy customer research, the cost will be lower.|
|The design team has no expertise in mobile app designing||Designers required. However, no need to pay for brand guidelines, brand development, and marketing materials.|
|No design team||Comprehensive 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.
Factors That Influence the Cost of Redesign
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.
|1. The complexity of an app||The complexity of an app heavily influences how much does it cost to redesign an app.|
|2. Number of roles||The 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 features||If 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 logic||You 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.
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