Javier García Latorre3 min

5 Key Steps in Designing or Redesigning Your App

DesignProductSep 21, 2022

How often have you found yourself — or your teams — redesigning your app or designing new features? While this is part of the typical product lifecycle of your application, certain steps can help you get it right and avoid excessive costs or wasted engineering hours.

Every digital product needs to fulfill the needs of its customers. Over time, those needs may change or you might require a more robust solution to new user problems your customers face.

Whatever the reason, the advice outlined below should serve as a quick guide in navigating all the work needed for a redesign or design.

5_Key_Steps

Connecting the Dots - Problem Scoping

To get the right solution on time, you first need to identify the problem and define the problem space. This will help scope what needs to be done and will link it to your OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), connecting it to your North Star Metric and eventually becoming a part of your product roadmap.

The problem space should define which pain points you need to solve — either because of a simpler implementation of a feature in the past or because a new problem has arisen from your customer feedback.

Finding Solutions

Discovering multiple options to tackle those problems and identifying the tools at hand (existing components or design systems) can assist in delivering not only a technically viable solution but one that will minimize the time to bring value to your customers.

Opportunity solution trees are a powerful tool to map all of the above and will serve as a base for the product team to deliver the solutions. You are probably already doing this subconsciously when thinking about solutions; all that’s missing is mapping it out on a whiteboard.

Steps and Simplicity

Although a solution is clear at this point, there are multiple steps that the customers will need to take to solve their problems. It is generally recommended to keep the number of steps to a minimum and apply the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Consistency

Always keep in mind that delivering a solution — or a redesign of some sort — should be aligned with your existing application. Customers already have some behavior patterns when they use your app and you should stick to the elements they’ve grown familiar with to minimize the learning curve.

If you already have existing features, make sure to have the same overall design patterns. A common style in your app not only saves engineering time but gives a consistent look and feel to the solutions you deliver.

Discoverability

What good is it if you created a solution that nobody can find? Your app information architecture should be intuitive for users; making every solution/feature easily discoverable is the most effective way to solve whatever problem your users face.

Alternatively — or on top of all the above — you can use your product updates to draw attention to the newly designed and implemented feature. However, keep it clear for all types of users and explain it in terms that your customers understand, so that they can make use of it.

In Conclusion

Remember that your product strategy has to connect to what you are delivering. With that in mind, the simple process outlined above can help you launch successful products or features.

It’s always better to discover that a certain problem/solution is not connected with your vision or strategy early in the process, rather than spending many hours on a solution nobody wants or understands, or on a feature that’s impossible to find or feels like it’s from a different app.

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