What is a product redesign?
A product redesign involves enhancing a product by altering its design, and it can serve various purposes, such as enhancing the user experience or complying with new regulations.
Sometimes referred to as “re-design,” which is a shorthand for “re-engineering,” this process entails making substantial modifications to an existing system or product. In contrast, a redesign primarily focuses on making incremental enhancements to address specific issues or problems identified in the current product version. Redesigns are frequently part of a broader re-engineering project aimed at improving system functionality and maintainability. They are also employed to rectify bugs or security vulnerabilities uncovered during user testing.
Industries like fashion frequently embrace redesigns, where brands regularly alter the style and design of their products. However, this approach is also prevalent in software development and other domains where product evolution is expected over time.
The benefits of a product redesign
A product redesign can yield numerous benefits for both your product and overall business. It has the potential to:
Enhance the user experience: An improved design can lead to better user understanding of your product, thereby increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase or recommending it to others.
Expand sales volume: By rejuvenating your branding and messaging, a product redesign can attract new customers who may not have been interested before. This can be particularly beneficial if previous branding or messaging no longer resonates with them (e.g., if it conveyed a perception of exclusivity or a limited target audience).
Enhance brand image: A well-executed product redesign can effectively showcase what sets your company apart, whether it’s your values, culture, or history. Visual elements such as colors and logos should consistently reflect these aspects across all platforms, ensuring that visitors instantly recognize your brand identity.
Cultivate brand loyalty: Personalizing the user experience through a product redesign can help foster loyalty among your customers. Additionally, by facilitating easy self-help options, you can reduce support costs and provide users with the tools they need to find answers independently. This, in turn, can decrease development expenses by automating repetitive tasks, allowing developers to allocate their time to more diverse projects rather than performing repetitive actions.
How to start a redesign project
The initial step in any redesign project involves beginning with a clear vision of the desired outcome. This entails distancing yourself from the current product and posing questions like, “What objectives must this product achieve?” and “Who is the target audience?” The responses will shape the approach you take for your redesign, whether that involves research, brainstorming, or prototyping.
Once you’ve gained an understanding of the problems your users encounter and their requirements, the next step is to construct a mood board or multiple mood boards. A mood board serves as an inspirational reference guide, serving a dual purpose in the design process and user experience research activities. In interviews or focus groups, participants may be encouraged to express their preferences for objects or colors linked to specific activities, offering insights into how they envision these activities being represented visually through icons, graphics, and more.
Following this, you should formulate a design brief based on the insights garnered during user research sessions. This document will serve as a constant reference throughout the entire development process, streamlining adjustments as needed.
Once you have your design brief in hand, it’s time to commence the ideation phase by sketching out ideas. There’s no need to strive for perfection right away; this phase is essentially a brainstorming exercise. Wireframing is a method that involves generating simplified illustrations of an interface and its various pages, as well as illustrating their interconnectedness, all without applying any styling. While wireframing can be used alongside other techniques like prototyping or user testing, it offers its own unique advantages, including the ability to visually communicate ideas efficiently without dedicating extensive time to them.
Redesign a Product in 7 Steps
- Define Your Objectives: Every successful product redesign begins with a clear understanding of your objectives. Start by identifying the problems or challenges with your current product that you aim to address. Consider whether you’re seeking to enhance user experience, increase market competitiveness, align with changing trends, or comply with new regulations. Defining your objectives will set the stage for the entire redesign process.
- User Research and Feedback: To create a product that resonates with your target audience, gather user insights and feedback. Conduct surveys, interviews, usability tests, and analyze user data to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement. By understanding your users’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, you can tailor the redesign to meet their expectations.
- Create a Design Brief: A design brief serves as a compass for your redesign project. It should encapsulate your objectives, user insights, and key requirements. This document will guide your design and development teams throughout the project, ensuring that everyone stays aligned with the project’s goals.
- Ideation and Conceptualization: With a design brief in hand, initiate the ideation phase. Encourage creative brainstorming sessions to generate multiple design concepts. Explore different ideas, sketch rough drafts, and consider alternative approaches. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box; innovation often arises from unconventional ideas.
- Wireframing and Prototyping: Once you’ve narrowed down your design concepts, create wireframes or prototypes. Wireframes are simplified representations of your product’s interface, illustrating layout and functionality without design details. Prototypes, on the other hand, provide interactive representations of the user experience. These tools help you visualize the product’s structure and functionality before investing in full-scale development.
- Testing and Iteration: User testing is a critical step in the redesign process. Invite real users to interact with your wireframes or prototypes and gather feedback. Pay close attention to their experiences and pain points. Use this feedback to refine and iterate on your designs, making necessary adjustments to enhance usability and address any issues.
- Development and Implementation: Once your redesigned product has undergone rigorous testing and refinement, it’s time to move into the development phase. Collaborate with your development team to bring the design to life. Ensure that the final product aligns with your initial objectives and design brief. After development, conduct thorough quality assurance and testing to catch any last-minute issues before launch.
Redesigning a product involves a well-structured process that begins with clear objectives and ends with a polished, user-centric offering. By understanding your users, creating a design brief, and following a systematic approach from ideation to implementation, you can transform your product and achieve your redesign goals. Embrace the opportunity to evolve your product, stay competitive, and deliver exceptional user experiences.