Product Redesign Guide For SaaS
Would you like to know what product redesign is? Are you wondering when a product manager should consider redesigning a product and what the potential benefits are? Are you not sure how to go about redesigning your product?
If so, you are in the right place because these are some of the questions we’re exploring.
Are you ready to dive in? Let’s get to it!
- Product redesign is aimed at improving user experience by reinventing and rebuilding your product.
- The reasons for product redesign could include a dated look and feel, low conversion and retention rates, negative user feedback, plans to expand into new markets, or enabling upgrades and new features.
- Product redesign projects are a chance to improve usability, boost customer loyalty and satisfaction, and improve the image of your business. In the long run, they should make your business more competitive.
- Revolutionary redesign involves a complete remake of your product at once while evolutionary redesign focuses on one feature or functionality at a time.
- Product redesign begins by defining business objectives, conducting user research, and analyzing product usage to identify areas for improvement, propose solutions and give the process focus.
- Next, the design team could build a prototype and validate the idea with user testing to make sure it delivers the desired results before they commit to its development and release.
- After that, you need to prepare your users for the new design with a marketing campaign and announce the release via multiple channels. These could be in-app communications, launch emails and social media messaging.
- Once the redesigned product is out, user onboarding is necessary to help users navigate their way around. User onboarding helps users shorten the time to value.
- After releasing the new product, keep collecting feedback and conducting further research into user behavior to see if the redesign has been effective. Always look for further opportunities to redesign and improve your product.
- Userpilot can help your team collect feedback, track product usage, carry out product experiments and design fully customized contextual onboarding flows.
What is a product redesign?
Product redesign is the process of reinventing and rebuilding your existing product. It’s not about minor tweaks but significant changes to the user experience – the way it looks, works and makes the user feel.
What are the main reasons for redesigning a product?
There are a bunch of situations when you may want to consider redesigning your product.
Outdated look and feel
One reason for product redesign is to make the UI look and feel more modern.
Apart from keeping your product fresh and stimulating for the existing customers, you also want to make the right impression on your new users. A dated look may make them think that the rest of your product isn’t very modern either.
Low conversion and retention rates
If your conversion or retention rates start going down, it may be time to start looking at redesigning your product. These two show that the product doesn’t meet the needs of the new and existing users anymore, and you must act.
Negative customer feedback on current design and usability
Negative feedback on the current design and usability is a very clear indication that your product design needs changes. Make sure to follow up on it to find out how to redesign your project to better meet your customer expectations.
Expanding into new markets
Expanding into new markets may be another reason for product redesign projects.
Product designers may not have planned for it originally, so to successfully internationalize and localize your product, you may often need to change its design completely.
New features or product upgrades
Introducing new features or product upgrades often needs product redesign.
This is particularly true for SaaS start-up products, like mobile apps, that grow quickly in their early days and accumulate a lot of UX and technical debt. Sooner or later, they reach a stage when the current product can’t grow any further without a major redesign.
What are the benefits of product redesign?
There are a number of benefits of product redesign.
To start with, it gives you a chance to improve your product usability. That means it will be easier for your customers to experience value and get their jobs done.
What’s more, responding to feedback and trying to solve their problems improves customer loyalty and creates a good company image. If you look after their needs and respond to their feedback, your users will be less likely to switch to another product and more likely to turn into devoted fans and champions of your product.
In a nutshell, product redesign can bring about better conversion and retention rates, and improve the overall market competitiveness.
Revolutionary vs evolutionary redesign
There are two main approaches to product redesign.
Revolutionary redesign is like building and launching a new product. Once the new design is ready, it simply replaces the old one. Or you can smoothen the transition and allow your users to get used to the new design before phasing out the old one.
Evolutionary redesign is gradual and involves incremental innovation. Instead of redoing the whole product in one go, the product team redesigns and releases one feature at a time.
Product redesign process step by step
Whether you choose the revolutionary or evolutionary approach to redesigning your product, you need to follow a few basic steps.
Define your business goals and objectives
Before you embark on the redesign journey, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
Is it addressing specific customer pain points or meeting new user needs? Or maybe introducing functionality that your competitors already have? Improving revenue? Ensuring compliance with new government regulations? Whatever the objective, make sure your whole product team is in sync on that.
Change for its own sake will waste precious resources, and the lack of focus will result in a mediocre product.
Conduct user research to identify areas for improvement
To give the desired results, product redesign needs to be based on robust evidence, so the next step is conducting user research.
The aim is to develop a deep understanding of your existing as well as potential users. You need to learn how they feel about the product, what they like about it and what they don’t, and identify areas that need to be fixed or developed to meet their needs better.
How do you do it?
There are different tools and techniques available like creating user personas, empathy mapping, or user interviews.
However, the quickest and cheapest way to collect mass feedback is through in-app surveys.
For example, NPS surveys are great for measuring user satisfaction and loyalty.
The NPS survey should come with follow-up questions to gather more qualitative insights. You will use these to inform the redesign process.
To help you analyze the data and identify patterns, you can tag responses by using a theme or keyword.
Pair user research with product usage analytics
To get a more objective and complete picture of your users and their needs, back up the feedback with product usage analytics.
By tracking how your users engage with the product, you can identify features that are used regularly and those that are underutilized.
If a feature is underutilized, is it because users simply don’t need it or because the UI is preventing them from taking full advantage of them?
If it’s the latter, your focus will be on redesigning the feature, and if it’s the former, it may be time to consider sunsetting it and not including it in the new edition.
Feature tagging in platforms like Userpilot can help you identify patterns in user interactions with specific features.
After looking at the business objectives, conducting user research, and analyzing data, the team should be able to come up with a set of basic target specifications for the redesigned product.
Create a prototype and validate your concept with real users
Even when the user feedback and usage data clearly show what feature or functionality you should redesign, it doesn’t mean your project will be successful.
Whenever a major change is introduced, there’s a risk you will face user resistance which could result in churn. More importantly, the new design could replace the old usability issues with new ones.
To maximize the chances of success of your product redesign, make sure to validate the final concept through user testing before you commit to its development.
Prototyping is one way to check if an idea stands a chance. In the early stages, you can start with very low-fidelity prototypes and when the response is favorable, invest in building high-fidelity ones.
To limit the potential damage, test the solutions you’ve developed on a small user cohort before releasing them to the rest of your user base.
Apart from usability testing, you can conduct A/B tests to compare different designs and invite a group of users to beta testing.
Run marketing campaigns and prepare users for the release
Redesigns don’t require as much marketing effort as new product launches.
However, you still need to prepare users so that they don’t get surprised when the new UI or features are finally released.
We’ve all been through the frustrating experience of logging into a product we’ve been using for months to discover that a feature we urgently need had been moved and nobody bothered to let us know.
Don’t make this mistake and make sure your marketing team comes up with a solid launch announcement plan.
In your communications, focus on the major improvements and how they’re going to benefit your users.
To make sure you reach most of your users, don’t rely on a single message. Instead create a sequence of communications, starting a few weeks before the release.
In this way, you not only give your users time to get familiar with the changes that are coming but may be able to build some hype around it!
Your marketing campaign should continue also after the launch. Follow up the launch day announcements with more messages targeting the segments that haven’t engaged yet.
Launch the redesigned product to your audience
To maximize the effectiveness of your launch communications, use a number of channels to reach different user segments.
The easiest and cheapest way to reach your existing active users is with in-app messages. They engage with the product on a regular basis, so are not likely to miss a modal or a slideout announcing the new functionality or feature.
How about the inactive or churned users?
Obviously, in-app messaging is pretty much useless in this case. Instead, use launch emails to reach this user segment. If your redesign was driven by feedback and solves problems flagged up by churned users, you may be able to win some of them back.
Finally, back it all up with messages across your social media channels. This will reinforce the messages sent via email or in-app but may also help you reach and attract new users.
Implement user onboarding
User onboarding is essential when releasing your redesigned product.
In short, it’s a series of interactions and techniques which guide users and help them discover new features or get familiar with the new UI.
User onboarding allows customers to experience the value of the improvements more quickly and directly, and that’s what ultimately makes them stay and keep paying subscriptions.
Depending on how comprehensive the redesign is, you can choose different techniques for the job. For example, a tooltip is a great way to draw users’ attention to new features, just like Slack has done.
If the redesign is more thorough and offers a user experience that is very different from what the users are used to, you may need to use more complex flows.
What are your options?
Interactive walkthroughs are one. They guide users step by step through engaging with a product for the first time. Walkthroughs shorten the learning path by removing friction and increasing adoption. As a result, users experience product value immediately.
Continuously gather user feedback and make improvements
Once the new product is launched to the public, make sure to measure its reception by your customer base.
Keep collecting user feedback and the following analytics to determine if the redesign has brought you closer to achieving your goals. Are there more users reaching the activation point? Is the churn rate down? Have the NPS scores gone up?
If not, try to isolate the reasons why this is the case, propose solutions, and make further adjustments.
If yes, that’s a good job, but you can still make your product better. In fact, the design process should never stop. If you want your product to thrive in the long run, you must keep innovating. That’s why keep tracking usage and collecting feedback to identify new improvement opportunities.
Product redesign brings big changes to the user experience. To make them successful, they need to be based on robust data, delivered and launched in a well-planned manner, and most importantly solve the problems your users are facing.
To learn how Userpilot can help your product team to collect feedback, run experiments, analyze user behavior data and design bespoke onboarding experiences, book a demo!