How To Redesign An App

App Building, App Design Jerry Lieveld 12 Nov 2015

Whether it’s a new corporate style, the start of another season or changing trends in app design, there comes a time your app needs a brand new layout. What is the best way to redesign your app? Follow the tips in this article to smoothen your design process.

Although it’s easy to change and to update an app, for some it seems to be a challenging task to restyle an app substantially. The fact is you cannot just build another app and replace the old one with the new one. Not in the app stores, because you would lose all your certificates, your users and your analytics data. That, for sure, is a no go. And you can’t just replace an app in the AppMachine CMS either, but there are two easy ways to redesign your app:

Two options to redesign your app

1. Redesign the ‘offline’ copy of your app

First copy your live app, save it in the app dashboard with another name. This copied app (which is not live and in the app stores), is the app you are going to redesign. You still can change or update the live app if you like. You should clearly document all your redesign steps because, ouch, we’re awfully sorry for this, you have to do it all again later on.

Now redesign your copied app and watch all changes with the app previewer. You can make as many copies if you like and present a client several redesigns. Happy? Or is your client satisfied with the new design? Then go to your live app and do it all over again. This should not take as much time because you documented all your steps accurately.

Don’t update the live app while you are implementing the new design! All updates will reach the smartphone of your users and you don’t want to show them a design that’s not finished, right? Do make sure your app is completely finished before you update.

All done? Go to the Publish tab in the CMS. Make new screenshots of your app, remove the old ones and make a new app icon if necessary. You only have to upload the screenshots for one operating system; AppMachine will automatically supply the other screenshots, but only if you have removed the old ones. Change any app info if that is applicable. Here you can also change the app name “Event 2015” to “Event 2016”.

Redesign a copy of the live app

+ your live app stays alive
+ safe to start all over
+ present several app designs

– extra redesign in live app
– cautiously document your steps

A redesign mostly means a content update when it’s ‘just design’ and content changes. Once you also add new functionality your app might need a Store Update which can take 8-10 days for iOS and 2 days for Android and Windows.

Redesign app 2 ways

2. Redesign the live app

If you don’t want to go through the extra work of implementing your redesign a second time, you could redesign your live app. This is a good option when you don’t update your app frequently, or when you have a couple of days or weeks to do the redesign.

First start with making a copy of the live app. You want to be safe, right?  So keep your copied app as a backup. It’s just that you cannot simply restore your backup. If your new design fails to make it for some reason, you have to restore every part of your live app manually. So you might as well document all the important settings of your old app.

If you want to present two or three designs to a client, you still have to use a copy of your app which is not live. This still means extra work when the client chooses one of those designs.

Another disadvantage of redesigning a live app is that you don’t want to update your app during the design process. Clicking ‘Update’ with a live app will affect all your app users since all changes will be visible. If you update your app weekly, the redesign should be finished within the week, or you could postpone the updates until the app is ready.

If you have a restaurant app with a weekly menu or a news app with daily updates,  it’s probably a better option to redesign a copy of your app first. If you have an event app that you want to use again next month, you have plenty of time to finish your live app.

Make any design changes you like, but remember not to update your app before your app is finished. And before you update, go to the Publish tab in our CMS and upload the new screenshots of your app. Remove the old ones and make a new app icon if necessary. You only have to upload the screenshots for one operating system; AppMachine will automatically supply the other screenshots, but only if you have remove the old ones. Change any app info if that is applicable. Now you´re ready to launch your new design.

Redesigning a live app

+ Faster: only one redesign

– No updates during process
– Manually restore a backup
– Extra designs mean extra work

A redesign mostly means a content update when it’s ‘just design’ and content changes. Once you also add new functionality your app might need a Store Update which can take 8-10 days for iOS and 2 days for Android and Windows.

 

Start with the redesign of your app now! Login here.

Or read more about designing an app.