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Will Mobile App Re-designs Be The Wave Of The Future?

When you consider the current lifecycle of most mobile apps, it is worth considering the question of if app re-designs will be the wave of the future. While some people might think that a laughable idea, when you look at some of the numbers regarding app launches these days, it makes some sense.

But why would I want to look into app re-designs rather than just launching my own killer app?

That is a good question to which we will provide a good answer!

The State of the mobile App

Fun fact: There are approximately 50,000 new apps launched each month. Is that surprising? When you consider that number, it becomes very apparent that there is a lot of competition out there, not only from existing apps that might have similar functionality to anything new being created, but also simply getting your app noticed with 49,999 other apps looking for that same level of notability.

Here is another great fact: More than half of those new apps, over 25,000, are dead within the first 30 days of launch. That means you aren’t even in a coin-flip situation for your great idea to last more than 30 days.

A bit humbling isn’t it?

While many designers and app development companies understand these numbers, the current concept for combating this is by focusing on aspects they can control such as the design, testing and feedback, often leaving marketing and product sales to those businesses that excel at that aspect.

Rather than waste all of the time for a full life-cycle of development for a new app, the question has to be asked, why not invest in re-designing something instead?

The App Lifecycle

The current app lifecycle is fairly standard these days:

  • Mobile Strategy – You consider the needs of the business, their goals and customer issues looking for a strategy that will provide a benefit or solve a problem.
  • App Build – The app is designed and built with an eye for beauty, a great user interface, and of course a lack of bugs or problems.
  • Launch – The app is launched and users are acquired (hopefully).
  • Review – A good design company will revisit the app after launch, analyzing feedback from users and the community and look to make versions to the product to meet users’ needs, which in turn helps increase loyalty to the app and thus the brand.
  • Aim for Engagement – This can be a sub-step of review where a designer looks to increase engagement in users by adding features, offers and other methods to hook users.
  • Retention – Working with the engagement idea look to retain customers even more with personalized content, targeted offers and meeting user needs. There is opportunity for up-selling or monetization.
  • App Updates – The review to update cycle can continue endlessly with a developer and business looking to engage and retain more and more users through hard work and analyzing/understanding the needs and wants of customers.

Now some people are of the mind that good testing should help eliminate some of the review and update cycles, however there will always be the need for that cycle, especially if your app ends up becoming massively successful as many people hope. If and when that happens your app is exposed to a much larger demographic that you could possibly test for thus creating the need to complete the review-to-update cycle regardless.

So why not just re-design the App?

Finally we reach the crux of our argument; why not just re-design an app rather than creating something brand new?

When you think about it, there are over 25,000 failed apps created each month. Many of them probably have a good idea behind them, decent features and design. But, when some of these apps fail the businesses behind them don’t always feel the need to work on the review-to-update cycle in an effort to make them better perhaps due to a lack of time or money.

If the business that created the original app is not a direct competitor they might be open to selling their idea for a fraction of the cost it would take to get a new, or even very similar, idea to this stage. By considering this model you are saving a lot of time and energy that is put into the first portion of the app lifecycle and instead focusing your energy and creativity on making something that was probably a good idea to begin with, great. With some good marketing and re-packaging you could easily have a hit.

Truly there are only going to be so many original ideas out there and as it stands now many new apps are just people trying to build on an existing idea anyway. If you really consider it, it does make sense for app re-designs to be the wave of the future.

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