Embracing Change in Design: The Process of (Re)Design

The essential steps in the (Re)Design process and why early-stage planning is crucial for successful outcomes

Oct 18, 2023


Embracing Change in Design: The Process of (Re)Design
Embracing Change in Design: The Process of (Re)Design

The (Re)Design: Embracing Change in Design Series

This article is part of the The (Re)Design: Embracing Change in Design series. You can find the complete list of articles in the series at the end.


Embarking on a redesign project can be complex and challenging. It requires careful planning, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of user needs and business objectives.

To ensure a successful outcome, it is essential to follow a structured and iterative process that allows for continuous refinement and improvement.

The Whys and Whats

The Why

The process of (re)design typically begins with a thorough analysis of the existing solution, its strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This analysis should be informed by a variety of data sources, including user feedback, analytics, and market research.

There is one more important source, sometimes disregarded, but I found it to be the most important one, and one that comes with years of experience in the field: the 'gut feeling.' This is nothing more than the natural flow that you get with deep domain knowledge you've gathered over the years in business when you basically feel how it should be.

In the end, by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the design's current state, designers can identify the most pressing issues and opportunities for enhancement.

The What

Once the need for redesign has been established, the next step is to define the project's goals and objectives.

These goals should be specific, measurable, and aligned with the overall business strategy.

They should consider users' needs and preferences in depth, as well as the constraints and limitations of the available resources and technologies.

The Concept Phase

With clear high-level goals in mind, designers can begin the process of ideation and concept development. This stage involves generating a wide range of ideas, potential solutions, and prototypes. The aim is to explore multiple possibilities and identify the most promising directions for the (re)design.

As the concepts take shape, designers must also consider the technical feasibility and viability of each option. This requires close collaboration with developers and other stakeholders to ensure that the proposed solutions are not only desirable but also achievable within the given constraints.

This phase should be fast with quick feedback loops, as its main purpose is to crystalize the ideas as much as possible. Here, you shouldn't be bothered with pixel-perfect outcomes; you should take high-level ideas and iteratively refine them in-depth, piece by piece until the design is 'firm.'

The more design questions answered in this phase, the easier the next phase, the development phase, will be.

The Development

Once a preferred concept has been selected, the next phase of the redesign process involves detailed design and development. If the concept phase was good, most of the "how" questions should already be answered so developers can focus on implementation and designers into detailing and polishing.

In this phase, designers must work closely with developers to ensure that the technical implementation aligns with the intended user experience and design vision.

Throughout the design and development process, it is crucial to engage in continuous testing and evaluation. This can involve a range of methods, such as usability testing, A/B testing, and user feedback sessions. By gathering data and insights from real users, designers can identify areas for improvement and make iterative refinements to the design.

As the (re)design progresses, it is also important to consider the broader implications and impacts of the changes being made. This includes evaluating the potential risks and challenges associated with the (re)design, such as user resistance to change, technical complexities, and resource constraints. Designers must work closely with stakeholders across the organization to mitigate these risks and ensure a smooth transition to the new design.

The Launch

Once the redesign is complete and has been thoroughly tested and refined, the final step is to launch and monitor the new solution. This involves carefully planning the rollout process, communicating the changes to users, and providing necessary training and support.

It also requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to assess the success of the redesign and identify any further opportunities for improvement.

In the End

From experience, the more you invest in the first two steps (The Whys/Whats and Concept Phase), the easier the last two steps will be. Always strive to clear the picture as soon as possible.

This approach is invaluable. Aiming for clarity from the get-go not only propels you ahead with confidence but also significantly diminishes the possibility of facing unforeseen complications or having to revisit foundational elements later on, which can be both time-consuming and resource-draining.

Solving problems early gives you a clear plan. This helps you make good choices as you work on finishing a complex project.

The (Re)Design: Embracing Change in Design Series

This article is part of The (Re)Design: Embracing Change in Design series. If you enjoyed this one and want more, here is the complete list in the series:

Happy Designing!

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