6 Steps to Do Before Code and Design Modernization
Product modernization is a rather complicated process, and it can be even more challenging in case you are limited on budget and want to achieve the best quality as soon as possible. To avoid pitfalls, check the best practices squashed from our experience!
6 Steps to Complete After the Product Launch
The rush related to MVP release is already in the past, so now you can focus on gradual improvements. Here are the six steps you may want to take.
1. Define Your Next Purpose
The first thing you have to do is to decide on the purpose of product improvements. Are you going only to equip your product with new features, update the design a bit, deal with bugs, and, therefore, attract more users and increase the profit? Or, for instance, you want your app to win an award for its design (for instance, this one) and become world-famous? Making such an important choice is a task your software partner can’t complete for you — you will have to do it on your own. And depending on your choice, it will be possible to define the subsequent tasks. Moreover, the choice of software team may also depend on your purpose!
If you are a bit lost, take a look at this list of questions. You may want to answer them while making your choice:
- Do your users have any complaints in their feedback? Maybe they ask for specific new features to implement or bugs to be removed? If it is so, it would be better to deal with these complaints and requirements first. Otherwise, users may stop using your product even before you apply for the design contest.
- Are there any deadlines which don’t depend on you and your software partner? Applications for most contests have to be submitted before a certain deadline, so in some cases, it may be simply too late to start preparing your product for competing for an award. Sure, you can apply next year, but that’s a pretty long-term goal.ou will probably have time not only to update the product’s design significantly but also to fix bugs, add new features, etc.
- What is the budget? We don’t know the current condition of your product, so we can’t tell you the exact price. But making your software absolutely unique and perfect can be more expensive than gradual dealing with bugs, equipping product with new features, and so on.
We don’t know your idea (although you are always welcome to share it with us!), but let’s imagine that you decided to go for gradual improvements without taking part in diverse contests. So, here comes the next step.
2. Understand Your Users
Now, when the choice is made, you can count on your software partner to assist you in the subsequent steps. And the first of them is analyzing your product’s users.
Before the product launch, you and your team discovered everything about the target audience, but the information you have to collect now is a bit different. Here are some questions you may want to answer:
- What product’s features do users use the most? And the least?
- Do they experience any crashes?
- How frequently do users use your product?
- How many active users does your product have?
- How much time do users spend in your app?
- What is the retention rate (the percentage of users who return to the app in the last 30 days)?
- What is the conversion rate (the percentage of users who perform those activities which you want them to perform)?
This information can help you not only to improve your marketing strategy — all these details can assist you in identifying what bugs it is essential to fix and what new features can be added.
For instance, you have a fitness app with a food tracker feature. After analyzing your users, you find out that it is among the most popular features of your products. Therefore, you may think about adding a barcode scanner for keeping track of packaged food.
In case you have any doubts, ask your users if they want this feature or not. Here we have an entire guide on this, so check it out if you haven’t done this yet.
3. Check Similar Products
Your competitors can give you loads of inspiration when you are working on the improvement of your own product. So, you have already identified your competitors (we guess you did it even before the product launch), but what’s now? How to analyze their products and how this information can help you to make your software better? Well, just follow this short guide:
- Go to the app stores and check the competitors’ products descriptions. What are their main features? Are there any features your own product is missing? If yes, consider adding them. Besides, if you use your competitors’ features as a basis, try to improve them — in this way, you will make a step towards beating your competitors and conquering the market.
- Read reviews on your competitors’ products. Are there features which users hate? Are there any of them which they adore? This data will help you to decide which features can be added and which of them should be avoided at all cost.
- Check what users say about the design of the competitors’ products. Are there any things which they really like or hate? Use this information to decide if your product design needs to be updated right now or a bit later.
Analyzing your competitors is a crucial thing to do, and it doesn’t become irrelevant after the first product improvement is done. No, it is important to complete the above-mentioned steps regularly, otherwise, your competitors may quickly leave you behind.
4. Set Your Priorities
Now you have all the required information regarding your users and products of your competitors. You analyzed it and got an entire list of features which can be added. What’s now? How to choose which of them to go for? First of all, we would recommend prioritizing your own users, so follow their recommendations — fix the bugs they reported about and add those features which they asked for.
Obviously, you don’t have to meet everyone’s expectations and ADD all the features your users made up in their reviews and answers to the surveys. No, start with those ones which were required by the majority of your users. Make them happy! If you succeed, your product will quickly attract more users (everyone wants to be happy). Then, you will have time to focus on attracting those users who chose your competitors.
5. Create the Improvement Roadmap
All the goals are finally defined, so now you can start developing the roadmap for your product improvement. Here are the steps you should take:
- Define the target audience of your roadmap
- Define the tasks
- Organize the tasks
- Make your roadmap colorful and bright
- Emphasize the key points
- Check the progress of your improvement project
- Add a bit of flexibility
- Check the relevance of your roadmap on a regular basis
We always follow this plan when outlining the roadmap, and we hope it will be useful for you as well. Yes, it looks pretty laconic, but that’s because we have described all the details here. Take a closer look!
6. Don’t Forget About Testing
Testing is one of the most important parts of any software development (or improvement) project. So, before introducing the new version of your product to the world, it is vital to do comprehensive testing — otherwise, the updated product may be even more bugged than the previous one! Here are a few recommendations for you and your team on dealing with the testing stage:
- Involve testers from the very beginning. To simplify the testing phase, it would be great to invite testers to take part in developing software requirements and designing the product, if applicable. In this way, they will get a deeper knowledge of your product and, therefore, ensure detailed test coverage.
- Start testing as early as possible. We mentioned testing at the end of the article, but this step should be taken regularly. It is much easier to fix bugs during the product improvement process than to deal with them at the end of the project.
Prioritize the testing procedures. Those bugs which have the most significant effect on the product usually take much more time in terms of testing than those ones which are not really serious. That’s logical, so don’t deal with testing procedures randomly. Prioritize them, and start with the most time-consuming ones.
- If it is possible, go for test automation. Automated tests are a pretty reliable way to ensure that the old functionality works fine after changes in the code were made. Besides, performing such tests won’t take a lot of time. But on the other hand, developing automated tests can be pretty time consuming, and they may simply stop working properly if you change something in the user interface. So use them wisely.
Gradual code and design modernization is a reliable way to make your product more popular and profitable, so don’t hurry up. Be consistent and patient, and follow our guide. And if you have any questions regarding the improvement of your product, you are welcome to get in touch with us!