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How to modernize UI and UX?

Steps of UI & UX modernization

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The demand for UI/UX modernization is growing these days. The reasons for it are quite clear. Today there are a lot of apps that function well but look bad. Let’s admit that if the software was built 15 years ago, there are low chances that it looks and feels pleasant according to modern standards. In this article, we will explain our approach to UI & UX modernization and share our vision of how it should be conducted.

Why is UI / UX modernization necessary?

First of all, let us highlight that when it comes to the necessity and feasibility of UI modernization / UX modernization,  every case should be viewed individually. As we have noticed in our practice, sometimes it happens that all indicators show that UX and UI modernization is required but it is senseless to conduct it. And it is easier just to replace the existing app with a new one. However, the value of UX and UI modernization shouldn’t be underestimated, and here is why.

Better user experience. Smartly conducted UI/UX modernization will help you enhance the user-friendliness of your solutions. Apps with modern designs traditionally have easier navigation and are more pleasant to interact with.

Additional competitive advantage. When you decide to modernize UI and UX of your app, you should be ready to make investments in such a project. Nevertheless, a well-designed application will let you stand out from the row of your competitors and attract the attention of potential customers.

Enhanced efficiency. While speaking about user interface modernization, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the attractiveness of interfaces that your customers will see. UI and UX modernization will also ensure the improvement of internal apps and tools, which will facilitate a lot of tasks for your employees and streamline your existing workflows.

How to implement UI/UX Modernization: Key steps

Planning plays an important role in the process of UI UX modernization. We’ve prepared the following guide for you that will help you better understand what tasks you will have when you want to modernize UI and UX of your app.

Business analysis, understanding user needs, and planning

We always start with a business analysis, which also includes considering strategy, risk expectations, and other important issues. We also advise you to create a navigation map, organize brainstorming, to inspect and remove all obsolete forms. As a brainstorming tool, you can use Mindmaster, Microsoft Visio, or Draw io.

Before starting to modernize UI and UX of your solutions, it is also very important to analyze the needs and expectations of users. Namely, thanks to this, you will be sure that your UI UX modernization efforts will bring the desired results.

This stage should also be continued with the preparation of a components migration table and project management tasks. Building your components migration table, you will see whether you have all your components for the up-to-date Delphi version that you are going to use or you will need to build some new ones.

Wireframing and prototyping

Then we go on with the wireframing stage (this step can be optional). Here you need to understand the scope and the scale of work, what you will want to change, what your business and clients want to change.
We advise you to create prototypes not for all forms but only for the main 20-30 ones. Among the tools that are usually used, we can mention HotGloo.io, inVisionApp.com, Axure RP, Ms Visio, Photoshop, and others.
After you wireframed your application, you have to show it to your product owners, to get and analyze their impressions and comments.

Design

The third step of user experience and user interface modernization is design. After wireframing, you will have only unclear boxes, squares, and forms, but if you want to get a beautiful application, you have to design its look. To begin with, you can take 15 or 25 main forms and ask an artist to draw your UI and styles in Photoshop or Figma. However, you can also give your wireframes directly to the developer and UI will be up to him.
When the design is ready, we recommend you approve colors, styles, and concepts with your team. It will also be a good idea to show the concept to your existing clients to get their feedback.

Development and implementation

And then when you are satisfied with your design, you can proceed to the development and implementation.
We have to perform component migration or custom implementation, this is what developers do. Usually, form migration or implementation is conducted in parallel with the code refactoring. And there is no other way if we are talking about an app that was created 15 years ago. It’s good practice if we are redesigning applications, good practice to divide logic from the user interface.

Testing and improving 

The final step of this modernization can be UI testing. Today there are different tools that can help you streamline this process. If you are not satisfied with the results of testing or some issues are detected in the framework of regular monitoring, it is necessary to implement the required updates and improvements as soon as possible.

As you see UI/UX modernization process is not a quick one. It may take months and sometimes even years. It includes many steps and requires serious preparation and a well-developed strategy.

What are the challenges of UI/UX Modernization?

However, it’s also very important to be ready for some unexpected pitfalls and challenges. It is practically impossible to predict the exact timeframes and expenses. And it is an absolutely common thing. You shouldn’t get disappointed if something does not go the way you expected.

Replacement of outdated elements

Actually, the main goal of UI and UX modernization is to update the design of your app. However, the replacement of the existing elements with new ones may cause some issues for the users who are accustomed to the previous design.

Creating value for employees

When you make a decision that UX and UI modernization is required, you shouldn’t focus only on the visual aspect of this project. It is necessary to make sure that the modernized interfaces will facilitate and streamline all the processes for employees and won’t introduce new challenges for them.

Introduction of improvements

UX UI modernization is usually a rather time-consuming process. And to carry it out correctly and efficiently, you need to devote enough time to planning. During this stage, it is essential to think about how you will implement your updates without interrupting the existing functionality.

UI / UX modernization best practices

UI/UX modernization requires relevant knowledge and preparation. But to facilitate this process for you, we’ve prepared some practical tips based on our practical experience.

  • Do not ignore the necessity of UI/UX testing. Natural or near-natural usage, decontextualized, scripted, and other tests and surveys will help you understand whether you are moving in the right direction.
  • Choose relevant technologies. The selection of the most appropriate technologies should be a very important part of your UI UX modernization efforts. It is vital to opt for the tech stack that fully aligns with your existing IT infrastructure and business goals.
  • Employ design thinking principles. Design thinking presupposes the necessity to deeply analyze user requirements, make assumptions, detect the existing UI/UX gaps, offer innovative solutions, rely on prototyping, and test designs before making a final decision.

If you have any questions regarding software migration or modernization, please feel free to contact our team and share your pains with us. We always deeply analyze each case individually as we know that there are no “fit-all-solutions”.

And if you have already started your app modernization, good luck!

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