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Inspiration to Migration: 7 Steps to Launch a Product Redesign

Illustration by Danielle Vogl
Before and after our redesign. Illustration by Danielle Vogl.

Step 1: Before you start, build organizational support

  • Foster relationships with Product Management and Engineering. It’s important to build support with your partners, and to learn the challenges they face as well. With these conversations, you’ll then be able to better articulate the need and identify the right time to pull the trigger.
  • Clearly articulated the need. At Animoto, we found that we had outgrown our existing product architecture from and it had become almost nightmare-ish for designers and engineers to add value and improve the product experience.
  • Choose your timing wisely. Design workshops and product redesigns are highly disruptive activities. Set yourself up for success by identifying the right time for a vision workshop, and the right time in your product lifecycle for a rebuild.

Step 2: Define a long term vision

  • Deep dive into context building. The goal here is to develop a more holistic understanding of the problems your customers are facing. We worked with all of our customer facing teams to pool together the learnings of the last 5 years into a single Miro board.
  • Be inclusive and transparent in your process. To successfully execute your vision, it’s critical that everybody in your company feels ownership in the vision. How might you set up ideation workshops to include key members across your organization? Are there checkpoints to incorporate feedback from your executive team along the way?
  • Plan for multiple cycles of customer feedback loops. As you generate ideas, various themes will emerge. It’s absolutely imperative that you understand which ideas resonate most with your target customers. Validate that your concepts and proposed features genuinely excite your target customer.

Step 3: Develop your execution strategy

  • What is your MVP feature set? What existing features are must have? Which features can you deprecate? What new features can you bring in to help ensure a successful launch?
  • Will your design system set you up for success? Before we started, we reimagined our design system by developing a new visual language built with design tokens.
  • Are there any changes you need to make to your tech stack?
  • Are there any critical milestones you’ll need to hit?
  • Do you need to reorganize your Product Org to support this mission? If you’re a small to mid-sized company, consider staffing the majority of your product org towards this effort.

Step 4: Run a user test every week

  • Monday: Sprint planning and design exploration
  • Tuesday: Design exploration
  • Wednesday: Critique with product design team + prepping for user testing
  • Thursday: In-person user testing+debrief
  • Friday: Iterating based on learnings

Step 5: Ship fast, but roll out slow

  • Closed Beta — As soon as it was possible to render a video, we invited a small group of highly engaged users to a Closed Beta. We asked them to make at least one video, then interviewed each user to understand what was successful and where we needed to iterate.
  • Open Beta — In our next stage, we invited a large group of existing users to opt-in to an Open Beta program. We controlled the group size, but using the new product was completely optional. We measured the frequency of opt-outs and also conducted qualitative research.
  • Controlled Rollout Test — Finally, we reached a phase where we felt confident releasing to New Users, to measure how successful users were in making videos, as well as measuring how well we were converting these users to paying subscribers.

Step 6: Expect to monetize poorly at first

  • New user onboarding
  • Upsells and monetization paths
  • Ongoing product education
  • When looking at your data, are there any glaring gaps in product usage?
  • Using tools such as Full Story, where are users getting tripped up in the experience?
  • Comparing the experiences of your new product and old, what is different?
  • If you have segmentation data, can you dive into specific audience types and your most common user flows to pinpoint specific areas of pain?

Step 7: Migrate existing users with care

  • Opt-in Migration — At first, we allowed our entire user base to opt-in on their own accord. They were invited to try our new product, and could jump back between Animoto 2 and Animoto 3 at will.
  • Opt-out Migration — After several weeks, we started the next phase of migration. Upon sign in, we notified users that they will now be using Animoto 3 from here on out. However, we allowed users to opt-out of Animoto 3 by contacting our Customer Success team.
  • Full Migration — After several weeks of low opt-out rates, we made the decision to end access to Animoto 2.




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