Kayla J Heffernan
Jul 24 · 4 min read
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Seer Medical offers gold standard epilepsy diagnostics from the comfort of your home. This includes a supporting app for patients to track seizures and other medical events. This app was called Beagle.

Beagle was named after the HMS Beagle — the ship best known for carrying Charles Darwin on his voyages discovering evolution. Beagle’s captain, Admiral Robert FitzRoy, was the inventor of weather forecasting. Given that our goal is to help guide forecasting for seizures, the name had a rationale based in logic. Beagle dogs are also known for their tracking skills. And hella cute, leading to lots of fun inside the office.

But it’s time to simplify.

There’s a lot of help online about why to rebrand, how to decide new brand colours, how to audit what needs to be updated and how to get people on board etc. For us, everyone was already on-board with bringing Beagle in line with the rest of the existing Seer branding.

The help I needed was more around specific change management strategies. How should we alert users to the change? We need to make sure they are aware, so that next time they have a seizure they can easily find the app to report it. But how many comms is too much? We don’t want to needlessly annoy users, nor make unnecessary hype about a minor change.

Make sure users are informed, but not inundated

We made a change management comms plan that would inform users, but not bombard them.

People like to be prepared. People don’t like it when things move and change on them without warning. We determined that we would need to pre-warn users about the change, before the app updated, so that they knew that it was coming.

This also would increase the chances a users would see this information prior to launch. If we didn’t mention anything until the day of release, it is likely patients would not check their emails before having a seizure. Then they’re in the position of looking for an app that no longer exists (because it has updated automatically to a new name, colour and logo).

So before launch we had an:

  • In-app pop up about the upcoming change
  • An email one week prior to the launch to let users know Beagle was changing.

The in-app pop up included both the old and new icons so users would know what to look for the next time they needed the app.

This helps the user to find the new app if it has automatically updated but they haven’t seen the launch email, as they have already been exposed to the new branding.

On the day of launch we did the following:

  • Updated the in-app pop up to reassure users that nothing else had changed — all their data is still here
  • Sent users an email that the Seer app had arrived
  • Posted updates on social media
  • Emailed clinicians so they could tell patients the correct app to download.

Explain the change…

People like to know why things are changing. When we have information, we’re less likely to be annoyed that things are different.

Why did we change? For reasons most users aren’t going to read or care about.

… keep it simple

At Seer we believe things should be simple. That’s why we will be renaming our app from Beagle to Seer.

20 words. That’s it.

I know you worked hard on your rebrand. You may have even hired some fancy consultants to come and help you with your brand story and direction. You spent hours looking over every asset to catch all the mentions of the old brand that need to be changed. You made plans and coordinated with multiple departments. Great job.

But your users don’t care.

Save it for the blog (or your portfolio) where someone who really cares can find it.

Yes, even if you make a product for tech or design people. Just tell users what they really need to know in your comms.

Reassure users

Same app. New look. Don’t worry — nothing about the service is changing

Now that users know you’re rebranding, they’re going to want to know what else changes.

Let them know.

Is more changing soon? What else is different? Did you rebrand because of an acquisition or change in operating structure? What will this mean for the rest of the service? Will the cost change? What happens to my data?

For us, nothing was changing other than bringing Beagle in alignment with the rest of our branding, so we made sure to reassure users about this.

TL;DR — how to handle a rebrand

  1. Make sure users are informed but not inundated
  2. Explain the change
  3. But keep it simple
  4. Reassure users.

There are no set in stone rules of how many emails to send, and when to send them. Depending on how frequently your users are in your app you may need to adjust timelines and touch points. If you are a service used infrequently you may need to adjust this. If you’re a large Government agency you might need to put some above and bellow the line campaigns behind the change. Whatever your scenario these 4 principles should help guide your choices.

Seer Blog

Seer makes epilepsy diagnostics and management easy by combining medical expertise with the latest technology to improve healthcare for everyone. Here our engineers and designers share technical insights.

Kayla J Heffernan

Written by

UX Design Lead. PhD’ing @ The University of Melbourne. Advocating for the voice of all users. www.kaylaheffernan.com

Seer Blog

Seer Blog

Seer makes epilepsy diagnostics and management easy by combining medical expertise with the latest technology to improve healthcare for everyone. Here our engineers and designers share technical insights.

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