When Mobile Apps Get Big Makeovers

If you're like us, you have probably have dozens of apps on your phone. From social media platforms to maps to bank account access, we rely on mobile phones for pretty much everything! As you also know, these apps are changing constantly. Often times these changes are minor: stability tweaks to stop random crashes, or a subtle interface change. But sometimes these changes can be dramatic. We wanted to focus on a few of these changes from big companies to explore how the mobile experience continues to evolve.

When a business decides to rebrand completely, it can be a difficult change. How can you totally change your identity, but continue to get loyal users to invest in your product? Two of the biggest names in tech-- Airbnb and Foursquare-- have done just that.

Importance of An App Makeover

For Airbnb, the changes were more aesthetic but still part of a larger move to expand their mission statement. With a new logo, and a new mobile website, they've sought to clean up a previously cluttered app and make the user experience smoother. Some of the biggest changes include a new color scheme, more rounded lines, larger photos, and easier drop down navigation to filter out results.

As far as we're concerned, the changes amount to a much better user experience. The it's easier to find properties, the listing photos allow us to explore spaces more clearly, and most importantly, as users we have a sense that Airbnb is continuing to evolve and provide new services for its user. Airbnb wants to emphasize itself as a lifestyle product, and the changing design could help serve as a launching point for more community-based events and social gatherings among people who use the app.

taken from: Latin Post

When a Rebrand is Necessary

For Foursquare, the rebrand marked a total change in functionality. A few weeks ago, the company announced that it would split off into two apps, specifically the original Foursquare app and a new app called Swarm, where people would check-in. In the past few weeks, they've closed down check-ins on Foursquare and migrated all user data over to Swarm. Just the other day, they unveiled the redesigned Foursquare app.

The app got both a complete aesthetic makeover and a fundamentally new purpose. Consider it a curated list of places to visit in your city. Upon logging into the new app, you select preferences like "Thai food," "cozy," "good for working," "coffee," etc. and Foursquare pulls up various places to visit within your respective neighborhood. Filters allow you to see if friends have checked into places, how much these places cost, if they're currently open, and if they're offering any specials.

For Foursquare, the move might seem counterintuitive, but their original product felt tired and was being used less. Perhaps Swarm might not be a long-term app in the Foursquare arsenal, and that's fine, but Foursquare now has a product that can compete with Yelp, Google and other great local search engines. There's more value in providing an app that helps people make dining and shopping decisions than simply announcing you're there.

taken from: Mashable


As you can see, huge changes are not necessarily common in the mobile world, but when they happen among major companies, the world takes notice. Sometimes these changes can be aesthetic and reflect a company's desire to expand into other markets. Other times, these changes showcase a total overhaul of the brand, reflecting a desire to offer a new user experience. No matter the case, it's clear the mobile world isn't static!

Feel free to share your comments about changing mobile apps and recent design changes in the comments section below.

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