Why Users Hate Redesign

Why Users Hate Redesign

It's easy to think that users hate redesigns because they don't like how the new design looks like. While users can actually have some preferences for the visual design style, the problem lays deeper, in the human psychology. Redesigns are changes and people don't like changes.

The core of design thinking is to only design something that will bring value and fill the gap in consumer needs. Right? Why else would one design something that no one asked for? While that may be true to some extent, there’s also value in designing for the times; meaning redesigning or updating a brand’s art direction to adapt to trends or improving user experience, which fluctuates often.

Let’s try an exercise. Take a few seconds and try and think of Instagram’s old logos. Do you recall them? If not, do you remember what the majority of the reactions were like when Instagram came out with its new logo in 2016? Here’s a refresher:

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This reaction is pretty normal, even with design improvements. It’s been four years since the change from a more analog icon to the round, gradient design it is today. In hindsight, did we really need the redesign? While certain camps will still insist that the old logo was fine and that the change was unnecessary, it’s pretty obvious that it wouldn’t fare well today. Besides simply modernizing the logo, there’s a whole strategy behind the new logo which you can read about here.

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