When Massimo Biolcati, the creator of the most successful chord sheets and improv practice app on the App Store, first approached me about redesigning his app iReal b — originally titled iReal Books in an homage to the famous jazz "Real Books" bootleg chord books — I had my concerns, despite our clearly shared passions. As anyone at Facebook knows, the smallest changes can frustrate large and vocal percentages of users. Ground-up app redesigns often leave room for competitors to pick up users quickly — or at least a sour taste sewing the future possibility. The app already had 4 stars and over 250,000 happy users.
Despite its default iOS interface styles and intensely complicated features — one screen had over 25 buttons — we worked tirelessly to rethink the application from the beginning, exploring many ideas and visual styles, as shown here.
Our goal was simplicity, and when iOS 7 was shown months before our planned ship date, we quickly adjusted our designs to feel "at home" in the new iOS. As we'd already anticipated the cleaner, flatter, and multi-layered world of iOS 7, this turned out to be a matter of simply removing a few textures and tweaking iconography style.
The app debut was a smashing success, and it has since re-launched on Android and OS X desktop. It enjoys 4.5 to 5 star reviews across the board, growing a passionate user base over 150% since the complete suite redesign, rebranding, and new name we executed together.
Here I'll walk you through some of our early wireframes, mockups, and final designs.
Launch Website at iRealPro.com
Check out the Apps on iOS, OS X, and Android App Stores