About Uninvited Redesigns - Uninvited Redesigns

Posted on by Brandon Klein

Uninvited redesigns is a way to show the world your design talent and „persuade the people on the importance of design” (Jared Spool). Hey, this is nothing new; 37signals - you know the guys - did quite a few unsolicited redesigns even back in 2001. Why do people do uninvited redesigns? It’s a way to evangelize “the benefits of good design.” (Jared Spool) If a “redesign is full of good ideas, well-executed and persuasively reasoned, the world beats a path to your door.” (Khoi Vinh) And most importantly, it’s fun and a great way to hone our design skills, work with constraints and against a clear benchmark. Of course, unsolicited redesigns are very far from perfect See, the original product is probably the result of many hours of research, iterations, fine-tuning by the original design team. They toiled at it and put their best into it.

Lukas Mathis says that “The original designers probably invested weeks or months into a design. They may have years of experience with the subject matter. At most, I’ll invest a few hours. They know a lot more about the requirements, about the constraints, about how the product is actually being used, about implementation details that could limit what features the design can offer, about the business situation, about results of usability tests, and a ton of other things I simply have no idea about. “ We don’t know about the business or brand requirements, we don’t have access to user research, usage or behavior data. We don’t know much about how the original design was created, what compromises had to be made because there were legacy issues or a lack of money, time, server capacity or whatever. So an unsolicited redesign is never a full solution, just an experiment with one aspect or problem of the original. And that’s how it should be.

Andy Rutledge says that “[my redesigns] are not comprehensive, contextually accurate redesign exercises. If you read the articles, you’ll notice that I always cite the fact that I am using the article to highlight some specific or general design flaws and show an example (not the example) of how to remedy those flaws. “