Problem solvers, not beauticians.
What is this seemingly common occurrence where designers are redesigning digital products and services that aren’t in need of it?
A quick glance through Behance will reveal to you the sheer amount of time and effort creatives are spending on redesigning products like
… to name a few.
As a designer I have always felt that I am in the profession of making peoples lives better, be in through unnoticeable seamless experiences all the way up to creating a memorable interaction users couldn’t have fathomed. We are problem solvers, not beauticians.
With this being said I feel a sense of bleakness when I come across these redesigns. This is because Facebook, Google, Spotify, etc … can afford - and have - talented people helping make their product experiences better, so why spend so much precious time trying to redesign a product that already has talented people feverishly working to improve it? [ Feature suggestions, bug spots, and constructive feedback are not what I am talking about here. ]
I have been working for a bank for the past two years, and what drove me to take the position was the dream of being able to create products in a market sector where products - their designs and experiences - have been grievously overlooked. Just open your mobile banking app - albeit some are good (Barclays, NatWest) and others are just weird (HSBC) - but the majority of them are well below par for their customers who are greeted by great products and experiences in almost every other aspect of their day. I wanted to close this disparity and make banking sexy. It has proved more difficult than I expected, I was young and naive when I joined, but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming that it is possible. I now know that it will take a bit longer, but the seeds - of how beneficial design and experiences are - have been planted.
There is more bad design out there than good, and if one is willing to dedicate some free time towards a redesign project, why not work towards bringing some of those bad designs into the realm of the good? And in that process create experiences that can be truly helpful to others? After all is that not what we are meant to do?
Therefore I would like to suggest an alternative:
Find a product / service that is seriously lacking in some good UI/UX and enhance that experience.
I plan on documenting different products (via photos and screenshots) that are in need of some good redesigning, so that - I hope - some creatives who want to help tackle ‘bad design’ can, and have a one stop location for various products out there that are desperate for their help.