4 minute read

Dude, I redesigned Facebook!

I’ve never been overly keen on unsolicited redesigns — you know, when a designer or agency takes a popular website and shows you how it should have been done. Especially common as student projects, tools to fill out a portfolio or simply agency self promotion, I’ve rarely seen anything more than eye candy. Of course it’s not all bad.

The good stuff

Even objectively bad redesigns may have the following positive outcomes:

The not so good stuff

My advice on redesigning stuff

  1. Don’t necessarily start with an existing website or feel the need to work on something just because everyone else is. Find a real world problem (product or issue) that currently needs our work. Propose how design thinking could add real value.

  2. Don’t be afraid to show sketches or wire frames. The design decisions made at this stage hold more value than surface decoration.

  3. Make sure you clearly describe what your design attempts to improve upon. Why does this service or product need redesigning, who will benefit and what goal will it help achieve.

  4. Design with real data. Avoid stock photography and ‘lorum ipsum’ because, you know, they never appear in a live site. Oh Ned!

  5. If you have the time, create a working prototype. Demonstrate how something behaves in the browser rather than just making a picture of it. And don’t be afraid to focus on small details. Show how a tiny change could improve a service or product drastically.

  6. Be aware of the self promotional nature of what you’re doing. Especially in regard to how you present your ideas and opinions. There have been a number of popular redesigns of late that have done more damage to a designers reputation because they were misunderstood.

  7. Finally, remember to do justice to our profession. It might be tempting to create eye candy but take the time to focus on what makes design valuable. Present yourself as a ‘designer’ that your peers will be proud of.

Ok, over to you. Go redesign something!

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