A word on Unsolicited Redesigns

A few years ago when Tyler Thompson took it upon himself to fix boarding passes in a way that would provide only relevant information to the passenger.  This was the first time I had come across an “unsolicited redesign”, and since then every one I’ve stumbled across has intrigued me more and more.

It’s easy to come complacent with poor, nonfunctional design.  I believe designers have a duty to challenge complacency, and push new boundaries in what can be done with design. This is especially important on the internet, where new technologies make new design possible.

Last week, I stumbled across the subreddit r/unsolicitedredesigns. While the quality and quantity of design work posted there isn’t great, I did find a link to another site, uninvidedredesigns which does have some very neat and though provoking work. I encourage you to check it out!

http://uninvitedredesigns.com

If you’re interested in some other great unsolicted redesigns, take a look at:

Myspace Attempts Revamp

To the internet, Myspace is deader than Internet Explorer 6, AOL, and Blockbuster combined.  And with good reason, the brand Myspace is synonymous with glitter bombed profiles wreaking of animated gifs and hacked together css.  But Myspace has been up to some very interesting stuff lately.  Two years ago they released a new logo, suggesting that just like the teenage girls that once frequented the site, they were beginning to mature.  However, without changes the site structure or functionality, the new logo design didn’t do much to help them win back their respect.

A New Myspace is Born

Myspace has just released a video preview of a “new” Myspace they claim to have built “entirely from scratch.”  While the video only hints at the new sites functionality, just from the preview I can tell you this revamp looks pretty damn cool:

There’s a number of elements that intrigue me.

A Horizontal Layout.

While vertical layouts might lend themselves better for displaying linear content, with a horizontal approach Myspace says it is not afraid to try something entirely unconventional.  I think this new approach will let the content come to life, comparable to the design of the news app Flipboard.

Optimized for Touch.

Everything about this design screams “tablet enabled”.  I think this new site will feel very natural in a world of tablets and touch screens.

Dynamic content.

If you take a moment to consider the layout’s of Facebook and Twitter, you will realize how static the display of information is.  There’s only so much information to be had, and it’s all presented in a linear fashion.  This new Myspace seems to be capitalizing on the success of sites like Pinterest, in letting information be Dynamic.

While only time will tell if this revamp has sticking potential, I personally can’t wait to get my hands on an account, and play around.

Finally

Whois records say this domain was first registered in 2008, my freshman year of high school.  It might have been a lofty goal at that time to create and maintain a blog, but regardless, I’m ashamed of how long it has taken me.  I’ve always questioned whether I have enough noteworthy thoughts, or topics to write about in order to sustain a web log.  And if I do, who would it interest?

It’s impossible to know without diving in.  The current version of this site was first launched in Spring 2011, and it’s taken me until now to incorporate it into WordPress and write this post (a 1-2 weekend project).  Hopefully this gets the ball rolling enough to post on a semi consistent basis.  This blog will probably take the form of a micro-blog: short posts with links & pictures mostly related to design, programming, and being a student.  I will also be sharing personal projects, and proofs-of-concepts.  It’s possible there might be some design or programming assets thrown in too.  You’re welcome to follow along.

The site is not yet perfect.  I’m still working on comments (for now, respond @willhaynes), and relocating the metadata bar, as well as adding search functionality, and an archives page.  However, if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past few years it’s that done is better than perfect.

The fact that you’re reading this, means either this is still the only post, or that I’m doing a good enough job down the road you wanted to see what the first post looks like.  I certainly hope for the latter!