Unsolicited Redesigns

Dustin Curtis posted a fun little project a while back that redesigned the American Airlines website. Amazingly, he got a response. From the user experience architect at AA.com.

After reading about this, I was persuaded to think more critically about why designs end up the way they do. Design is not just about look and feel, it’s about how everything works. Lately, I’ve found that great web design is about metrics and strategy, then understanding those metrics to refocus the strategy.

Here are some more thoughts on unsolicited redesigns…

Khoi Vinh:

… [T]he argument that the redesign’s author makes is not quite so persuasive, mostly because it makes some rash assumptions, misses some critical realities and, perhaps worst of all, takes a somewhat inflammatory approach in criticizing the many people who work on the original site.

Lukas Mathis:

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.

Design is never as easy as it looks from the outside.