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Incredibly Inspiring Redesign Projects

You’re Killing Me Zappos

You’re Killing Me Zappos is a great redesign project undertaken by Andrew Wilkinson. The project began after his disgust at their current design:

I’d like to start by saying that I think Zappos is an exceptionally cool company – everything I say from this point on is exclusively in the interest of helping. I understand why you guys are successful. I’ve been floored by stories of your generosity towards your customers, and your company culture sounds wonderful. So, when I heard about the Amazon acquisition, I grinned wide. Then, the other day, I checked out your new website and wanted to stab my eyes out with a sharp object.

As Andrew discusses on his project page he improves several elements of their website in the redesign:

Clear Iconography
Visual Hierarchy
Unified Link Styles
Blurry Images
Who, What, Why?

Redesigning the Boarding Pass

Boarding Pass Fail is a really interesting redesign project undertaken by Tyler Thompson. After he decided he hated plane boarding passes, he decided to redesign one.

“The design of boarding passes makes me want to scratch my eyes out.”

Tyler made the boarding pass design much clearer to understand, as the most important elements are given visual precedence through the use of color and typography. The entire design feels much cleaner and better organized:

Even better – many other designers were inspired by Tyler’s project and submitted their own designs, the best of which he posted on his project page:

Dear American Airlines

Dear American Airlines is an intriguing redesign project undertaken by Dustin Curtis. After contacting American Airlines directly, an ongoing conversation ensued, discussing the problems with AA’s current design, as well as the limitations of a redesign.

How did this happen? If I was running a company with the distinction and history of American Airlines, I would be embarrassed — no ashamed — to have a website with a customer experience as terrible as the one you have now. How does your CEO, Gerard J. Arpey, justify treating customers this way? Why does your board of directors approve of this? Your website is abusive to your customers, it is limiting your revenue possibilities, and it is permanently destroying the brand and image of your company in the mind of every visitor.

Dustin’s redesign is amazing, and is infinitely clearly than AA’s current design. It gives us some hope that great design can ultimately triumph, despite the short-sighted employees of some large corporations.

Facebook Facelift

“The Facebook Facelift is a self initiated project to challenge the form and functionality of Facebook. It’s streamlined, structured and linear interface is more comprehendible, enhancing the user experience and absorbability of content.

The home page features many new benefits: the publisher toolbar enables users to post content from any page within facebook, saving time in navigating needlessly through profiles; the streams’ two-tiered filter (content type & content contributers) also creates a more coherent structure with the core elements retaining their position throughout most of the site; and the live feed displays a constant stream of all content posted in a users network, which expands upon mouse over.”

Chris Spooner

Chris Spooner is a favorite designer of mine, we’ve actually interviewed him a couple of times at PSDFAN.

Our First Interview with Chris Spooner

Our Second Interview with Chris Spooner

Here are a couple of awesome redesign casestudies of his:

Envato Marketplaces Redesign

We Function produced a stunning redesign of Envato’s designer marketplaces. In this casestudy they show earlier drafts for the design, as well as an analysis of their design process:

Zymetis Redesign

Viget Labs posted a fantastic casestudy of their Zymetis redesign. The post includes mood boards and a detailed account of their design process:

NDesign Redesign

Nick La posted an awesome redesign casestudy at his blog, detailing the exact design process behind his NDesign Redesign. He posts sketches, mood boards, as well as screenshots of the semi-developed site:

OutLaw Design Blog

Danny Outlaw gives WeFunction a sneek peek of his (now launched) OutLaw Design Blog redesign. The post features an analysis of the designs best features, as well as great screenshots of his work:

What Makes a Good Redesign?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what is required to make a good redesign. Please feel free to share your own redesigns here for discussion.

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. Mike Smith says:

    This is an awesome post Tom. Definitely inspiring. I’m actually working on a redesign for my portfolio (turning it from a one page design into an actual wordpress powered website with a blog, ect) so this is inspirational for me.

  2. Paulie Voinese says:

    A good redesign happens when no one is shocked by the outcome.

  3. Tom says:

    Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate it.

    Good luck with the redesign Mike, I can’t wait to see it :) .

  4. I love this idea that some designers get so wound up about how badly something was designed that they would spend so much time re-doing it – shows how passionate some people are about good design!

    There are some great impromptu re-designs here, I’m really fond of the people that put the time in to show companies the light on their current website. Or boarding-passes, for that matter.

    My favourite is designbump though; bringing a much more unique approach to the initial problems encountered.

    Great stuff, cheers Tom!

  5. Pam says:

    I think it’s great that people took the time not just to complain, like so many do, but to actually come up with a solution to the problem – which seldom happens! That’s the hard part but it has SO much more impact to actually SHOW how it could be done better – and the results are usually pretty obvious and concrete. I hope some of the companies take the new designs to heart and use some of the features to improve their sites or boarding passes (though I won’t be holding my breath).

  6. Johnson Koh says:

    Nice one Tom! This is a fantastic post. You must have spent lots of time compiling. It is interesting to see how the famous sites look like before I know them.

  7. Tom says:

    Russell: Well put! I love that kind of passion as well. As a designer it’s very easy to notice the bad design around you on a daily basis, and it makes you consider how much nicer the world would be if everything were well designed. I’ve used DesignBump for quite a while now, and I much prefer the redesign.

    Pam: I totally agree. Everyone complains, it’s really inspiring to see people producing great solutions :)

    Johnson: Thanks a lot, I’m glad you enjoyed it. 10Steps is still great as always :)

  8. Mary N. says:

    I love the redesigned boarding passes. I have to check mine multiple times to reread the small print before I get lost in the airport.

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