For me, the difference between a good user interface and a bad user interface makes and breaks a product or a service. It’s the difference between a clean, pleasant interface that welcomes you and allows you to easily do what you wish (Todoist and Dropbox come to mind) and an unusable garbage hellhole that sickens you upon sight (think Microsoft Bob from back in the early 90s).
Fortunately for design sticklers like me, the push for better UI across the web is near-ubiquitous, and those developers who can’t quite get a grip on design themselves are enlisting the services of UI designers like Meet Steve Schoeger. He's UI designer, and presenter of a series called “Refactoring UI” on YouTube, where he takes websites submitted by developers and polishes them while explaining some crucial UI design concepts.
It’s remarkably satisfying to watch.
This video, where Schoeger takes the topic page of a submitted website and gives the crowded interface some room to breathe, topped the r/ArtisanVideos subreddit where it was posted on Thursday. One commenter writes “Reading that title I would've bet money I wasn't gonna watch the whole thing. But 14 and a half minutes later here we are.” Another commenter writes “I would pay to see this guy redesign the front page of Reddit”.
This is only the second installment in this series—the first showcased Schoeger improving a submitted site’s checkout page while teaching viewers about making a bland UI more exciting and finding layout inspiration for your interface. The actual designing takes place in Sketch, a popular vector graphics editor and UI design tool—and while this is only the second case study, Schoeger’s eventual ambition is to have a library of case studies from which developers and aspiring designers can learn UI design through "specific tactics and actionable advice."
Luckily even if you aren’t an aspiring UI designer, you’ll enjoy watching the improved, redesigned interfaces fall into place. There’s something about the components of a clunky monstrosity being repurposed and transformed into a beautiful, clean and functional UI that’s just incredibly satisfying. And who knows, you might learn a thing or two in the process.
Motherboard’s documentary series “Dear Future” was nominated for a Webby. We’d love your vote, and it only takes a minute.