Welcome to Improved

January 12th 20162 min read

Improved is a place where I can iterate on random ideas that go through my head, unified by the following principles.

  • the improvement should make the overall interaction faster and/or easier
  • the improvement should empower users
  • the improvement should not take away functionality
  • the improvement’s UI and interaction pattern should feel as aligned with the existing system as possible
  • the improvement should be executable in a real world scenario

If you want to read a bit more, here’s the short story of how Improved came into existence.

My name is Darin, I’m a product designer and founder at the small design shop The Crazy Ones. I wrote the first lines of Improved’s code sometime in April 2015, wanting to set up a place where I can publicly share some of my product improvement ideas and possibly publish other designers’ work too. Unfortunately, I shattered my patella, followed by a busy quarter at work. I had almost forgotten about Improved, but the last project I worked on reminded me about it.

During the last quarter of 2015, we worked on a complete rethinking and redesign of a large-scale language testing platform used in corporate and military environments. When the last sprint ended, I didn’t feel like sharing anything on Dribbble, even though the NDA did allow that. The most important part of my work was a vast amount of small improvements, most of which could hardly be classified as visual. Through the years, I’ve began shifting more of my focus towards product thinking and functionality, even though I could still work on typography and color for hours on end.

For a few years, I’ve been compiling an Evernote notebook with dozens of improvement ideas. Scrolling through it when staying at my folks’ place for Christmas gave me the urge to start the project as soon as possible. So, here it is.

Younger me would say the driving force behind coming back to Improved is the rise of daily UI challenges. I have to admit, I’m not their biggest fan. All those articles on the Dribbblisation of design? I mostly agree with them. At the same time, why be so negative? Design is awesome and everyone has the right to practice and publicize it in all ways they find suitable.

One more thing...

Have an awesome idea about how this could work better? Don't keep it to yourself, send me a quick email or DM me on Twitter. I’ll feature it as an update on this page with full credit.