Myth #9: Design has to be original
Many designers would rather attempt reinventing the wheel than to adapt conventional user interface design patterns. It should be considered, however, that such design conventions are well-working because they’ve already been introduced and tested for usability. Since the users know them well, you don’t need any explanation or instruction manual. As users appreciate usability over novelties, standard patterns will eventually benefit your audience.
It might occur that a new approach is needed, but you must be 100% positive that your solution is better than the existing pattern.
On the importance of web conventions:
- Steve Krug claims in Don’t make me think that “conventions are your friends” and are essential for users when going from one site to the next.
- In How to create a good enough website Seth Godin advises that “there are more than a billion pages on the web” to get inspiration.
- According to Web Design from Scratch, not forcing originality at any price makes the design process “quicker, easier, and more profitable” and “benefits your user”.
- Carsonified’s Think Vitamin blog points out that “the great design solution you seek is probably already out there”.
Further reading on the concept of originality:
- The Myth of Originality: Why things that many deem original are actually not
- Nina Paley: The Cult of Originality
- Kyle Meyer: Originality in Web Design