The worst volume control UI in the world

About “wants”, “cans”, “needs”, and “shoulds”

The originalreddit posthas now hundreds of examples of terrible volume UI, and it keeps growing — a fun exercise/joke, that can strengthen one’s creative muscles and ability to think outside of the box. People have been participating simply for the fun of coming up with the most absurd and weird interactions and interface elements.

But there’s definitely a reflection point about the state our industry here.

I’m sure a lot of people reading this has, at some point in their careers,felt that urge of innovating no matter what. An uncontrollable desire of redesigning something that hasn’t been redesigned for too long. It_has_to be recreated. And it_has_to be innovative. Right?

That’s where the wants, cans, needs, and shoulds story comes in.

  • Everybody
    to innovate. The design industry keeps nudging us to be creative, innovative, and to deliver design solutions that have never been thought of before. Pressure is on us. We are bombarded with messages telling us that, in order to be considered a solid designer, we
    to innovate at any cost.
  • A lot of people
    innovate. I definitely
    redesign the volume control UI. All it takes is a bit of creativity and moderate design skills. Prototyping tools are becoming increasingly accessible, as well as other technologies that allow to bring to fruition whatever idea comes to mind. A few hours in front of Principle or Framer lets you create an extremely refined prototype of the interaction you are envisioning. You can also decide to create an app/site/chatbot to solve that same issue. You
  • No one
    to. Let’s be honest: the volume control design pattern has been around for decades, works pretty well for the majority of users, and is incredibly familiar to a lot of people. You don’t
    to reinvent it.

But then there’s theshould.

ShouldI redesign the volume control UI?

Shouldis interesting because of its subjectiveness. It’s a question that only makes sense to be asked in first person. And you_have_to know about much more than just design to be able to answer it — you have to understand about business, technology, culture, people. Answering theshouldquestion is a skill you only get after many, many years answering questions alike.

We can try to quantify or measure the should, which makes sense some of the time. But part of it is, and will ever be, intuition. How is yours?