Occasionally, Redsgned can feature not only imaginary designs and mockups of existing sites and apps, but also real products. One of those is Das Referenz, a German-based effort that takes the content of Wikipedia, but shapes it into an almost unrecognisable way. From the team themselves:
“Let’s get this straight: UI-wise, Wikipedia teleports its audience into the year 2004. Not surprisingly, there has been vibrant discussion recently as to how Wikipedia could be updated to feel contemporary. We’ve seen a few good (and even more mediocre) design ideas, but many feel like eye candy without substance. On a different note, changing this established platform’s design and selling that to a conservative community is likely to be hard, or even impossible, even if the changes are tiny. Too many stakeholders will always ensure that things never really move forward. Apparently, some people are already fed up with the whole discussion and are begging designers to stop whining. But at Raureif, we don’t think this should be the end of the story.
The good news is that Wikipedia’s license allows anyone to take the great community content and shape it into something completely different. So we figured: instead of joining the crowd of designers who are whining and making sexy Dribbble shots, why not actually build the Wikipedia iOS app we’ve always dreamt of? Why not build a sleek app with Wikipedia’s content, but with a reimagined UI and a typographic treatment that is as thoughtful as the hand-crafted design of 100-year-old encyclopaedias? (Digital encyclopaedias do not have to look like unstyled HTML from the 90s.)
So build it we did, and we called our app Das Referenz.”