Originality is overrated.
I might be hated for saying this but hey let's get honest.
In the design thinking world, our aim is to problem solve creatively. We can't slack on efficiency and effectiveness of the solution but we could (and we do) slack on originality.
A problem can be solved in unoriginal ways with great efficiency and effectiveness.
Here are three ways to think about it.
1/ The fast foot forward is imitation. Make the same thing your way. eg: Copy from another market and bring it to yours. It is the other end of originality but it works when you want to solve the exact same problem in the exact same way.
2/ The second best way is to gift wrap. The same old solution but wrapped beautifully. It feels new but it is not. The wrap can be a new interface. It could be a new story. You know it is the same solution but you still like the packaging.
3/ The third best is cocktail. Goodness stole from great sources mixed in right proportions. The solution feels original but it is not. It is just a cocktail that tastes good.
As designers we are expected to be original in every pixel. We don't and we can't. It is impossible. Creativity is just connecting utility in novel ways. It feels original but it is not.
Originality means you create fire, water, earth, space, air from scratch and make awesomeness out of it every single time. The other way to think is: "May be we should invent the universe before making an interface"
This perspective made me more human. I felt less guilty delivering an unoriginal interface but solving great problems. It allowed me to respect the atomicity of pixels and beauty of proportions.
My story telling got authentic. I was able to make others see the same beauty as I see it.
At best that was honesty and not originality.
🥂 to honesty!