When designs battle - We get to pat ourselves on the back
It’s been over one year since we released our latest web design for blindsgalore. In that time we have been copied twice, by competitors in our field, that we know of. Good work John & good work to the team involved with the redesign at blindsgalore.
Design theft happens to the best of us. How you react to a stolen design depends on your situation. Onwired has a good article on what steps you should take if it happens to you. In our case, when direct competitors stole our work, we reacted simply. We turned over the offender to our legal council.
The first time it happened, we were copied by a small player in the industry who makes up only a very small portion of the overall sales of window treatments online. Since they were so small, we assumed they lacked the resources to hire a qualified designer or perhaps they just had a hack designer on-staff that could do no better, c’est la vie.
However when we discovered the most recent offender was the largest competitor in our arena, opinions quickly changed. Yes, I still feel flattered that they could do no better than follow in our footsteps. But I also feel slighted that all our work, all our behind the scenes work, our research, wire-frames, IA, user testing, multiple design iterations are completely ignored and just our final design was copied. There’s no regard for the effort we put into how we arrived at our design. And to think the largest company in our field did this. Surely they could afford talent, surely they could afford user testing, or an agency to help them. Maybe they did pay lots of money for our design, I don’t know. All I know is our work is on their site and nobody on my team has been compensated for it.
And now all I can do is wait to hear back from legal and to see if one day they change the design.
If this happens to you, consider yourself the innovator. The rest are just trying to keep up. Some will adapt fast, others may improve on your work, and some will just be so late to the game all they can do is copy your work - and do it badly.