Design challenge – Character Map


Some time ago me and my fellow schoolmate, Hans-Erik, decided to start a weekly design challenge. What it basically means, is that one of us (round robin style) chooses a pre-existing design or visual creation, that we would each redesign the way we see fit.

We started off with week 1 – Character Map. For those, who are not familiar with what this Windows program is for – Character Map lets you pick and see symbols from all the fonts you have installed on your computer. If you need a special symbol (like the ® or ♫) you can simply browse through various fonts and see which symbols they have to offer.


We gave each other a week (duh) during which we did not show each other what we were working on. Not until we were both finished and would not perform any major changes.

My version is, as follows:

Click to see the image full-sized.

Click to see the image full-sized.

What I did, was cleaned things up and make it easier to use. Both visually and functionally. Currently, there are three ways to choose a font – through the drop-down list, the search and the character code search. This was too much for one simple task, so I reduced it down to one simple input field – Search.

While it is redesigned, I did not change it drastically – in some ways I still like the current logic of the Map. I just felt it needed a retouch, bringing it up to date. For an application, that is meant to be simple and should carry out simple tasks – it felt too crowded, hence the choice of going with the white, clean look.