I have a word on the tip of my tongue but I am unsure if it truly exists. Is there a term or concept either in design, architecture, programming, etc. that involves recreating or reinventing the way a person interacts or performs a task presumed to be efficient, simple and easy, however, due to the redesign or reinvention interacting/performing the task has now become more confusing, complex or less efficient?

Basically, "re-inventing the wheel" but in doing so causing more harm for the people using the systems or performing the tasks.

I think I remember seeing something about this topic/concept in an article a while back showing some modern redesigns in architecture for things like doors. But of course, now people are unsure whether to push or pull, etc.

  • Well...there is Schlimmbesserung and Verschlimmbesserung from German, and is sometimes used in English. (meaning "making an improvement for the worse".) Commented May 9, 2019 at 22:08
  • 3
    It's called "improvement" -- with the quotes.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


Overengineering - is the act of Designing a product to be more robust or have more features than necessary for its intended use or for a purpose to be unnecessary complex or inefficient.

  • Not quite what I was looking for, but I will give you the answer since its probably the closest to what I am describing. Thanks!
    – Jared Rice
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 16:53

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