There’s a reason designers have a reputation for being fanciful – sometimes we really are. It’s not that we throw caution to the wind and let our imaginations run away, it’s that just like everyone else, we think we see a better way of doing things and don’t realise we might not know everything we need to.
We could have the best solution in the world, yet waste it on trying to solve the wrong problem.
UX Mag published a feature a couple weeks ago with a 5-point checklist on how to avoid doing this in a redesign (not actually in checklist format). I’d even go a step further to suggest Studying History during the design process so we avoid re-treading turf that failed under the same circumstances in previous designs.