What I learned.
Often times when I see redesigns or "unsolicited redesigns" I see people redesigning the UI or visual design to change it, but never think of the user experience, the use flows, the use cases, the interactions, and ultimately the feel of what they're designing. So for this pattern redesign I didn't keep just one app in mind, I had to make sure it would fit for other apps. That made the challenge both open and constrained. Open, because I could apply this interaction to so many other apps, closed because I was only solving one problem in such a confined space that I didn't have a lot of freedom. This made for what I believe to be a better system design than the current common design styles.
Rethinking a pattern is hard. It's like exploring and mapping uncharted territory and you spend so long out there that it makes a lot of sense to you, but the real question is does it make sense to everyone else? Fortunately all of my tests have yielded almost entirely positive results, but my sample size has been small. I'll update as I test more. But overall, the challenge of redesigning a pattern is fun, challenging in a great way, and liberating. I had a lot of fun on this project.