Anyone have experience with crowdsourced design services?
99Designs and DesignCrowd are clever design services for small jobs like a book cover, or company logo, biz cards, or website. You give them a design brief and how much you are willing to pay. Then several to many designers submit preliminary designs. You choose the winning design. The more you are willing to pay the more designers will submit.
Has anyone used this or similar service? Would you recommend them?
Design Crowd : http://www.designcrowd.com/?gclid=CJjYsaPehLcCFYN7QgodIxIAmg0
I've used the above and had a positive experience. It sets up a competition for providing good design work. You only pay for what you like, and you can give direction along the entire process.
I know many people think crowdsourcing design work is a great thing, and in some cases, in certain situations and with certain criteria, they can be very valuable for both the entity seeking design services and the design community as a whole.
However, something that should be considered is that, in most cases as a customer, you're really doing yourself a disservice by going the crowdsource design route. There are MANY thoughts on this topic posted all over the web, so I won't try to rehash all of them here. Instead, I'll just provide a few links on the why's and whatfor's, and you can judge for yourself.
I've used 99designs.com for several small projects. My experiences were good and I have no complaints. In particular, their logo store has come in handy for me on a couple projects. Very quick turnaround and inexpensive. I'm not sure I would use crowdsourcing for larger, more serious projects but for quick proof-of-concept or testing-the-water jobs my needs have been met.
I think the key is that once you find a designer you "click" with you should stick with them and build a strong relationship. The problem is finding that designer. I've had many more really bad experiences than good when responding to ads placed by individual designers on FB, CL and others. From the perspective I think crowdsourcing is a good thing. It lets you interact with many designers at once and assuming you find one you really like you can always go out-of-band and build a direct relationship with them once the crowdsourcing project is completed.
JDT, all the problems about crowdsourced design you linked to are problems for the designers. I think these are valid. But in Cool Tools we take the customer point of view. So far I am not hearing many problems for customers.
Anyone else have experience as a customer of crowdsourced design?
I would refer to this as micro tasking rather than crowd sourcing but perhaps that is just semantic. Any really good innovation is always very disruptive which all of your articles certainly go to show. I mainly use www.fiverr.com for the tasks that you mention and find it to be a great resource. I also use www.darengong.com (massive labor force) but you will need Chinese for that one. Worth making the effort though as there are really good providers here starting at just 10 RMB.
JDT, I just read all three articles you suggested (plus the other ones) and from the customer viewpoint, they are all BS. Not one of them even interviews, quotes, and presents the voice or concerns of customers. Each was written by a designer, design executive, or design lawyer. They are all saying the same thing: this competition is bad for you, trust us.
It may be true, but I want to hear from clients, from folks who have actually done it this way. I want to hear from users whether it was good for them or not.
So far what I am hearing is that customers like it. My question right now is: are any of them better than the others?
I have been a designer on Design Crowd for well over 2 years. Quite successful, I think, as I was in the top 300 designer list out of thousands. I've always received very good feedback from clients, even if I hadn't won a contest. Unfortunately, I can only assume DC have problems with their company. They owe me money from a contest I won three weeks ago. I then find an email stating my account has been closed. On the DC Facebook page their are several other designers in the same position, account closed for no reason.
All I can say to other designers on DC or clients with projects on DC is "be very careful of working with this company' Something's going on there that they are not letting on to!!
This is a very late answer but you should check out The Crowder! It is a great online resource that helps people discover companies that offer products, goods, or services powered by people.
They allow people to review different crowdsourcing sites in different categories such as design, content, funding, accommodation, services, and education. It can be hard to tell the merits of one site vs another one and The Crowder really helps with that.
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