Archive for May, 2011
Crowdsourcing Web sites are all of the rage right now. Many people say they are a quick and easy way to get design work done at a minimal cost. Should companies use them for design work?
You would imagine that as at the owner of a Seattle-based Web site development firm, I wouldn’t suggest these cheaper options. You would be right, of course. However, I think it is important to know what these sites are good for:
- Quantity: These sites can produce a large amount of material for you to review.
- Speed: They produce this large amount of material in a small amount of time.
- Cost: They do all of the above on a very small budget.
A lot, Fast, and Cheap. What could go wrong? As I mentioned above, we’re biased against these sites as you might think that we compete against them. So rather than take my opinion, you could take Slate.com’s Rob Walker’s opinion. He commissioned a newsletter logo using Crowdspring.com. He paid $350 and got 32 submissions from 22 designers in one week. He consulted design experts and Slate’s own art department for feedback on what was sent. Here’s what he and his experts wrote:
“Nothing remarkable, nothing with charisma or stature or intellect or wit.”
Everything seemed “fine, and clean, and proper, without being right.”
I wouldn’t use CrowdSpring for a more serious design project—but I also wouldn’t have shelled out serious money for this one.
At one point, Walker mentions that a better design would have come from a more lengthy conversation between the client and the designer. I couldn’t agree more – great design comes from the back-and-forth process between the designer or design firm and the client.