As networking options are continually increasing for entrepreneurs in online communities, projects that used to be a hassle, requiring meticulous research, no longer have to take business owners away from the actual work they need to focus on.
These days, web design and graphic design appeal are critical for small business owners and large business alike. Traditionally, a company would hire a designer, discuss the needs of the company and the visual aesthetic in mind, and the designer would produce the look of the company and website.
Now, however, the company that commissions the work can be more in the driver’s seat than ever before. Websites like crowdspring.com and 99designs.com offer a new method of getting the job done known as crowdsourcing, outsourcing a job to an undefined group of people rather than a particular contractor or employee.
Utilizing crowdsourcing, business owners can have dozens, if not hundreds, of different offers on the table for their project. Using a contest model in the crowdsourcing route allows businesses to get their logo design, website design, and other design needs (including print projects and multimedia) presented to them form a wide variety of designers.
When hiring a designer, traditionally a company would only have the designer’s portfolio, examples of past work, to look at. Then, the burden lay upon the company to try and visualize their own name and image as the designer would present it.
Crowdsourcing takes out the work of having to imagine what your design might look like when rendered by a designer by showing you how it actually does look since the work is done!
At crowdspring.com, business owners tell the website what exactly they need, what they’re willing to pay, and what their deadline is. Crowdspring.com then publishes your call for designs. The typical design usually garners over 110 offers. The business owner can then give feedback to get the revisions wanted. Lastly, a designer is picked and isn’t paid until you are satisfied. The service is covered by a money back guarantee. 99designs.com operates in a very similar way.
Essentially, crowdsourcing through design contests allows business and website owners to bypass the traditional route of picking a designer and having to stick with the designer or else lose money paid upfront. With crowdsourcing, you know exactly what you’re getting into well before you agree to work with the designer. And, with a money back guarantee, you still don’t have to feel fully committed if the end result doesn’t live up to expectations.
The pricing is different from a traditional designer or design firm as well. Prices on crowdsourcing websites are firm and public, whereas design firms offer pricing that is all over the map. Working with a well-established design firm with a large portfolio is going to be more expensive, of course, than working with a crowdsourcing platform or a startup design firm.
You probably have a good idea as to whether your budget allows for the best in website and logo design or if you need to find a bargain via crowdsourcing.
Workflow also differs. With a traditional design firm, you hire on the firm and they assign the project to the designer who will work best with your needs. With crowdsourcing, you receive sample offers from over a hundred designers (on average), select one, and then begin working one on one with that freelance designer through the crowdsourcing platform.
Crowdsourcing usually provides the best options startup businesses and websites, but is also a great option for more established, bigger budget sites and businesses as well.