3 Ways to Optimize Crowdsourced Design

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Michael Hyatt just laid out 4 reasons why you should consider crowdsourcing your design.  In my experience, it should absolutely be considered. However, it’s not a good idea to actually use this approach unless you deploy the following strategies for optimizing your experience.

While Michael seems to have had a great experience on 99Designs, I have been successful with DesignCrowd.

I’ve crowdsourced design through a number of contests, including:

  • my blog’s logo
  • my blog’s design (a former version)
  • a new venture’s logo
  • a high school sports mascot

What I’ve learned is that the best designs are produced if:

1. You offer competitive compensation.

Yes, this includes the winning prize amount, but also consider using options like a guaranteed award and participation bonuses.

Remember, the best designers don’t need your work. You want to entice them to participate.

2. You nail the brief.

Make sure you spend adequate time describing what you’re looking for.  Allow the designer to get into your mind.  Make sure that you leave enough room for creativity, but don’t be shy about the parameters you’re looking for.

Remember, the best designers want to be creative, but they also want direction so that they are not wasting your time.

3. You engage the designers.

As designs are proposed, make sure that you engage and provide feedback.  There will be certain designs that you know from the start will never cut it, but there will be others that may contain elements that you like.  Provide feedback and encourage the designer to make improvements.  You’ll be surprised by how feedback can motivate a designer to engage further and produce a better design.

Remember, the best designers are motivated to win the contest.  They are hungry for feedback and will refine their designs in order to win.

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