If you are planning to start a new small business or have a small business that requires some design services, you may be tempted to try out one of the newer crowdsourcing websites. The first time a customer asked for my advice about these sites, I had no idea. As a manager in a larger organization, I have never used these types of services but decided to check them out. I asked my network of contacts and found a handful of individuals that provided their real-world experiences.
Wikipedia defines crowdsourcing as “Crowdsourcing is the act of sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call.”
The site that came up most often was called 99Designs. The concept is simple, you submit a brief, determine how much you are willing to pay for a good design and you let the market bring you fantastic designs at an unbelievable price. At least that is the promise made by the site. Out of the 8 people I spoke to, only 1 had successfully run a project to completion using the site. This one person was satisfied and said designers in his area wanted close to $1000 for similar work (it cost him $300).
The 7 others had a very different perspective. They all said that very few designers actually came forward with design proposals and of the designs they received, nothing looked professional. On a positive note, every one of the 7 was able to contact customer support and quickly get a full refund.
If you have enough time to wait and see then it may be worthwhile to give 99designs a try and see what you get. If you’re not satisfied, you can always ask for a refund. Who knows, you may be able to snag an amazing design for an unbelievable price.
Other crowdsourcing sites you may like to checkout
Crowdsourced Market Intelligence
A site that allows you to crowsource design of a video commercial
Crowdsource the design and manufacture of your product ideas.