We just wrapped up a design contest on 99designs contest to create a banner ad for KickoffLabs. I was floored by the results and learned a few things along the way.
- I’d recommend it even if you have an in-house designer… that person’s time is better spent working on your core product experience.
- Give detailed feedback on the first few designs quickly. It feels like no one wants to go first… but when a brave designer does reward them with quick feedback.
- Make the feedback you give public. The smarter designers seem to read the feedback you leave for the other designers as well and learn from it.
- Make sure your brief uses any specific phrasing and requests you want in the end. The more ambiguous the request the more random the results… and not a great random.
- As soon as you have a design you know you can work with make it a guaranteed reward. The number of revisions and entries you receive will skyrocket.
- Don’t be afraid to eliminate designs AND designers. They tell you not to eliminate designers unless they did something really wrong. But frankly… if you can tell your tastes aren’t going to match… why waste everyone’s time reviewing and refining. I started cutting aggressively.
- If you keep a designer, but cut designs… be sure to explain why that design didn’t make it.
- Use the polling functionality to get your friends opinions during the contest so you have more time to give feedback and focus on a few designs.
- A good designer will offer to make some revisions after you’ve picked them as a winner. Don’t be afraid to collude for that ahead of time.