There is an online website design competition
Via design competition for the homepage layout - our experience
Looking good is critical to a website - a homepage that looks cluttered and perhaps even unprofessional is usually down before it finishes loading.
But how do you get a good homepage layout?
I asked myself this question together with a friend. Tatiana is currently founding her own handbag fashion label called Lisichka and therefore needs a particularly well-designed website. Without being an expert on women's bags, but these bags are really great!
Since I used to work for an online marketing agency, I am well aware of the classic way to create a design:
- You go to your graphic artist. After you've briefed him, he creates a layout.
- If he doesn't like it, he has to run again and change the design or create it from scratch
If you already have a graphic designer with whom you work well, in most cases something good will come of it. But especially when you start working with a new graphic designer, it is not uncommon for none of the designs to go down well.
Tastes are often very different - then you sit on the graphics costs and have to start all over again. Design competition portals offer an alternative to this.
What is a design contest and how does it work?
You can run a design competition on various portals - the first website of its kind was 99designs.com (English).
With such a competition you can have a whole range of creative work done, such as logo designs, clothing, posters, flyers, advertisements and of course homepage designs.
The final price is made up of the listing fee and the prize money for the winning design. The listing fee for publicly viewable projects is cheaper than for private projects. As long as it is not about really confidential projects, you can easily choose the cheaper option here.
Our project: Design for a homepage with an online shop
You create a briefing for your project, i.e. a description of what you imagine the design to be. It is important to include all of the existing design elements, such as the logo, font, product and other (image) images, in the briefing.
It must also be clear whether only a main page or also sub-pages should be designed. Here is the brief that we created for Lisichka, the handbag label. The competition ran for two weeks, by the way.
After the competition has started, various designers submit their designs. In our case, 41 (!) Designs have come together. Sure, a fashion website is very appealing to a designer's portfolio. In addition, Tatiana has promised a long-term cooperation.
We have advertised as prize money of 250 euros, i.e. the minimum amount for a website layout. It's not that much money, of course, that's very clear. And almost all designers will go away empty-handed, since naturally only one can win. I don't want to go into the moral correctness of such competitions now, as this question is discussed again and again - I realize that this sometimes pushes the prices down a lot.
However, it can be a good opportunity, especially for beginners in the graphic arts world, to gain practical experience and, in the event of a win, have the prospect of a long-term customer.
What is the quality of the website drafts?
We were both very impressed with the quality of the designs. Very few of the designs were really useless. A few graphic designers were a little too inspired by designs that had already been submitted, but overall we are very satisfied.
The willingness to implement changes was almost always there. With the large number of drafts, the client must of course stay on the ball: that means giving ratings (1-5 stars) and commenting on drafts. This is the only way for the graphic designer to know whether he is pursuing the right idea.
Clients who do not rate at all or only very slowly get a bad rating in the form of a smiley that has no longer laughed.
How does the design competition end?
The announcement ends with the selection of a winner. Both parties sign a prefabricated license agreement so that legally everything is in the dust. From this point on, the final details are agreed bilaterally with the designer. This then also receives the prize money.
Our experience with the design competition was very good. We found the interface to be less than ideal. By default, you don't get a new email for every designer comment or layout, which is why you often have to rummage through the drafts to get to your goal.
Submitting a design through a competition is certainly a lot more work than agreeing the design directly with the designer of your choice. However, if you don't have an in-house designer yet, a design competition is a wonderful opportunity to find a suitable professional who exactly matches your own taste.
And this ideally results in long-term cooperation - so it's a fair thing for both sides.
We will be reporting more about the implementation of Tatiana's online shop for handbags in the next few weeks. To do this, we use one of the homepage builders tested here. So, best to become a Facebook fan, subscribe to the RSS feed or email updates to get the latest information.
Related content on the topic of homepage design and online shop:
Create your own online shop step-by-step - introduction
Weblog ABC: Building a website successfully through sophisticated design
100% website builder: We present 12 great sample pages
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