Jun 11, 2014
The Pros and Cons of Crowdsourced Website Design
For the past couple of years, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding have been a hit for getting projects done or raising money at a fraction of the cost or effort. I think that’s great! It’s encouraged creativity, inspired communities, and brought some really innovative stuff to market.
That being said, crowdsourced design for websites isn’t always the best idea. Let’s break down some of the pros and cons…
Price vs. Quality
Pro: One perk of crowdsourced website design is the price – websites are generally less expensive than hiring a professional website designer. This is why so many people think that crowdsourcing your website design is a great idea. And it’s true; the cost is less with crowdsourced design.
Con: The con here is in quality. Quite simply, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, the results from a crowdsourced website are typically amateur-level, cheap looking, and commonly don’t convey your company’s brand or message correctly or effectively. That being said, a professional website designer can keep your budget in mind and design on a performance budget. Quality doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg!
Choice vs. Cohesion
Pro: Some of the top crowdsourced design companies have a roster of hundreds of thousands of designers and writers to choose from for your project. They often guarantee that you’ll find a great fit, whatever it may be.
Con: The downside to this is twofold: it’s overwhelming and often results in communication gaps. Think of it this way… From the thousands of designers to choose from, one may be perfect for your logo design project, but when it comes to user experience (UX) or website design, someone else may do much better. The result? Three separate projects with three disconnected interpretations of what your business does and who your business is. If you’re doing more than just a one-off project, or you require any form of branding, a designer with all of the skills and experience necessary to complete a cohesive set of deliverables is the better choice.
Timeliness vs. Authenticity & Creativity
Pro: A crowdsourced website design is often completed quickly and bang! – You’re up and running with a new website. It’s a quick-and-dirty way to get your website done.
Con: The ‘dirty’ part of the equation is with the creativity and/or authenticity. In the interest of time, which is usually very little, designers will often re-purpose graphics they’ve created for previous clients. The results are often cookie-cutter. Or, they will not take the time necessary to understand your business or audience, which is a fundamental part of design. More often then not a company will end up with a site that is lacking a clear voice, is disconnected, and looks cookie-cutter. I know, harsh but it happens but hey don’t get me wrong; with great communication and all of the pieces in place, an experienced website designer can produce a great website.
Crowdsourcing can be a good option for short, task-oriented projects. Anything beyond that may be a risk. In the end design is about communication. If a designer knows little about your business, the culture or your audience chances are you’re not going to make a strong connection with your customers. Oh, and you get what you pay for!
If you’re looking for comprehensive logo, website or mobile design give us a shout!