Personally I was intrigued by crowdfunding since Kickstarter made it’s way on to the internet. I have spend hours of searching through the website to find interesting ideas or products. Just so I could watch. I really enjoyed watching the promotional videos, since you often could see the entire design process, which interested and motivated me. I wanted to create a project by myself or with friends! Never happened though! I also searched for the most funded projects and tried to figure out why these were so successful. Of course it were badass ideas, but they all shared the same kind of video style (in my opinion). They copied Apple’s style of promoting products in a video, you know the simple white background, some designer sitting on a chair being all intelligent and full of passion, saying phrases like: This is the best product we have ever build, It’s amazing! It just astounds you! And it is done in such a way that it’s very enthusiastic, but still calm and serious (weird combination). This was when I started to lose interest, because they were all doing the same thing. And now we are here, going to talk about it!
So what is useful about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding? Well crowdsourcing can be very useful to all kind of things. Like when the crowd shares knowledge on traffic, usability testing (for example beta game) or decision making in design. So basically crowdsourcing is very useful for things that you can’t or is hard to accomplish by yourself (Or even when you don’t want to do it yourself). Crowdsourcing can also be more affordable or feasible, for small tasks. The most important thing of crowdsourcing I think is the ability to use and focus all the knowledge of the crowd in to one place, because if it’s done correctly it can be very powerful (Wikipedia).
Crowdfunding on the other end can raise awareness about your business and it can be a fast way to raise finance! The investors can also follow your project and help creating more awareness. So I guess you can see the benefits! It is awesome!
Crowdsourcing in design, is when projects are funded for a large group of people to design something. Like the website I talked about earlier. If the designers can work individually on like a logo, crowdsourcing can be a good alternative to a professional. Though when designers have to work on one project as a group online? That’s like to many chefs in the kitchen! It won’t work that well, unless there is some serious organization and planning. There have been successful crowdsourced designs like the Rally Fighter car.
So let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages! The main advantage of crowdsourcing is that it’s more affordable compared to hiring a professional. Second, there are many people who are willing to work for you. So there is easy accessibility to a high number of people. But these advantages also bring disadvantages, like less credible products (compared to professionals), more difficult tasks are riskier, managing a large group of people, people can stop working on the project any time.
If I consider this, I would give one advise: You can use crowdsourcing on the design of simple things, like a poster or a logo or a name. Do this when you’re short on budget. You can get nice and quick results for less money spent! It may even give you an insight on which way to go with your brand’s expression. Don’t use crowdsourcing when designing a car, UNLESS you can prepare and organize in such a way, you can outsmart the disadvantages.
Thanks for reading!