New look for 99designs!

April 3, 2008

The new site is alive! Some things to look out for:

  • Conversation between Contest Holders and Designers is now per-designer, not per entry.
  • My Shortlist has been replaced by My Watchlist, under My Contests in My Account
  • My Contests now lives under My Account
  • Improved documentation and help
  • Neat looking designer/contest pages
  • Recent events under My Account
  • Improved search
  • AJAX goodness

The new site is running off new different technical infrastructure too, which will ironically result in things being much faster once everything has warmed up. In the meantime, bear with a little bit of slowness, things will level out within the hour.

Let us know what you think!

P.S. If you need a contest extension due to the downtime, please contact support via contact@99designs.com and include your username and contest url.

171 Responses to “New look for 99designs!”

  1. BombardierBob Says:

    Well you need to place the watch list on the top like the old as this going to my account and the hoops is to much and not really user friendly. Also the removal of the removed content in contest had feedback on changes that were to be made and now how do the designers know what is needed. Also where is the categories to find contests? Filters are a waist of time when you had the categories up before that was easier then this. Sorry but this new site is not friendly enough and very confusing to say the least. If I am confused I am sure the hosts are as well. Not everyone reads blogs btw, to see what is all the changes are and where to go! Sure this will hurt the contests as this will put off hosts not knowing where to go if they don’t look at this Blog.

    ~Bob


  2. Thanks for the feedback Bob, we will certainly be taking on feedback and tweaking and revising things over the next couple of weeks. Glad you like it!


  3. Believe it or not Bob we saw your post already on this. We’ll take your suggestions into consideration as always.

  4. Nadia P Says:

    It’s fun going through the site :-)
    I like the new bright look.

    Couple of quick observation points:

    1. Much prefer to have breadcrumb naviation as per old site for the categories. The filtering is OK, but for ease of use, having links at the top would be more user friendly.

    2. As for the feedback per designer change – not sure about that one, will have to get used to that, but I do think that feedback per entry is still the way to go.

    3. When you first look at a contest and see the designs, you really have no way of knowing whether there has actually been any feedback given, yes, you can see if a star rating has been given, but lots of CH still don’t rate that way, they just give feedback. Looks like we may have to rely on email notification if there is any feedback come through for an entry….

    Just some initial comments, but I guess we all have to learn how to navigate around the site as it is *so* different to the old, but that can only be a good thing in the long run :-)

    Thanks for all the hard work you guys !!

  5. zooley Says:

    Great look, i like it very much. I think it is more confortable for me…

  6. BombardierBob Says:

    It is not bad appearance wise but it is missing stuff that is needed. Like find a contest, it shows titles and other stuff but it doesn’t say if it is a Logo, Web Page or what ever else the contest is unless the host says in their title what it is for. Needs a column for category so we know what the contest is with out having to use a filter. Remember User Friendly means any age can read and understand how it works and has no trouble understanding what they are looking at is user friendly. I just showed my partner/wife and she is Czech and she said what is this I don’t even know where to start to look at and where is the contests you are in. She is 35 and if she is also lost like me that says something. Her Comment is this; The site is pretty and awfully very busy and lacks any focus or central point. This is awful now cause how am I to know what I am looking at when there is no map or direction to follow.
    She is very vocal and she is stunned on the drastic changes that you set in place. I myself am lost as there is no way I can see any feedback on work I did that the host removed to save space for new entries.

  7. Eze Says:

    Why cant i create a normal prize amount? The minimum prize amount is $1500 and for some odd reason and i can’t change it!!???

  8. Paul Annesley Says:

    Eze: that’s certainly odd – we’re looking into it.

  9. BombardierBob Says:

    Maybe a suggestion to think of is giving the people the choice to have the classic layout as what was before this and the new so the older designers like me are not lost and finding this a mess as well as being blinded by the overly white layout scheme.

    Missing in the watch list is the removal button.

    Go back to individual comments per entry as I post several different designs and will not have a clue what the host likes or not or what he/she is saying if I don’t know what entry he/she is talking about. With the individual entry the host is addressing that one piece and makes it easier for the designer to follow with a better hands on approach then what you have now.

    Just food to truly be thought on for all of us here.

    ~Bob

  10. Nadia P Says:

    Actually, after navigating around a little, I don’t find the ‘filter’ section with the dropdown list of the various categories, just need to get used to moving the mouse over to the right side of the screen :-)

    What I’d like to see in the main listing after clicking on “Find a Contest” is another column with the CHs’ name. I often times just do a quick search for a CH name on the main listing to see if I’m interested in their contest…. new way now we have to go through hoops and have to go directly to the contest to find out any info we need.

    PS: after looking at the feedback on entries, and after my initial comment about trying to keep track of comments, I like how you’ve implemented the Design Number feature, so that at least we know what comment belongs to what entry :-)

  11. Nadia P Says:

    LOL – I like that minimum amount bug :-)

  12. Nadia P Says:

    Bob, I’d suggest giving it some time to get used to it. I’ve been around the site a bit now and yes, it certainly is different to what we’re used to, so it will take time to get used to it :-)

    I complained of a couple of things on seeing the beta, but now that I have more time to visit the site, those things don’t affect me so much now :-)

    At this point I guess we should be looking for bugs before asking for changes (and I’m already guilty of that), once everything is working as it should be, then we can ask for functionality changes… just a thought…

  13. BombardierBob Says:

    Ok I have an issue under briefings I see a redundant “”
    so what is up with that and is there a font you set that is making this “” appear? I run on a Mac OSX via Firefox.

    Also on the comments the Host name appears overlap the comments and makes it hard to read what is said.

    ~Bob

  14. snugbrimm Says:

    yeah i definitely prefer the previous set up over this new one. I really don’t like how the shortlist is not easily accesible regardless of what page you’re viewing like the old one was. it’s good that the search was improved because that didn’t work very well on the old one. Filters are a bad bad idea, the old interface with the categories clearly posted was much easier, user-friendly and compatible. One of the things i loved the very most about sitepoint and 99 designs was the plain easy to use, easy to read, clear, legible, google-style layout. I don’t like the big huge area on the front page dedicated to popular designs? that’s completely useless you know? thats completely opposite of the previous clear, concise, open layout. I don’t like how you have to specify image size on every entry just to see it clear as that was not a problem with the previous design. I don’t like how the main page is just post a contest and find a contest all big then popular contests and popular designs all big and thats it? Everything that you needed to easily navigate and maneuver around the site was right in front of you on the main page before and there was none of this unnecessary popular nonsense. It took me a second to even find out where to log in and that was prominent and easy to find on the previous design. there is no longer a remember me feature which makes it so i have to type in my info everytime, which i didn’t have to do before. I just don’t understand why before all the contests were listed on the main page and you could just instantly start freely navigating contests. now you unneccessaily have to click find contests just as an extra inconvenient step. The (filtered) categories don’t tell you how many contests are in each category anymore. There isn’t a submit comment button for the discussion board at the bottom of contests. I liked how there used to be a section (on the main page) of contests that were ending soon. ha my shortlist is now several seperate pages; i really liked being able to just quickly skim through the entire thing and look for the times that were in the red really quickly. You could also differentiate contests with different statuses easily on the shortlist before too because depending on the contests staus it would have a different shading and i see now that i apparently took that for granted. the entries that were removed from consideration before the big switch are now completely removed? how are we supposed to retrieve the feedback we got for those??? Even if i know what “page” in my watchlist that a contest i’m looking for is on, i have to hit next, wait for it to load, next, wait for it to load, next, etc. etc. Sorry, but i am very unimpressed and quite turned-off by this design. I WAS IN LOVE with the previous design. I want to murder this new design. Please reconsider what you guys have done here, i know a lot of great designers worked really hard to finish this project but it is highly unsatisfying.

    -snugbrimm

  15. snugbrimm Says:

    sorry if my comment sounds harsh but it’s really a very detailed description of a lot of things i came across right away when reviewing the new set up. I really like what bombardier bob said about giving people a choice as whether they want to work with the original layout or this new one. You could have that at the top next to the login.u could just have it read: original layout|new layout or something like that you know. Sorry if i sound harsh but i promise i’m just trying to help.

  16. Leodes Says:

    Showing only cropped thumbnails of each design on a contest page is certainly not very helpful. I much rather liked it the way it was before, showing an uncropped thumbnail. Hope the other designer are with me here. It’s not only pointless, it even may encourage designers to put eye catching elements in the spot that’s not gonna be cropped. So basically that will force designers to put the “hotspot” of a page always in the same place. That’s an idea I don’t like very much.


  17. Snugbrimm and Bob, all I can ask is that you give it a bit of a chance, spend a few days with it and work with us to identify the little things that need fixing.

    We have just deployed a new version that has “My Contests” at the top of the page, and we have shuffled the Watched Contests to the top of that page.


  18. Everytime we launch something new at least a handful of people ask us to provide an option to switch back to the old layout. It aint going to happen – we’re moving forward. We will however work through your usability suggestions, some of them are spot on!

  19. snugbrimm Says:

    dang you guys are fast! Very good team you guys got. much better with the my contests link at the top right, thats definitely better

  20. snugbrimm Says:

    cool i respect that. I’m glad i could help that was my goal. for the better of you guys and the better of us designers

  21. BombardierBob Says:

    I will give it time but wold like to see a column on find contest that says what each are. (ie. Logo, Web Page, ect.) Good to see some changes. Hopefully you will set up the categories to make it truly user friendly and not rely on filters. Or suggestion to have on the right
    links to each section beneath the filters options this way if you click Logos it takes you to the Logo Listings
    Page. ~Bob


  22. Also, the contest holder’s name is now displayed in the main contest table so you can quickly click to check their profile.

    http://99designs.com/contests/

    We expect designers to bookmark that URL. The front page of the site is mainly for contest holders – so they’re not overwhelmed when they first visit the site.


  23. Bob: Yup, that is a good suggestion, we have some vertical real-estate there to work with.

    Leodes: We are trying to move most contest holder / designer interactions to the page listing a designers designs, so the zoomed thumbnails are just to catch the eye, we are hoping feedback and interaction will occur in the page with the non-zoomed thumbs. This is certainly something we could look at changing depending on feedback, give it a couple of days.

    We also added the contest holder name into that table btw.

  24. BombardierBob Says:

    Issue: When looking at my contests I see ended to a lot of contests and know that several are actually ether won, withdrawn, or in some cases which is a lot are abandoned. I hope to see this changed to reflect the true status of the contest besides “ended”.

    Just trying to be of help when all I want is something I can work with and not lose time with contests jumping through hoops and hurdles to get there. The changes are very helpful and very much needed.

    ~Bob

  25. Nadia P Says:

    Mark, thanks for that extra column :-) The main contests page is looking much better.

    As you say, the contests page will be the home page for me (and other designs I’m sure), so any improvements on that page are more than welcome.

    Thanks!

  26. Nadia P Says:

    Bug?

    Some contests are not showing entries eg:
    http://99designs.com/contests/6131

    “image unavailable’.

  27. Nadia P Says:

    What may work in that filter box – when you select your category, instead of having to push the ‘filter button’, why not have the category link selected take you directly to that page – would that work?

  28. Nadia P Says:

    Sorry for being so ‘noisy’ :-), but is the page for prize money allocation for each category still around – or is it being ‘improved’ :-)


  29. Nadia, we have on our todo list a “price calculator” that will be used by contest holders to get an idea of how much prize money to offer and what are the minimums. Is that what you meant?

  30. snugbrimm Says:

    you guys really are great, you’ve already improved so much! i was thinking instead of even having to click the filter drop down box why don’t you guys just have that area look like this(ex.):
    Web Page Design (Coded) (50)
    Web Page Design (75)
    Logo Design (99)
    etc. (60)
    etc. (55)
    etc. (25)

    you know what i’m saying? just get rid of the drop down box, it just seems like one more unneccessary step to take that could be avoided by just having the categories already clearly visible. and i’d say try and put the number of contests next to each category like i did in my example. you could even just put the numbers that are in parenthesis in my example in a different color like dark purple or something but just so people can know

  31. designabot Says:

    hi guys,

    great job so far!
    i do agree with Leodes comment. The size and sharpness of all the entries look great but I don’t think there needs to be zoomed thumbnails. Its almost too much in your face.

    I think seeing the full size thumbnail is more intriguing and makes you want to click and see more….

  32. snugbrimm Says:

    i didn’t see leodes last post on here earlier. I’m totally with you on that one. It has a very bad effect on your entries because with one of mine i entered and it was in this layout:
    ____
    |Logo| logo text
    |____|

    however, my entry looked like this:

    | logo t
    |

    that’s just not gonna work…

  33. BombardierBob Says:

    Bug report: Contest says it is ended yet you can submit a design! http://99designs.com/contests/6085

  34. Martin Says:

    I liked it better before, it was easyer to find what you where looking for.

  35. snugbrimm Says:

    i also think it would be more productive if the thumbails aren’t zoomed in and so huge so that you can have more entries on one page, because as soon as you start getting 200, 250 entry contests, thats like how many pages of entries you’re going to have too which can become a nightmare for contest holders and designers

  36. Dezignmaster8 Says:

    How do we know the payment method for each contest?Theres no payment method in the design brief.

  37. Jay Says:

    Hi guys,

    congrats to the new look. It’s an improvement over the old site and I’m sure you will iron out the usability stuff mentioned above.

    Just one question: What happened to the RSS feeds for the individual contests? I can’t subscribe to the comments and/or entries for a contest anymore. Is that an intended behaviour? I would miss this feature very much.

    Anyway, great work so far…

  38. Nadia P Says:

    @Lachlan – There used to be a page we could refer CHs to if we believed that the prize on offer didn’t meet the minimum requirement – it was part of the guidelines… doesn’t look like it made the cut for the new FAQs :-)

    The ‘calculator’ sounds interesting….

  39. snugbrimm Says:

    the discussion boards at the bottom of contests don’t have submit buttons still…just fyi


  40. I agree about the thumbnail zoom. I dislike it. In a lot of cases it presents an unattractive view and a misinterperation of the artwork.

  41. snugbrimm Says:

    another fyi- check out http://99designs.com/contests/6218
    you’ll see that it says “contest accepting entries: 3 hours and 20 minutes AGO?” and then it says that there’s 92 entries at the top of the page but when you scroll down to the bottom of the entries it says 31 entries?

  42. snugbrimm Says:

    definitely agree with josh, that’s a must-fix. it’s just more logical and makes sense

  43. BombardierBob Says:

    Ok looks like contest holders can run name contests as it is not in the guidelines. Also as what Nadia said about no Min limits posted there.

  44. BombardierBob Says:

    @Snug there are 92 entries on that contest but all that is left are 31 the others have been eliminated.

    ~Bob

  45. BombardierBob Says:

    Please allow us to see the eliminated designs as we can’t access the feedback on them if that is the only design submitted. ~Bob

  46. Shannon Says:

    I agree with everything Nadia P said, I have the same thoughts. The new design just seems confusing and a bit hard to use, but I guess getting used to it takes a while. Hopefully you can work the bugs out soon.

  47. snugbrimm Says:

    @bob ok. that’s what i was thinking yeah i just didn’t know for sure

  48. Manisha Says:

    Where are the ‘payment options’?

  49. Nora Says:

    I agree. I think this design is simply awful. The previous website was a pleasure to use. It was simple, easy to navigate and i enjoyed using it. This site annoys me. The big bright colours make it look tacky Whats up with the big text and big buttons too? Its ironic really as this site has some great designers on it but the site itself seemed to have been created by a poor designer

  50. Manisha Says:

    Please try to make the text of the contest description either bold or dark…the thin and light coloured text is slightly difficult to read.

  51. Chris Says:

    Yes, where are the payment options? someone just posted that questions to my content and I went to investigate whether I had in fact ticked the box. Saved the details again and it changed my prize from $100 to $500, which I obviously didn’t want to do???

  52. Perlico Says:

    Hi

    Firstly, not a fan at all of this new site. Its definitely a step backwards. Secondly i have a context and i had links in the spec but now they arent links. They just blend in with the text.

    Also did you remove the “Do not show in search engine” option from the contests

  53. gandecruz Says:

    it’s take too long time to loading contest thread.. it seems that every entries have to downloaded first in actual size.. preferred the old 99designs which is only thumbnails that have been resized. Thank you

  54. BombardierBob Says:

    I agree with gandecruz there is lag caused by the download of each design at actual size. The more entries the longer it takes to load the page. Even with broadband the lag is pretty bad.

  55. Elijah Says:

    i think the brief would be great if its in the main contest page, in a compact size, that way we dont have to go to another page & back.

    the thumbnails would be better if smaller like before with a larger one popping when mouse pointer is on top like before, it was cool then. now it doesnt fit the thumbnail box.

    in my contest entered, there’s no indication if it’s won already, just ‘ended’.

    great work guys!

  56. Nadia P Says:

    I have to agree with the opinon of the thumbs. I don’t mind how they show up but would love to have the ‘lightbox’ effect back again so that we can see the image on mouseover, instead of having to click to see the larger images.

    It just takes too long to go through the procedure, click/click/click instead of a quick mouseover and then move on…… particularly if you have only a few spare minutes and are only logging in to check recent entries/feedback.

  57. Sally Says:

    Please tone it down with the red.. Its too distracting and hard on the eyes..


  58. Paul and I will be back in 13 hours, barring any major breakages.

    We are in the process of clearing up the missing entry problem.

  59. Shannon Says:

    “I agree. I think this design is simply awful. The previous website was a pleasure to use. It was simple, easy to navigate and i enjoyed using it. This site annoys me. The big bright colours make it look tacky Whats up with the big text and big buttons too? Its ironic really as this site has some great designers on it but the site itself seemed to have been created by a poor designer”

    Once again, I agree. I think this was a case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

  60. Piedrabuena Says:

    Wow, really different of design we were accostumed, but once we get here a couple days it will probably feel great. Congrats and thanks for improving =)

  61. maloandjelce Says:

    Bring back the old 99designs.
    That is all I can say
    I don’t like this at all
    :(((((

  62. demonhale Says:

    #####################################################
    I didn’t read through all of this, and as I said before it’s a nice new design, and after using it for a while like a kid at christmas day, I feel nauseated, I observed that everything seems to be too large, the preview images for contests are too large and I don’t like the Next page thing a bit, I like the way designs are presented before, small and on one page, clicking to see the bigger version. This one makes me dizzy, and to think I am going to use the site all the time.

    I like the new features like search, one page ch and designer conversation, the main complaint is that everything is really huge in there needs to be a lot of clicking around…
    #################################################3

  63. david m Says:

    The old version was better. Sure, the new site is pretty. But, displaying feedback per-designer makes it confusing to see what is being said about each design… I can’t tell if feedback has been left for a particular design right away and I have to scroll up and down to see which entry a comment belongs to. Designers with several entries and a lot of feedback become extremely busy.

    Also, I liked the enlarging of entries on mouseover in the old site. Now I have to drill all the way in.

    Sorry to say it, but I think this is a HUGE usability step back for you guys. I expected much more from the folks at SitePoint… Hope you can get things together soon.

  64. Blomat Says:

    i prefer the previous design.

  65. Elijah Says:

    and i dont get email notifications for submitted entries, not sure about notifications for entry feedbacks.

  66. mmentis Says:

    Although it may be too early to tell, I do not like the new design. It looks big and distracting (fonts, placeholders, colors). I liked the old look better because a lot seemed to fit into one page, without overloading.

  67. roro Says:

    There’s something wrong with the winning entries, I have 10 winning entries and it says 9. If the contest has been deleted, it ‘s not being count anymore!

  68. roro Says:

    There’s something wrong with the winning entries, I have 10 winning entries and it says 9. If the contest has been deleted, it ‘s not being count anymore!
    As for the new 99, it’s nice, I just think designers have to get used to it but the feedback needs definitely to be shown again next to the rating.

  69. woosh Says:

    My eyes hurt from all the clicking and page viewing I have to go through just to read or view simple things.

    The thumbnails for the design submissions are poorly done and do not justify anyone’s work. The previous version with lightbox was much better, I have to agree with Nadia on this one.

    There are some great features but the design of the site is far too large and from a designers point of view alot of us probably spend a large amount of time on the site, after an hour of surfing and clicking through it all my eyes really do hurt.

    Some of the new features are great but one major thing that bugs me the most is the extra amount of page clicking we are having to do than before with the previous navigation.

    Anyway that’s my thoughts.

  70. Michael Duffy Says:

    Hmm, seems that the star rating is broken for me at the moment on both Safari and Firefox on the mac…

  71. mmentis Says:

    Suggestion for future upgrades. When you click into a contest it would be better to go first to the Contest Brief page that shows the complete contest details and not the submitted entries. The reason is twofold, first, you get to read all about the specific contest you’re interested in with one click less. Second, some designers may not want to have to view the previous submitted entries before they come up with their own ideas and concepts. (I am one of them)

  72. KDCO Says:

    It appears that the AJAX is not working on Safari. I cannot rate my contest entries. I give stars, go back – stars not there.

    Also, I agree with prior posts. Many times a designer provdides 5 designs, each VERY different. I like to be able to easily comment on each one separately. I’d like to be able to justify my comments, and give encouragement when progress is being made.

    Finally, moving from design to design is hard. ONLY by designer? Confusing.

    I would like to be able to have the detail page of designs congruent with the sort method.

  73. Kelvin Says:

    Really not a fan of the new layout. There’s no need for the site to be this confusing and complicated. The old layout was fine and worked well and as they say;

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  74. Kelvin Says:

    Also, has the hover preview been removed or is it just not working anymore for me?

  75. EmLiam Says:

    After going through the new site, I really miss the old site!

  76. Nadia P Says:

    Hey guys,

    I’m having a problem with the wording of the following statement that needs to be ticked before submitting an entry:

    ” I own the copyright for the work I am submitting, including any stock images”

    Yes, I own the copyright to my own work, but most entries would also include watermarked stock images which do not belong to me/CH until they have been purchased.. ??


  77. Kelvin: The thing about “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is that if everyone stuck to that adage then very little progress would be made. As is shown by the vast range of reactions to the new site, to some people it WAS broken. Myself included. As a contest holder the old process was extremely painful, and whilst the new site might need some tweaking around the edges, the improvements to how designers and contest holders interact is huge!

    The unfortunate reality about doing anything for a large enough audience is some people will hate it and some will love it. The important thing is to get some good feedback about what you like and what you don’t, probably after using it for a day or two rather than right away.

    The design is certainly modern, we have avoided the whole vanilla-flavoured web 2.0 vibe, because frankly, it’s boring. We wanted something edgy, I think we’ve got it :)

  78. JapE Says:

    “Hmmm” is what I thought when I looked at the new 99designs. I was extremely fond of the other design, for a few simple reasons. However, you lot deserve a chance of making this into a success.

    I’ll seperate my comments to good points and “points to improve”.

    Good points:

    – One conversation between CH and designer. This is great, because sometimes you want to read through all of the feedback and now you don’t have to switch entries all the time.

    – All the designer’s entries next to each other on the entry page.

    – AJAX Goodness. This does improve the browsing experience. I browse vividly when I’m looking for new contests or running through entries of existing ones.

    Points for improvement:

    – The colour red is, though not even used that much, a little over the top. I’d like to see the easy blues back from the old design in the contest listing and entry pages. The blue is just easier on the eyes and leaves more attention for the designs. (Keep using the red for accentuation though!)

    – Maybe you could make a list with checkboxes in stead of the drop-down for the filters. This way a designer can check multiple (favorite) categories simultaneously.

    – Imo, showing the whole design on an entry thumbnail was better, because your first judgment of a design comes from that first thumbnail. Either you should change this back or show a preview when you hover over the thumb, like it used to.

    Good luck on all the improvements and debugging! I’ll be watching!

  79. ameet Says:

    hi
    i dont know if anybody else also suggested it or not, but i guess it would be easier to access all the entries (in both – my contests and my shortlists section) if we have a scroller, rather than the pages (and the page numbers…
    also, would be great to have a particular resolution (say 92 dpi) set for the uploading of the logos, so that a standard size/ view is maintained while viewing/ reweing the entries….
    Keep Rocking as always!!
    cheers

  80. evoke Says:

    Maybe this new site looks good but it not well-arranged and well-structured at all

  81. Pamela Says:

    Maybe I’m overlooking this, but when you are viewing a contest, is there a link somewhere that will bring you back to a category?

    The new look is nice… just will take some getting used to like anything else. :)

  82. Paul Annesley Says:

    JapE: thanks very much for the thoughtful and coherent feedback on the new design. Stay tuned for updates.


  83. Thanks JapE, that’s a great summary of the issues currently. We will no doubt address a good number of them over the next few days.

  84. david m Says:

    “The thing about “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is that if everyone stuck to that adage then very little progress would be made.”

    In response to that, there was plenty of progress that would have made the previous site better and made everyone’s job easier. This is a tremendous regression in usability. And it’s better to leave something as-is than to regress.

    I also don’t think the design itself is “edgy” at all. I think it’s actually quite plain and on par with many other web 2.0 apps/sites.

    I’m sure you guys will be getting to work on improvements, though. We’ll suffer through it while you do.

  85. entz Says:

    Hi Guys,

    The new site looks great. I didn’t read the whole blog, but here’s some of my views so far.

    BUT i think it’s not user friendly and i feel a bit cluttered when viewing the contest pages. The images are too in your face. The old way of displaying the visuals was much better.

    And the way all the feedbacks are compiled for each designer is quite confusing. Again the old way of each entry it’s own feedback section was much better i find.

    The “my contests” section is not right i feel. My watchlist should be on top and i shouldn’t be broken into pages. One big list is better as it’s a time waster to click and go to the next page. And i didn’t find a button to click to remove any contest from my watchlist which i think is useful here.

    And i think there’s a bug for the contests that have ended. It just says ended.. some should be won, withdrawn, etc.. i bet you guys are already on this.

    Now i just need to get use to this new site :)

    Great job so far guys!

  86. Paul Annesley Says:

    Some bug-fix updates:

    Dezignmaster8: Conteset Brief now shows payment methods.
    Eze, Chris: Edit Contest screen no longer increases prize amount randomly (ouch).
    BombardierBob: Designers can no longer enter ended contests.

    Now for some sleep :)

  87. Nadia P Says:

    Quesstion:
    Under: My Account>Recent Events is the first thing you see…. what exactly would we be seeing here?

  88. JapE Says:

    I had a thought about the CH-Designer conversation. I think you could improve this by still listing all feedback on one page, but make subsections out of different designs and keeping slightly smaller thumbnails at the top that link to the sub-sections. Graphically something like this:

    Links: -thumb/entry#1- -thumb/entry#2- -thumb/entry#3-

    Entry#1
    ——- + Feedback
    -ntry1- + Feedback
    -image- + Reply
    ——- + Feedback
    + … etc.

    ——- + Feedback
    -ntry2- + Feedback
    -image- + Reply
    ——- + Feedback
    + … etc.

    ——- + Feedback
    -ntry3- + Feedback
    -image- + Reply
    ——- + Feedback
    + … etc.

  89. JapE Says:

    ^^^ The font messed it up… hope you get what i meant!

  90. Emily Says:

    This rocks, guys. You did a great job!
    Thanks for all of your hard work!

  91. knigh Says:

    i love the new design. it’s awesome and really functional (it only need a little time to get used to).

    the only thing i can say against is that it’s extremely heavy to load.

    great job!

  92. Mikey Says:

    Why can’t I see the site?

    Been on a few times and just get “Down For Maintenance”.

  93. vskeerthu Says:

    Hi
    I totally agree with what Bombardierbob says. The new design is a bit confusing. I wish to put forth a few suggestions :
    1. Please tone down the colors – they’re too harsh now.
    2. Need what kind of contest it is (Logo, Webpage, etc) in the main contest page.
    3. It seems that the number of feedbacks for each entry, that was earlier displayed below the entry in the contest page, is now missing. It’s imposible to know if my design has got a feedback or not.
    4. Please have the discussion between the CH and entrant as before. It was clear and gave us the right idea of what the CH thought of a design. The new format makes us to scroll up and down the page. If you wish to continue with the same idea, you can just give the discussion on each entry just below the particular entry, instead of having it all at the same place.
    Hope these comments are taken up for consideration.

  94. ilych Says:

    i do not like the new look. i do not like the cropped thumbnail. i know things will be fixed for the better. more power to 99 designs!

  95. Gab Says:

    When I first signed on to 99 a few week ago, it was very easy to navigate. I figured it out just by looking, that says a lot about the previous design, no thinking required (navigation).

    Design wise, type way to big. Seems like
    designer is trying to navigate thru size. (Bigger type there or bigger picture here, come this way.)
    Someone also mentioned the posting of work. Such big thumbnails, they are correct, we will be going thru hundreds of pages.
    Better to hover over small images. Plus it shows that your image is thought out and can stand up to small size. Thy notice it and hover if they want more.

    Your not kidding, when you say bright. Colors should be a little more sophisticated.
    I am not primarily a web designer, but I thought design was about guiding a customer, viewer without screaming or dragging.

    Finally the categories was great. Filters just a pain.
    again KISS but without insulting the customer.
    It is about getting the message out in a simple and intuitive manner.

  96. mas Says:

    i’m trying to rate some designs, but the system is not saving my selection. I’ve tried several ways, but it’s not remembering what I rated.

    The ratings I set with the old site design are there, it’s just the designs i’m trying to rate with the new site UI.

  97. Manisha Says:

    We are not receiving the email notifications of feedback and new entries.

  98. Kaediem Says:

    There are features I like, I’m not going to talk about them but these are the things that either are missing or not easy to find and a few other don’t likes.

    Can’t find where it states how the ch will pay (since we can’t all accept credit cards or other methods of payment this matters)

    Can’t find where it states the required file formats in the contest description

    Can’t find how to look at the entries that the ch has excluded from consideration or…. not all entries are showing ie http://99designs.com/contests/6223 showing 22 of 40 entries

    No indication of feedback – not all ch’s use rating system.

    How do you subscribe for email updates?

    Lisa

  99. Mrbaseball34 Says:

    Bug: http://99designs.com/contests/6262

    Contest has 4 days and 5 hours TOGO:

    .vs

    Open
    Contest accepting entries, 4 days, 5 hours ago

    Hate not having the image popups and keeping aspect ratio on the images messes up the view.

  100. Mrbaseball34 Says:

    Would it be possible to move the winning entry to be the first shown on ended contests? If the contest has a lot of entries and the winner was one of the first entered, we have to scroll all the way down to view it.

  101. Mrbaseball34 Says:

    Also, could you somehow highlight the logged in designer’s designs by maybe changing the color of the
    box around them?

  102. pegatinas Says:

    Would it be too hard to go back to the old settings? :-)
    You guys did a great job but I feel like I’m in a crowded airport when trying to navigate thru it.

  103. SilverLeafArtist Says:

    From the moment I seen the change I said to myself what the heck is all this clutter and mess. This is not edgy design but a huge step backwards in web design period. Who ever sold you the idea that this junk is edgy needs to go back to art school and learn a thing or two about design. There is no flow or direction to this site now and like most before this is way to busy and lags my computer bad loading the images. Filters should be no visible as much as you have forced everyone to use it. I know since the last SitePoint/99 Design once you post up a new layout the old one is junked. This shows me at that attitude you know nothing on what is trendy or edgy is.

    I found nothing special about this and more to the point I get a head ache looking at it and trying to figure out how to find my own work and contest. Another thing your logo looks like a teen from High School made it and not a pro and with this new site it reflects that both are made by kids and not a pro. Time to go back to school and learn what is user friendly and what is not and this is now the worst site I have ever seen or forced to use to do business with. Your no Bill Gates so stop forcing us to use your bug filled latest bad ideas or worst 99designs of 2008. I will give anything a chance but this case I think you need to pay for my migraine meds cause this site alone gives me one fast.

  104. Popcorned23 Says:

    Certainly not liking the new style. I’d loved the simplicity of selecting a category then going and viewing what work is available.

    You had the formula right the first time, don’t change what’s not broken

  105. demonhale Says:

    ####################################################
    Another thing I missed, There used to be colour codes and text indicators. Like for example when I browse through my contests or shortlist, all finished contests are in gray.

    There is a text color and text reminder at the my contests and shortlist view of “won” and “ended”…

    I think they are essential for easy management on the Designers end…

    And i’m still bugged about the very large thumbnails and pagination of entries… imho the previous gallery area seems to work better…

    Just some suggestions to improve the site…
    ######################################################


  106. A couple more things I have noticed:

    * When you are logged in, it doesnt updated on the homepage. It still ask to ‘Login’ or ‘Register’. I dont know if this is a bug or done on purpose but it would be nice to eliminate that extra click to access my account.

    * This probably just me but, on the homepage I would actually prefer the big buttons to be switched. The ‘Find a contest now’ button I think should be shown above the listed projects. I have probably accidently click on the ‘Launch a contest’ button about 10 times already..lol. It jsut seems slightly more logical, but it could just be me.

    * I used to love about 99designs was the fact that you can view eliminated entries and everyones feedback. Now this isnt the case. I think think this waas very benificial to both the designer and the CH. Being able to notify the “Do’s” & Dont’s” are a huge key to satisfying everybody. Maybe an added filter option to view eliminated entries.

    * Although you can still view the feedback its fustrating not being able to identify who has feedback.

    * Is the “Required Formats” field gone for CH’s? I think that was very useful for the designer to know.

    * When you click on a project, could a ‘Back to Projects’ button be added? I believe the only way to get back to the list of projects is to click on ‘Find a project’ again.

    * Feedback/Designer instead of Feedback/Entry is very confusing. I understand the point of it but it slows down the proccess greatly by having to identify which comment goes with which entry.

    Well theres some more feedback for you. I must say though I am definitely getting used to the flow of the new design and am really startin gto enjoy it. Great job overall guys!!!

    Oh and 1 more thing,
    Are CH’s able to rate right now??? I dont think I have seen any new ratings since the launch of the new design. Maybe I just have bad eye site.

  107. mistik Says:

    Hi,
    Really don’t like the new design.
    Too confusing.
    Regards, Goran.

  108. micko Says:

    it is awful please bring back the old look it was much better

  109. viktor606 Says:

    99designs as a design page should have shown that it knew how to use limited space, to make it look esthetic and to choose nice tones of color, but I can’t see anything from this. Today I think I got a headache from the new badly arranged structure of the site and eye ache from too much red color .My cheek hurt as someone hits me with slaps on the cheek once I look at some entry submitted.

  110. Mikey Says:

    Please go back to the old version.

  111. david m Says:

    I just tried to post a comment on a contest and there is no submit button.

  112. damjan dddesign Says:

    please put back a collumn that categorizes contest in logo design,web page……it was very helpful and i also want to say that i have some sort of bug i dont see stars ratings they appear in first few seconds when i am loading a page but then dissapear. help please any ideas

  113. damjan dddesign Says:

    I think 99designs needs a new logo to go with new look, right guys?

  114. damjan dddesign Says:

    :):):):)

  115. viktor606 Says:

    Damjan shut up the logo is new

  116. scftech Says:

    First, let me say that I am a relative newcomer to this site. There were some things that needed improvement, but there were others that did not.
    Beginning with the positive. I appreciate the changes that you have already incorporated in this update and I hope that you continue to do so. One of those changes that I find helpful is the ability to add a contest to my watch list from both the main page of the contest and from the contest brief – a time saver.
    However, a few things are taking up more time than this saves. To start, I miss knowing what categories contests are listed in. Before, the contest main page listed what category the contest had been listed in, webpage design, logo design, etc…
    Another thing that I miss is the gallery style of before. Now, they are too large which requires more pages and means more clicking and more time wasted.
    Yet another problem that I am finding with the gallery is that the submissions that are not in consideration by the CH have been removed. When the CH does not specify something like color or a particular style, but just removes a submission from consideration along with any feedback that may have accompanied it, then other designers may submit entries that are not relevant. This may be a huge waste of time for both the designers and the CH who is not getting the work done that he/she is looking for. I do not think that you would want to waste the CH’s time and/or money.
    The watch list is another area that needs to revert back to the way it was. It is truly frustrating to have to continue clicking and clicking, clicking, clicking….
    Finally, the comments and entries by designer in one long string down a page is confusing; another waste of time for everyone involved.
    The reason why I continue to mention time is that this is not my main job. I own another business that is totally unrelated to this type of work so I well understand that time is money. Just a few of my thoughts.

  117. Sam Says:

    way too much red. i liked the overall layout and the color better before. i hate to say it, but i like the old one better…

  118. indigooutline Says:

    Congrats for the new look.

    I have a couple of issues here… What’s up with this:

    “I own the copyright for the work I am submitting, INCLUDING ANY STOCK IMAGES”

    I thought that comp images from various Royalty Free Stock Images providers are ok to use. I think it would be absurd to buy photos before client pick the design. Am I wrong?

    What is the “Contests Watched” section? I have the list of my previous entered contests there (from last year) but none of this contests shows up under “Contests Entered”. And my one winning entry and all my PMs are gone. It doesn’t really matter, you don’t have to do anything about it, I’m just curious.

  119. createabit Says:

    After I login, it takes me to the main page. I then have to click login again to see my name and other information. I then have to click again to see my contest. Too many clicks. Why wouldn’t my name and information be on top of the page after login like the previous version?

    Also, with all the light gray, it makes it very difficult to read, and nothing really stands out.

  120. Dark Design Says:

    I have to fully agree that the new Feedback has some serious faults. While, Yes, I think that having a combined feedback area per designer rather than per entry is better, I also have to disagree with the elimination of feedback notification.

    No longer being able to delete old contests & having to click on a design in EVERY contest listed in order to know if revisions are needed, or if the CH even left feedback at all seems to be a bit more time consuming.

    I can see designers entering less contests now due to the backward slide of manageability. This only hurts the CH in the long run, that means the contests that averaged 99 entries will drop to 59 or less. (Just a hunch)

    At any rate, if you were able to add a feedback notification & allow contests to be deleted from the designers list, I think the new layout/functionality would become a well oiled machine. :)

  121. matt Says:

    eh….is this like a beta version? Is there a reason it looks….so bad? Waaayy too much that bland, ugly orange. Overall the entire design is just….boring. Looks amateur at best. Original design was far, far superior. Too bad.

  122. BombardierBob Says:

    “Lachlan Donald Says:
    April 3, 2008 at 11:16 pm
    Kelvin: The thing about “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is that if everyone stuck to that adage then very little progress would be made. As is shown by the vast range of reactions to the new site, to some people it WAS broken. Myself included. As a contest holder the old process was extremely painful, and whilst the new site might need some tweaking around the edges, the improvements to how designers and contest holders interact is huge!
    The unfortunate reality about doing anything for a large enough audience is some people will hate it and some will love it. The important thing is to get some good feedback about what you like and what you don’t, probably after using it for a day or two rather than right away.
    The design is certainly modern, we have avoided the whole vanilla-flavoured web 2.0 vibe, because frankly, it’s boring. We wanted something edgy, I think we’ve got it…”

    Lachlan Donald,

    Every time you get a bur up your but you about the site we see drastic changes which has shown more bugs then Bill Gates Windows and very little true beta testing as these issues should have been caught before launch. You feed us this site like the last and say here it is like it or not and there is no going back cause we trashed the old for the new. This sort of burn the ships as we arrive is getting very old. Just cause you find it looks pretty, this is not at all user friendly and more or less bulky full of clutter and zero flow to it.

    When I look at the contest I want to know what they are for like logos, web, or any other designs not click and guess what it is. Every site that uses filters have them on the side and not in your face if people want to search of a specific topic or thread not like what you cram down our throats. Usable site means a set map and direction to take the user to the intended page they want to go. The last version before this one had a clear and truly defined category layout that gave the user choices. This is new design does not. It functions as Bill Gates designed it so you have to rely on updates and updates to fix the last updates and the endless updates while nothing new has changed cause in the end it is still not user friendly. What is your target audience age wise? Cause the over mid 20’s will find this site annoying and painful to the eyes as I am finding this to be that. I run on a 24″ iMac and can say that your over the top design is an eye sore to me on my system as it is up in my face or to the younger generation up in my grill. You want me to give this a chance then take not to to the last version and scrap this backward step design that you think is great. Try taking a step back and look at what makes a site work and function and user friendly and try again cause this is not it right now. You will see this will drive away people not draw them in as you expect. Your Idea has blinded you to the facts that this is not the future design that will work for what you are try to run for a business. Look at Vista, everyone I know is dropping to go back to XP cause Vista is not user friendly and not worth the time or money to have it.

    Welcome to the New World, one that goes beyond what you want and think is hot!

    ~Bob

  123. BombardierBob Says:

    I know what my view will be taken as some sort of rant as this is always the case when I speak my mind on what I believe in. I just want a simple, user friendly experience that is not only looks good but is professional looking as well. I have to say this time around I am very disappointed in the overall chaotic layout system you have put in place and the color scheme that ether is to bright that it washes out the grey text that you have set so dim. I hope the next site you come up with will be better and functions then this Vista Style one!

    ~Bob

  124. LJK Says:

    Hi –
    Quick observations:

    – removed entries can’t even be viewed, anymore
    [why?]

    – the lack of visual cues [mentioned before]
    If you’ve read that posting, before, especially. I need to know when going through the lists…’watches’ are a pain IMHO; as are filters off to the side.

    – type of ending not known [mentioned before]
    Once again, it seems designers are left in the dust when it comes to protecting ourselves.

    + nice design, overall
    + most features still in place
    + your efforts to keep ‘current’

    — Lara

  125. Mikey Says:

    I agree with Bob.

    It just appears that things have been changed when there was no need in terms of functionality and appearance. Could have just had a slight modernise and add some new features.

    This new design makes what were simple things more complicated, the filters for example, I have no idea how many contests are going in each group and I have to go through this drop down box.

    The red is nice to look at, where as the blue was easy on the eye.

    Maybe you should have run a contest to redesign the site. ;)


  126. As always Bob, thanks for your feedback. In way of response, all I will say is that we are here listening to and responding to everyones feedback, and pretty damn quickly. Give us feedback that is constructive and possible to address and we will evaluate it and incorporate it. Would Microsoft do that?

  127. pegatinas Says:

    Anyone figured out a way to post a comment in the public comments area of a contest?

  128. Mikey Says:

    My constructive feedback.

    – Change the red back to blue.

    – Change the filters drop down box to a list of clickable links with the number of contests in brackets.

    – Change the rating stars back to yellow.

    – Change the thumbnail images on contest pages so they show the whole image.

    – Change the color of the headers for the different sections in the design brief.

  129. BombardierBob Says:

    Ok Bug issue found:

    When looking at the contests under My Contest page clicking on the Hosts name nothing happens what so ever.

  130. BombardierBob Says:

    Ok as for constructive feedback, take a look at your last version and try to copy that onto this new layout and try toning down the colors them as these are to bright as it washes out the text. Also if I recall you what you said with the last version you posted up with a ton of issues that needed updates you designed that one to be modded and changed with ease. So why do a huge back step from user friendly design to this kitschy one?

    Ditch the filter and replace it with category like the old 99designs site had. Keep it simple and get rid of the hurdles you have both the host & designers jumping through right now.

    ~Bob

  131. Nadia P Says:

    After using the site for 1.5days, in my opinion, the following needs to be addressed:

    1. Email notifications need to come back asap:
    it is very difficult to know if we’ve received feedback and am sorry to say it’s a PITA having to go through every entry to see if anyone else has received feedback and then having to view *every* entry to see what the CH has to say about each design – this is the biggest drawback for me and a complete time waster. Very time consuming, esp.when you don’t have much time to login and check on the status of contests.

    Definitely much prefer the old way of seeing the entries/feedback etc.,

    2. Yesterday a contest was ended, today a winner was declared, but still showing up as ended – status was not updated.

    3. The removal link needs to be bought back. I do like the pagination system you have, but I’d still prefer to remove entries from the watchlist and even my contests lists – keeps thinks nice and clean for my workflow.

    SUGGESTION for blog posts re new design: Maybe set up separate posts – one for bugs only, one for functionality requests and one for general feedback on the design?? Would make going through the feedback/requests much easier on you guys :-)

  132. Nadia P Says:

    Just as I posted the above about emails, I get my first email notification of a contest being ended.

    You guys must have flicked the right switch :-)

  133. Nadia P Says:

    Suggestion: set it up that the CH *has* to star rate an entry, at least that way we can see that there has been some activity on a contest – at least until you sort out the gallery/feedback issues.

  134. BombardierBob Says:

    Suggestion: Bring back the feature if a design has been removed you can still see it to access feedbacks.

    ~Bob

  135. BombardierBob Says:

    Another Suggestion: Need to add a category column in the find contest page. Then people can clearly see what each contest is at a quick glance.

    ~Bob


  136. Keep in mind that most of you are “designers”. Of course you’re our top priority, but you’re not the only users of 99designs.com – you need to also consider contest holders…

    The “consolidated feedback per designer” for instance is a little more difficult for designers to manage than it was, but that’s a small trade off because we’ve made it ten times easier for the contest holder to provide feedback to you – which we feel is important if we’re to increase contest holder feedback overall – something you’ve all been complaining about.

    Also, you should know that we sent this beta out to our top 250 designers earlier this week. If you didn’t get that email you’re obviously not a top 250 designer in terms of prize money won on 99designs. Not one of them had a bad word to say about the new site. Strange, but true.

    Having said all that, there are definitely some decent suggestions here which our guys are working on right now and over the coming days. Just give us some time to get through the list.

    And please, don’t post anything that’s already been said – we heard it the first time! Got that Bob?

  137. jellevant Says:

    I’m glad to see so many agree with what I found ‘de-provements’ in the new contest pages. I know a lot of effort went into the redesign, but some of it just doesn’t work. Specifically: being able to see an enlarged view by mousing over was a huge timesaver over now having to click and wait for the design (and all the other designs from that person) to load. That’s my first headache. Then not knowing that there is any feedback. I found I had feedback and a request to revise today an hour after it was left, because I happened to click on my design. I really hope you go back to showing if there is feedback on the main page. I also agree that the feedback should be with the partiular submission, not just chronologically listed. Then, as others have said, please leave the ‘rejected’ designs as before so we can all learn from them; Go back to a full thumbnail rather than zoomed which does the designs no favour. And let us know when a winner has been chosen. I think that’s all!

  138. tjsDesign Says:

    I agree totally with Nadia — “it is very difficult to know if we’ve received feedback and am sorry to say it’s a PITA having to go through every entry to see if anyone else has received feedback and then having to view *every* entry to see what the CH has to say about each design – this is the biggest drawback for me and a complete time waster. Very time consuming, esp.when you don’t have much time to login and check on the status of contests.”

    I would also like in my contests to know the status — ended doesn’t help me, I would like to know “won”, “ended”, “withdrawn”, “abandonded” etc.

    I would also like to see the “watching” contests at the top of the page and the ability to remove them.

    I also agree with everyone else that I liked the old display of submittals, I do not care for the zoomed in version or having to click and click to see the design.

    Thank you for your hard work on the update. I think with a few tweaks/fixes it will be awesome. Thank you…

  139. BombardierBob Says:

    LOL…that explains a lot only a week for your top designers and they never notice the bugs and issues that plague the site that need to be fix…sounds like you found your Yes men/women who are blind or can be bought. Sorry but with the issues seen and this not user friendly it would seem so… I’m just glad I don’t have to pay for your service or I would want my money back.

  140. BombardierBob Says:

    1 week with 250 users playing on this I wonder what you offer them to see it your way and was there a users guide to show where everything is for them. What incentives did you offer the 250? Out of the 250 was there any host testing the beta out? Right now all we get is stars and no clue if there was any feedback what so ever. 250 and none of them notice this? Just find the new changes frustrating to say the least.

    I must be one of them loud boisterous American’s you Aussies don’t like cause I say whats on my mind when it comes to something that draws in money for me and my family. Keep it Simple!


  141. You’re a classic Bob – thanks for keeping us entertained.

  142. Nadia P Says:

    Bug?
    Submit an entry – comments area updates with submission #. Withdraw the entry. Check the comments, the associated comment of submission# is not removed. You click on submission number and the withdrawn entry is visible.

    Removal of entries, particularly after a contest has ended is done by most designers who do not want their non-winning entries to be accessible.

    Once an entry is withdrawn by the designer it should be ‘gone for good’.

  143. Paul Annesley Says:

    Nadia: nice find – thanks. We’ll sort that out.

  144. Paul Annesley Says:

    I’ve just pushed out another set of fixes. Here’s some highlights:

    * Added category listings on Find Contest page – many people were screaming for this!
    * Improved the thumbnail resize on frontpage and contest page – looking better?
    * Added feed discovery links to View Contest and Contest Brief pages.
    * Fixed bug in time remaining display (no more “ago”!).
    * CSS fixes for IE6/IE7.

  145. Elijah14 Says:

    I’ve submitted 2 entries in AIER logo contest last night but now its gone. cant find it, why?

  146. snugbrimm Says:

    Ok 99designs. Let’s step back and take a look at the big picture here (which is also a reference to what needs to happen with the thumbnails). a BUNCH of designers have come together on this blog to provide YOUR COMPANY with constructive feedback (except for mrbaseball; what he said, i hope, is last priotity on your guy’s list as you have many bugs and very controversial things that need your utmost attention before any useless things like that which were and are not a big inconvenience, are changed) about how YOUR SITE can better it’s functionality.

    “Lachlan Donald Says:
    “The unfortunate reality about doing anything for a large enough audience is some people will hate it and some will love it. The important thing is to get some good feedback about what you like and what you don’t, probably after using it for a day or two rather than right away.
    The design is certainly modern, we have avoided the whole vanilla-flavoured web 2.0 vibe, because frankly, it’s boring. We wanted something edgy, I think we’ve got it…”

    1.You’re right, some people will love it sonme people will hate it. as that is a common and acceptable statement here are some statistics about this blog already: While i’m typing this there are 130 entries just on this blog. right away we’ll narrow it down to only designer’s and contest holder’s comments; excluding 99designs personnel comments, which gives us 115 comments. Out of 115 comments, 92 comments are either against or dislike or want improvements in the new layout. That’s clearly a majority. Now, you guys have to ask yourself, we wanted something edgy but have we maybe gone over that edge?? Edgy means edgy, not overboard. Honestly it’s not even edgy. when i look at the site it does not bring a feeling of “edginess” or “interest” it just makes me feel overwhelmed with confusion. I totally see what you guys were going for with LAUNCH A CONTEST and FIND A CONTEST all big on the main page because that encourages contest posters to just click the big eye-catching button. However, that is not the most important thing about 99designs. You guys are clearly appealing to the interests of contest posters because of the way that the first half of the main 99designs.com page is taken up by the huge “Need something designed…” quote. Now if you guys are trying to move forward and promote business, you have to remember the little guys (the designers) that, at first glance, don’t appear to be the source of your income, when in reality without the designers there would be no 99designs.com . If you don’t appeal to designer wants and needs then there will be no designers, or at least no good designers. This looks corporate and money-hungry and can deter designers from participating. Thus, when businesses come and see that the designers are not happy with what they are working with, and are frustrated with how the site functions for them and how non-user-friendly it is for them, they will also be deterred and uninterested. It was just as easy to find where the link was to post a contest on the other design with less cluttered craziness, harsh colors, and pointless information. and i don’t think that should have been one of your guys’ things on your to-do list when you were designing this new layout. All that being said, all 95 of those posts are straight from designers that have experience in design and know what looks good, and who know firsthand what attracts them and what they look for. You guys should seriously consider all these posts as they are the opinions of your money source and without them you have nothing. If they don’t like, your business suffers. if they like, the businesses flourishes. it’s as simple as that

  147. Manisha Says:

    After using the site for quite some time …I’m getting used to it. Believe me guys, use it for a day or two and you too will start liking it. And instead of complaining, lets just report the bugs( of course there are so many of them at present ) and help them make this site a successful experience for all of us.

    MY BEST WISHES TO THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM

    And PLEEEEASE ……change that red.

  148. woosh Says:

    Being able to remove entires on the watchlist and contests ended as Nadia said would be something I would like to have the option of using. It does help to keep the workflow clean and tidy.

  149. designabot Says:

    the thumbnail size looks much better now!
    can we just translate that to our winners folio page and it will be puuuurfect : )

  150. snugbrimm Says:

    awesome! the categories list is great and the thumbnails are all much more appealing! much much better and you guys are clearly responding to the issues addressed in these posts in a very professional manner. Thanks!

  151. sam Says:

    okay, after using the site for a whole day, here’s what i think

    -NEGATIVES-
    *no submit button for commenting
    *i really really really liked having the top designs in the competition normal, and having the ones not in consideration faded
    *there is enough space on the right for a 4th column for design previews
    *the quote on the home page is boring and takes up too much space
    *the popular designs on the home page is taking up a large space, maybe make it like 5 random entries
    *i like the blue color scheme better than lots and lots of red and purple
    *loging in is hard and i really liked the little box with your name and pic, kinda reminded me of the yahoo.com mail/sign in thing. if you could make a little box like before and have like a rollover menu for messages or something, that would be awesome!
    *i liked seeing all of the categories spread out like before rather in a drop down menu now
    *i absolutely loved the old contests entered table. i liked how the ended ones where gray, the ones down to 1 hour were red lettering and how it said “ended” or “won”
    *i liked the description box at the top of the design page where it said name: desired color scheme: desired format:…
    *i liked having a seperate page for each entry entered and having comments just for that entry because its kinda hard to quickly see exactly what the holder wants. especially when the “rejected” entries arent shown
    *yellow rating stars are better than red
    *overall of the negatives is that i think there is a lot of empty space. the old setup was “tighter” if that makes any sense

    +POSITIVES+
    *comment boxes are smaller which is good
    *more modern looking. not so much “blogish”
    thats it.

    i’m not trying to dis your efforts or anything, and you dont have to listen to me, but i just dont really like change. i hope you can address a couple of these.


  152. snugbrimm, might I suggest some whitespace? :)

  153. Nadia P Says:

    Paul, the changes made so far are great..

    * Added category listings on Find Contest page – many people were screaming for this!

    –Looks great – thank you for listening

    * Improved the thumbnail resize on frontpage and contest page – looking better?

    –Much much better – now to bring back the lightbox effect it will be perfect!

    * Added feed discovery links to View Contest and Contest Brief pages.

    –Not sure what’s meant about ‘discover links’, unless you mean that links given in a brief are now more visible :)

    * Fixed bug in time remaining display (no more “ago”!)
    –nice, thanks.

    Thanks to you all for being so responsive !!

  154. Nadia P Says:

    Lachlan, I was just going to suggest the same thing to snugbrimm.

    Very difficult to read whole paragraphs with no line breaks between important points :-)

  155. Nadia P Says:

    @pegatinas
    I’m not having any problems posting a comment on the main contest page – what seems the problem that you can’t post a comment ?

  156. snugbrimm Says:

    sorry about not typing it in with spaces but do you get my point lalachlan?

  157. snugbrimm Says:

    i liked how the contest holders type had it’s own color in the discussions board as opposed tto having the same color type as the designers comments

  158. snugbrimm Says:

    i don’t like having to click on the “I’ve read and agree with the designer guidelines of 99designs.com and I own the copyright for the work I am submitting, including any stock images” boxes every time i submit a design. I guess it’s just a hindrance that can be adapted to but a suggestion would be to have them already checked since those statements are something universally assumed on this site. (except for the stock images part. i think thats unfair and we should not have to buy a stock image if we don’t know if were gonna win)

  159. BombardierBob Says:

    The CH names on the find contest need to be linked to their profile so a designer can check if they are worth the effort to design for. Clicking on their names goes nowhere right now.

    ~Bob

  160. BombardierBob Says:

    I hope you add somewhere on the contest pages the ability to see if you have any comments cause Stars to me say nothing. A good majority don’t use the stars so adding this feature would be beneficial to designers.

    ~Bob

  161. snugbrimm Says:

    i agree with bob. thats a must-fix

  162. snugbrimm Says:

    you need to have the feedback labelers still. on every entry…

  163. BombardierBob Says:

    I take back the last statement as I didn’t refresh the page and the CH links works…cheers!

  164. snugbrimm Says:

    i dont know if anyone else is with me on this one but i preferred seeing 7 days and 9 hours remaining as opposed to 1 week and 9 hours remaining. easier to sort

  165. Nadia P Says:

    Snugbrimm,
    I’ve already mentioned those boxes much earlier in these posts and hopefully it wasn’t overlooked because it really does need addressing.

    I actually agree that they *should* be there, it may make some designers think before submitting a design, particularly those who use ‘copied’ images found via google or a template copyrighted elsewhere (TM templates come to mind).

    My problem was with the 2nd box – it should actually be separated into a 3rd box.

    When using stock imagery, most designers would use the composite watermarked images which do need to be replaced with a licensed copy.

    PS: It is up to the contest holder to buy the license not the designer (I see quite a few designers offer to purchase the image, but that’s isn’t fair :-) the CH is the one that should be responsible for the licencing because it will be used by them on *their* site. This needs to be looked at ASAP in my opinion. People will be ticking those boxes without even thinking it through. Setting the ticks to ‘automatic’ defeats the whole purpose of those statements :-)

    Maybe an extra checkbox: This entry uses stock imagery that will need to be purchased by the contest holder.

    Keeping those boxes ensures that 99designs has covered their backsides that all work submitted is ‘legal’ and won’t cause any copyright infringement issues.

  166. gandecruz Says:

    Thumbnail is good now… thank you very much for quick response.. :)

  167. gandecruz Says:

    and also “link to top” would be good in this blog… hehehehehe.. :D :D

  168. Nadia P Says:

    @grandecruz, I thought of that too, but you know what’s even easier – the HOME button on your keyboard, takes you right back to the top of the page :-)

  169. Paul Annesley Says:

    The problem where star ratings given by contest holders weren’t being saved has been fixed!

  170. jerry b Says:

    I am really disappointed. As a contest entrant, I need access to my shortlist always. Before this last change, it was always there, which was a big improvement over the sitepoint version. Also the breadcrumb approach to was very very usefula and now it is gone as well.
    j

  171. Paul Annesley Says:

    Jerry: try the “my contests” link in the top right corner of the page. Next to your username, private messages etc.


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