Being members of the creative community, we are always looking to improve our designs and hone our skills as we refine our craft. One great way to strengthen your designs is through constructive feedback on your concepts and on the executions of your ideas. However, if you are a freelancer, working independently of others, getting this kind of useful critiques for your work can be a challenge in and of itself. And so most of the freelancers finding themselves in this predicament turn to the online crowd to garner feedback for their work. And as we all know, turning to an online audience of honest constructive criticism can often times be an exercise in futility and abuse. Well that is changing! Enter Concept Feedback, a wonderful crowdsourcing tool for web and graphic designers that has brilliantly answered this community call.
It really is a simple concept, and who knows, that may be the reason that this site works so well. Concept Feedback offers a location for designers to submit their work for review by the community of participating creatives. This reciprocal system works based on a number of checks and balances to keep things both fair and constructive for all those who are bravely putting themselves and their work out there. By requiring reviewers to maintain a ratio of feedback offered to concepts submitted for critique, they make sure that everyone is actively participating and not just leeching off the community for free advice without giving any back. Also, by rewarding each reviewer reputation points that are taken away for leaving negative feedback, they ensure that people are actually being constructive in their comments. Reinforcing the if you don’t have anything nice to say (or in this case, constructive), don’t say anything at all rule, in a way, they keep things helpful not harsh and unwelcoming.
Reviewers are asked to rate concepts based on four specific areas, as well as leaving text feedback for more detailed critiques. The areas rated are Design (How does the concept look? Is it visually appealing?), Purpose (Does the concept accomplish its objective? Is it appropriate for the target market?), Originality (Is the concept original? Is it fresh and creative?) and Engagement (Is the concept engaging? Does it draw you in?). By using this standard review template for all of the feedback given, they keep things consistent and much more helpful than the generic ‘Great job!’ kind of response the internet tends to provoke. You also have the option of making the project open for all to review and rate, or you can set it to private so that you may invite only those whom you wish to give you feedback on your work. And once you have received some helpful critiques, you have the option to add revisions to the project for further review on these newer versions of the concept to make sure that you are heading in the right direction.
When submitting a concept you are asked to provide the following information.
- Concept Title
- Website URL (if applicable)
- Target Market for the Concept
- Concept Objective
- Concept Description
One of the best things about Concept Feedback, is that it is completely free. All they require of you is that you offer feedback to others. In fact, when you first sign up for your account, you are required to comment on at least 5 projects before you can submit any works of your own for review. And from there, as we mentioned, you have to maintain a ratio at that point in order to be able to continue adding work to be critiqued. It was certainly refreshing to see that when we signed up, and still now, there are no unreviewed projects, which means that the feedback exchange system works well. This is definitely a helpful tool for the creative community, and if you haven’t already checked them out, we recommend that you head on over and see what all they have going on. It may just be the outlet for improvement that you were looking for.