Suggestions for improving the Cad Crowd community

56 Replies | 7,393 Views
Junaid Aziz
0
Hello Everyone! I'm anew user and I have a few suggestions to make in regards to the Cad Crowd
community. I'm sorry if I'm a little harsh but I guess that'll be fine in the
name of improvements.

1. As a new user, I struggled to find anexplanation for the score/rank system mainly because there wasn't any link
available straightaway where I could find an explanation for what it was and
how it worked. I actually had to Google "Cad Crowd Designer Rank" to
find the link that explained it. PROPOSED SOLUTION: Make the ranking clickable
whereby If I click on it, it directly takes me to the page where the
explanation is given. A better idea would be to show a quick tip (or a quick
action suggestion) like "Post a portfolio Project for +10 points"
alongside the ranking. 

2. The Forum is not a very active place (at leastas of now). Part of the problem is that; I didn't even see anywhere. Forums
need to have their separate Menu Bar entry and should be very visible. I'd
suggest bringing the forum entries into the notification panel as well (until
the point we have a good amount of activity on the forums) so that whenever a
new forum entry is posted, we all get notified; The notification can also state
that if I answer post a good response, I’ll get ‘x’ amount of points. This way,
we'll constantly see forums coming up to know that there's something going on
and we’ll be encouraged to post more. 

3. The Designer Questions page is not really good.Please fix it. https://www.cadcrowd.com/page/designer-questions 

4. The point system is very good but I think it'sgoing to become more like Stack Exchange’s point system. The problem with this
is that the old users rack up points very quickly and as more and more people
join the platform, there's less and less opportunity for accumulating more
points. This is very well illustrated by the fact that the top designer here on
Cad Crowd has (as of now) 4999 points and the 20th Designer has 730 points
only. That difference is HUGE! With enough hard work, designers can definitely improve
their score but it's something that discourages active user interaction with
the platform. Perhaps one way of dealing with it can be that 10 (or 20) points
will be deducted from a user for every inactive month. This way, users will be
encouraged to stay engaged with the site in order to avoid losing the points
and possibly the ranking as well.
5. Make the distributionof points such that if a user (like me) doesn’t want to compete in the
contests, I should still be able to make up for the points by posting in Forums
and maintaining a good portfolio/profile. This is important because it will
encourage the users to not just focus on the contests but rather look into
racking up points elsewhere and keep the site alive on multiple levels.
6. This brings us to thefinal point. I don’t know about others but I came to Cad Crowd to earn money. However,
it’s making me feel like I’ve come to CadContests.com and not CadCrowd.com. Me
as a designer would not want to ALWAYS compete for a project. There needs to be
a NON-contest-y posting of CAD projects. I do not see anything on the website
other than Contests. Contests are good and an excellent way of showcasing one’s
ability to work. However, there needs to be a feed of free postings of Jobs by
clients that are open for bidding by Designers (or some other innovative method
of getting a project) without the risk of losing in a contest. Many expert designers
(not me) are very busy in their work and thus cannot risk losing 10-20hours
worth of work for $1000 just because It was a contest. Some other source of
work in addition to Contests needs to be introduced.
 
I’m very sorry for thevery long post. As far as I know, the above reasons are the main reasons I
could see why there was a lack of an active community on the forums and the
site in general. Cad Crowd is an excellent resource and we can together make
the community better and lively.
 
Thanks.
Adam
1
Junaid,

With all due respect, you have been on this website for 7 months and have not posted to one contest. Why should points be given for filling up the server with portfolio items ? The site actually gives you points when you make a contest submission (win or lose). A designer should be ranked by his ability to meet or exceed client (buyer) expectations. That is what we as designers are tasked to do.

If you wish to be higher in the rankings, you have to work at it. There is another website that I will not mention where you can do exactly what you have proposed (add portfolio items and move up the ranks).

The individual who is #1 on this website got there by working at it, not how long he's been here.
Most of the people in the top rankings do not have jobs, and they are able to give the website more time than those who are employed.

Further, if you spend 20 hours on a contest, so has everyone else and only one person wins (unless there are alternative prize offerings). It's a game, it's a gamble, it's a contest and you are free to participate or not.

Other than the point system, I agree with your other suggestions.

Peace
Adam
Junaid Aziz
0
Adam wrote:Junaid,

With all due respect, you have been on this website for 7 months and have not posted to one contest. Why should points be given for filling up the server with portfolio items ? The site actually gives you points when you make a contest submission (win or lose). A designer should be ranked by his ability to meet or exceed client (buyer) expectations. That is what we as designers are tasked to do.

If you wish to be higher in the rankings, you have to work at it. There is another website that I will not mention where you can do exactly what you have proposed (add portfolio items and move up the ranks).

The individual who is #1 on this website got there by working at it, not how long he's been here.
Most of the people in the top rankings do not have jobs, and they are able to give the website more time than those who are employed.

Further, if you spend 20 hours on a contest, so has everyone else and only one person wins (unless there are alternative prize offerings). It's a game, it's a gamble, it's a contest and you are free to participate or not.

Other than the point system, I agree with your other suggestions.

Peace
Adam
Hi, 

Thank you for your response. Yes, I signed up 7 months ago but I recently started to be more active on this site.

I think we are having a bit of misunderstanding here. Let me clarify:

My point is that the point system is good an all. I SHOULD be working relentlessly to compete for the # 1 spot and I definitely think say the whoever is # 1 is totally deserving. No argument! 

Now let me take myself as an example. I have 35 points. If we continue with the same point system. Say I consistently make good designs and win 100 points from each contest, even then I'd have to win 50 contests to just even out with the # 1 entry. That's gonna take years. I'd be better off playing DOTA for that long and have a realistic possibility of winning some multi-million dollar championship after that much hard work. So my point was that the point system needs to be balanced. If I'm late to the game then I need to have some method of making up for it. And to be exactly clear; I didn't mean to say award 100 points for uploading a portfolio sample. NO way. It was just a suggestion to award maybe 1 point per portfolio project.  That was exactly the point for free bidding projects. This will allow new designers like me to work harder and bid on the projects to win projects. Then if the client is happy and gives a good rating, I can get a good boost to my points.

And regarding "Why should points be given for filling up the server with portfolio items ?" I was very clear on this when I said that if a designer is inactive for a month, deduct some amount of points. If I earn 100 points from a contest and then I don't visit the site for 10 months, I'd be back at 0. This way I'll have some motivation to keep coming back.

So if the question is "How can we improve the Cad Crowd community?" Then this needs to be addressed. If not, I honestly don't know why would more and more good designers leave other much more established platforms for this. 

I'm sorry if my tone was aggressive. No hard feelings. Just another side of the argument.

Thanks 

Peace!
ODBDesign
1
I would ban all designs that don't display a screenshot. I'm presuming the buyer can still see attachments when they have prepaid which is how people on here get away with it? I know people on here are paranoid about others stealing their designs, but what is to stop buyers in the future from prepaying, gathering everyones designs, and then awarding the prize to a fake account they have made and then posted a blank screenshot to get their money back. No one would have any proof that the design was ever submitted. I also like to learn from how fitting to the brief winning designs are, this should be a community as well as a competition and as a fairly new designer it helps me to see how other designers approach problems.

However I believe this comment will fall on deaf ears as the moderation on this site seems very lacking.
Clix
1
Hi Guys, i'm try to understand the way thing works, can you please tell me why the contests end prematurely and why the winner have no preview picture?, is it possible to win with no proposal?, why the community members don't have access to submitted renderings and 3d model... I feel that i don't have  any control over my account. Thanks!
ODBDesign
1
Because the site is currently tailored to suit the buyer as they bring in the money. Us designers often get treated as second class. Buyers can end their contest and select a winner whenever they like meaning if you are part way through your next great design, and the buyer ends it, you've wasted your time. Some designers on here have taken to submitting blank screen shots to prevent other designers from copying ideas (or knowing they have even submitted one) but because the buyer can download attachments any time they want they can still view the design - sneaky hey ! I thought this site was great at first but I am beginning to see more and more holes in the idea. Also you'll notice a couple of contests that have actually been prepayed but the buyer hasnt been back to select a winner (dont know what happens in this situation?) I dont know if they have any sort of time limit to select a winner and what happens after this time.
Joan
0
It would be great to have some specific categories for Jewellery design.
Andreas089
0
Hi guys,
My name is Andreas and during my dissertation I am involved in a project that is concerned with social
interactions in crowd contests! Is there anybody who wants to talk a little
about this and support my dissertation? J
Lucian
0
Hi there,

The last post of "V.M.Design" was moved here, to avoid continuing the discussion about these points to the contest page (here all the points are saved and can be discussed):


Hi everyone,

- First things first, I did not participate in this contest. Nor did I participate in the Gnome contest. Why? Because I did not have the feeling that I had something substantial to contribute to these contests. Could I have copied a nice design, then "hide" it and submit it as my own? Yes I could. But I didn't. Because that's unethicall and unprofessional. The prizes were a big incetive for me, but I still did not participate because I felt I didn't have a design idea good enough.

- So that brings me to my second point. What exactly does the phrase >>the "design hiders", aka "copiers"<< mean? That every designer that hides his/her design is a "copier"? This specific opinion has been put forward in other contests again and again in the past. The designer who suggests that "design hiders" are de facto "copiers", has also chose to submit a hidden entry in this very contest! Does this make him a "copier" too? In my opinion, NO, it doesn't. But I guess you can see the contradiction here.

- Just to be clear, I respect Adam and all other designers that work hard and in good faith and with a most professional spirit. But saying that every designer that hides his design is a "copier" is quite a substantial accusation. Adam, himself, has submitted over 27 "hidden" designs in 17 different contests. Again, does this make him a copier too? Again, NO. Maybe he thought, that if other designers are going to hide their designs, maybe he should do so as well. And still only a very small portion of his entries are hidden.
Pablo also had some of his designs "hidden". Again, does this make him a copier too? Again, NO. Maybe he felt that his designs are being copied and the only way to protect his work, is to hide or conceal it. And I understand both of them and I actually feel the same way. Similar like Pablo said, I decided to hide many of my entries after the "lipstick" contest in fear of being copied. Was it the right decision? Don't know, as I probably ended up being accused as potential "copier" alongside others.

- Bottomline, in my opinion there are designers that hide their designs because they are "copiers" and designers that hide them in fear of being copied. So, how can you tell them apart? First step, use your good judgement. Many designers are professionals with tons of experience, like Adam, REDA, Pablo and others, and in my opinion they definitely don't need to copy anyone. Still, any of them may sporadically decide to hide some of their designs. I don't blame them, and honestly, don't see why anyone should.

Which brings me to my final point: We should all be more carefull and more specific with accussations. Not all designers that hide their designs are "copiers". 

Maybe CadCrowd could take some measures over this matter, like obligatory somehow showing all designs, or obligatory making all contests blind or something else, don't know.

Sorry the long post,
With respect,
VM

P.S. 1 This post was in good faith, trying to contribute to the convesation and not with the intention to be aggressive or somehow insulting to anyone
P.S. 2 Maybe should be moved to the forum;)
Lucian
0
To everyone,

We are open to listening suggestions from everyone, designers and buyers. 

We are launching soon a new version of the website and we will add some new things. After that, we will try to implement some of your suggestions, if will be feasible for everyone.

So feel free to post any advices or suggestions regarding hidding entries, prepaid / non prepaid contest, entries, rules and other things that you think it will improve our services. 

Btw, please do that in a civilized manner, without being impolite with others.

Thanks,
Lucian
REDA
-1
Hi All,


My 1) suggestion is to get the designers to show their designs as it is unconscious that they draw inspiration from others and in the end they pose their UFOs;)
  Example the gnome contest I could have brought a strumph and make up too
        2) A proven copy is banned directly
        3) let people discuss and exchange freely to bring more clients
        4) If the customer requests a change in the design (he must pay the designer) because if in pay or they earn $ 300 / month we suffer because 300 only corresponds to 1 or 2 days so we can not Not provide the same amount of work as we can
         5) Why does not Cadcrowd direct customers to designers directly?
        6) And do not wait any longer for my entry first to take inspiration
       7) Thanks
Regards
REDA
V.M.Design
0
Hi REDA,
1) Probably a good suggestion, but still the line between "drawing inspiration" and "copying" will remain pretty thin. I mean, for example, a designer submits his design, then another designer "draws inspiration" from the first one and he submits a similar design; who will judge if this is a copy or just inspired by.
2) Agreed. But who will decide if it is a "proven copy" or not?
3) Agreed. Though I feel we are already free to discuss
4) Agreed.
5) I think it already happens, not sure though
6) Do you refer to someone specific, or do you refer to all CadCrowd designers?
Best regards,
VM
Adam
0
Let me be clear VM.

I created the term "design hiders" exactly for the reason you posted such a long response and it worked.

I have caught several people during my time on this website copying existing products on the internet, and I know of one design that was hidden and was an EXACT copy of a submission REDA submitted and he won. I found out he copied REDA by going to the website where they sold the product and there was his design, needless to say I haven't seen him again. The contest was called Penny Pendant Shark, or something like that I dont remember. Here it is right here, copied from an almost exact design REDA submitted (http://www.pennybandz.com/exclusive-collection.html).

You are right, I've hidden several of my designs. You said I have 17 of them. Latest stats are that I've submitted over 312 entries to this website, and I've only hidden 17 ? And yes, I hid them to piss people off that do the same. Isn't that ironic ?

Here's the bottom line.
Hiding your design is wrong, and in my time on this site it has only recently become a trend.
You may have good intentions for hiding your design, but I assure you not everyone does, and those are the people that concern me.

Since you brought this up, I noticed you called out a submission on a current contest that was copied off the internet.
How would you have known this had he given a blank screenshot ?

The rule should be NO HIDDEN SCREENSHOTS, period, and just for the reasons I've outlined.
V.M.Design
0
Hi Adam, 

And by the way, congrats on winning the "baby wipes case" contest!

Though I think I was pretty clear in my original post, I still feel I need to clarify a few things:
1) There is nothing personal with any designer here. I just tried to use some examples. I respect you and your work, as well as your professional attitude. 
2) When I said you hid some designs, I didn't meant it as a bad thing. After all, I already said myself that is was only a very small portion of your work, and your thinking over this actually makes absolutely perfect sense to me. I agree with you.
3) Though I still haven't completely made up my mind, I think a general rule of "NO HIDDEN SCREENSHOTS" might be good for all. My original concern was just that, untill then, maybe we shouldn't generalize on "hidden=copied".

Something practical:

I would really appreciate your opinion and advice on a couple of things:
- Example first: In a contest, a designer claims that his/her design was copied. That could be absolutely true. But there's a possibility that it could as well be a false accusation. Who will decide what's the case? I mean, practicaly, how can a designer be both protected from being copied and as well from being falsely accused? I totally agree with REDA's suggestion on directrly banning "proven copies", but still can't see how can this be implented in practice.
- Example second: A designer submits an entry, then he sees that his design is actually copied by another designer. What can he do in practice to protect himself and his work?

Anyway, I'm glad this conversation is on, and we can freely exchange opinions. I hope something good will eventually come out of it.

Thanks for your time,
Best regards,
VM
Lucian
0
Hi everyone,

We will take into consideration some of your suggestions.

Regarding the "Hidden designs", the best option is to ask the buyer to make the contest "Blind" for the moment. This will avoid many issues.

Isn't allowed to post a hidden or blurred design, so in a few days or weeks we will find the best option how to announce each designer about that and to make it visible when you submit an entry. Maybe to add a sample note or link when uploading a design!?

The issue is that is really hard to tell when someone copy a design or a part of it. Also, maybe a buyer wants to take a part from a design and to be incorporated with other part from other design. This should be discussed.

Please have patience, we will solve this issue soon! Until then, as I said, the best option is to ask the buyer politely to make the contest "Blind".

@Reda: Please stop making spam on each contest about the copied designs. If you have something to say to a designer, please do that in a private message.

We will answer to the other suggestions or questions once at few days.

Thanks,
Lucian

P.S. Things degenerated and one user got suspended for a limited period of time. Please stay on-topic here and to the contests pages.
handsketcher
0
Hello Lucian,

Isn't it possible to make all the contests "blind" by default?. It seems it is really required at the moment. 

And also its better to stop e-mails between designers and buyers during the contest. Because we have common forum as well as buyer can comment directly to the design entry. I have seen some buyers are asking to copy some design elements from other entries. This should be discouraged. Because the design copyright is still belong to the original creator until buyer purchase it. So that until the end of contest he should not ask anyone to copy other design entries. (I guess you may have seen this design copy request in one of recent contests.)

Thanks
REDA
0
Hi handsketcher ,

   I hate copiers too....
This is objectively objective and in the good sense I think,
But if the buyer shows your design to other designers because (YOU HAVE the right idea) for another designer to add his idea there and up you lost! It's magic but it's like that. "I've already seen hidden designs"

Regards
REDA
handsketcher
0
Hi Reda, 
Totally agree with you. This is the reason I'm suggesting to stop e-mail communications between buyer and designer. Because they can send attachments too. And also dropbox and google drive urls also need to be scanned. If this is done then we don't have to blame each other and no mud slinging.
Lucian
0
Hi Handsketcher,

Regarding making all the contests "Blind" by default, we thought already about that and we will try to implement this, if will be possible. We don't know for sure if can be implemented, but we will try. Hopefully we will have some updates about this over the next week or so.

As for stopping the communication between the buyer and the designer, I don't think that is possible. Neither technically. But I'm confident that if you ask nicely a buyer to post comments and to give feedback just at the contest page, he will understand that.

All links and contact details (emails, phone numbers) are scanned by our system, to avoid spamming.

Lucian
REDA
0
Hi handsketcher,

  I agree too,

But what is frustrating I do for example 10 entries in a contest by bringing in new ideas that I did not necessarily want to show to have an advances on the competitors (legitimate thing),
But magic operates; ADDITIONAL FLASH INFORMATION from buyer to everyone (MY IDEA)
You see that how you?
If I start to talk about the contests you will have until tomorrow morning .... a contest / 2 I have a tooth in there

REDA

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