This is the third, long delayed, and final installment of my series of articles talking about the ups and downs of contest sites.In my first article I highlighted the way in which artists/designers can make the most out of contest sites, even if they don’t get the big prize, my second one was all about the way in which voting matters and the different ways in which you can vote or get votes, and now, my third article will hopefully make pertinent suggestions for ways to possibly improve design contest sites. The first thing that I think could be done very easily is about the ownership of the design.
Most contest sites will take full rights for the design if the design wins, and WHILE the design is still on the site. Which raises the problem, what if the design finishes voting and a long time passes without getting a YOU WON notice? Then, if you want to enter the design in a contest someplace else, or sell it to someone, you’d have to write an email asking for the nice people that handle these things on the site to take it down.
Why all the hustle, when all you need is a REMOVE FROM SITE button? Surely, this is not rocket-science to implement, and imagine how much easier life would be for everybody. Instead of sending an email, and waiting for a reply, instead of making some people read a ton of emails and make the same people manually remove the design- why not just click a button and handle all of this?
Also, in direct connection to the problems I mentioned for the voting systems, some of those could be corrected by punishing cheaters. Yes, that’s right, if you can notice someone cheating with the votes, a temporary ban or limited access might be the way to set an example. Sure, it’s a drastic measure, but as I said, making an example out of this kind of things might be the way to go in stopping them from happening.
The same measure could be applied for the people trolling, the ones that go around insulting others or make racist or discriminatory comments. Like any other forum, the comments should be monitored…and Yes, I know how big of a task it would be monitoring all the comments of all the designs, but, at least, a REPORT to moderator button should exist, especially in some places.
Talking about reports, how about a REPORT AS SPAM feature? It’s sad that it has come to this, but there are people who promote their designs to aggressively, spamming other people with links to their design. It makes me both NOT check out their designs and feel less about them. So, by spamming, you obtain exposure, only problem would be it’s a bad name you’re promoting.
That’s all folks, well, all that I can remember from my list of ranting. I would love to hear what other suggestions you would like to make in order to make contest sites a better place for all of us. Don’t hesitate posting here, and you can also give me feedback, i.e. if you agree or disagree with my views on the matter. Thanks for reading my 3-article long rant!