Sometimes it’s hard to know if your responsive website design is as user-friendly as you think it is. Or maybe you do not yet have a responsive website and would like one but do not know where to find a professional yet cost-effective designer. Or maybe you are a designer and do not have time to work on your uncle’s responsive website.
In any of these situations, the best way to get professional results at a reasonable cost is by crowdsourcing your website design. But, you ask, how do you get crowd responses without having first crowdsourced? The easy answer is that you work through sites that already have a following or leverage your own connections.
If you’re starting from scratch, you can use sites like DesignCrowd.com to get submissions from designers. Just tell designers what you want and they submit their ideas. You choose your favorite design and pay only for what you want.
The beauty of this process is that you get lots of submissions as opposed to having to engage multiple designers, negotiate, and then hopefully get what you want. DesignCrowd lets you get lots of bids fast.
Once you have a general design idea in place, you can start getting feedback using other tools, such as FiveSecondTest.com
Five Second Test
Another helpful crowdsourcing site is called FiveSecondTest.com. This site is exactly what it sounds like: Users go to the site and are given short, basic instructions (designed by the page designer, not the owners of fivesecondtest). Then, users are shown a visual of a page layout for five seconds.
After the five seconds are over, they are five a series of very short questions (again, designed by you). These questions will give you feedback about your design, layout, usability as well as likeability, helping you make your site a much more friendly place to navigate, which is, ultimately, what you want. This also helps in that people who take these very short tests are likely to navigate to your page for a closer look (if they like what they saw in their five seconds).
The best part for you is at the end of the five second test. The site gives test takers the option of sharing your test via Twitter or Facebook. This means that you have not only gotten one test taker, but if they really liked what they saw, you may end up with multiple test takers from that one user.
choose a screen shot that you would like feedback on but that you already like.
The layout of the short tests lends itself to people wanting to do them. Because of their design, the tests become very game-like and a little addictive. People who do them can complete several tests (making several designers very happy) in a matter of a couple of minutes.
Of course, there are limitations to this kind of crowdsourced information. First, users are typically other designers, so your feedback is going to be design-centric – not necessarily what your customers may want. Second, with five seconds of exposure, there’s not a whole lot of detailed feedback you’re going to get.
Another option for getting crowdsourced feedback on a RWD project is to use your social media sites. Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn all allow you to post long updates with pictures. This can be a powerful source of input from your fans and followers.
Competitions can get you a lot more engagement simply because your fans are more willing to post if they know they might win a prize. Make sure any prizes you offer are something that your fans and followers actually want and follow up the competition with a quick post congratulating the winner. This shows your fans that you actually award prizes and gives you another reason to talk about your design.
Don’t forget old-fashioned email campaigns for getting crowdsourced information. Put a version of your RWD site up and send folks an email asking for their input. Email still works and gives you an excellent tool for connecting with your current clients and customers.
When sending out an email asking for input, make sure you tell people how to provide feedback. Ask them to respond to the email or to fill out a form on your site. The point is to be clear.
Using DesignCrowd, FiveSecondTest, your own social media sites, and email, crowdsourcing your website design should provide plenty of actionable feedback from your ideal crowd. As you refine your designs, don’t be afraid to resubmit your updates. People like to see progress and how their feedback improved something.