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We’ve seen a few responses to our Redesign Competition in a manner that we did not expect. The competition itself seems to have upset some people and caused some unrest from within our following. Obviously, this was not what we intended when we came up with the idea for the competition.

So I feel it prudent not only to firstly profusely apologise for any offence we have caused but also to explain and clarify what the competition was actually all about. I think the problem here is not so much the competition itself, but the way it has been put across to our customers.

The Issue:

The general feeling we’re getting from the twitter comments, comments on the blog and emails we have received is that some of you feel incensed that we expect you to completely redesign our website for an iPad. Some of you also find the promise of promoting your name on the site if we use some of your work also insulting for the same reason.

The issue here seems to stem from how we read it and thought we meant, to how it has been perceived by our users. We didn’t want you to completely overhaul our website. This is precisely why we’re not offering a larger sum of money for the competition. In fact, we only expected people to spend a few hours at most working on some concepts and ideas for a redesign. Out of all of these ideas, we would then choose the best one and we ourselves would do the actual redesign of the site.

We were also hoping to incite some excitement and interest at being able to be a part of our work for those who use our site. Yes, we could quite easily just go ahead and do a redesign ourselves or ask a company to do it, but we figured that as our user base also consists of such professionals who obviously enjoy using our service, who better to ask for ideas of how to make it more appealing and user-friendly than those who use it already?

However, that all seemingly got lost under the idea were simply looking for work on the cheap in an attempt to exploit our current user base. Again, this was never at any stage our intention. We simply wanted people to put forward some ideas they may have had for the site to help us improve it for them and, in return, we would offer an iPad to the best design. We even thought it would be a good idea and, quite fair, to reference those whose work we used on the site if we did use it.

Once more we would like to apologise to all and sundry for any offence we have caused.

P.S. As a further point mentioned to me by our Managing Director. There will be a winner of this competition, someone will win an iPad. However, we might not actually use any of their design ideas on the site if we feel they’re not suitable. If that is the case, then we will instead then go to an agency and ask them to redesign the site. If this happens, this will actually cost us more in the long run. So why do it? Because we wanted to involve our users. We thought that would be the better way to do it.