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Posted: August 22nd, 2022
. Describe the impact that crowdsourcing has had on the field of interface design. – need more details of impacts
7. Describe how crowdsourcing may affect the budget and timeline of a design project.- more details on budget and timelines
8. Assess crowdsourcing in regard to the legal, societal, and ethical issues it raises, and suggest methods to alleviate these concerns. – is it possible to refer 3 aspects based on legal, societal and ethical
The explosion of creativity in the use of Web 2.0 began in 2005. In the period of 2005-2007, thousands of freelance developers began opening up shops globally. The spark of the growth was the massive outsourcing campaigns done by major global corporations such as Yahoo, Google, EBay and Amazon. Many other major web entities followed suit. The application programming interfaces were available for freelancers to develop further. The web entities understood that global creativity was an important resource going forward. Reliance on internal creative resources was limiting. The need to crowdsource is also a product of specialized production. The general assumption is that the work of a specialist is better than that of a general producer.
Jeff Howe invented the term crowdsourcing in 2006. The general understanding of the term was that it was that it was a new way of looking for individuals willing to collaborate in a certain project (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). The right number of skilled people with adequate resources and time can complete a project fast. For the small projects, there are numerous crowdsourcing sights available such as Amazon Mechanical Turk. Therefore, despite the general assumption that crowdsourcing is new, it has been in existence and applicable for a number of years.
There are three main types of crowdsourcing. Crowdfunding involves the funding of projects by a large number of people. Kickstarter is an example of a platform used for sourcing funds from many individuals (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). On the other hand, crowdsourced designs are projects designed by individuals in the public. For instance, some websites rely on the designs of a large number of people. In crowdwisdom, a large number of people participate in giving answers to certain questions. One of the most notable crowdsourcing efforts lately was the invitation by Netflix for people to participate in the creation of a filtering algorithm. A million dollars was the offer to the winners of the challenge.
The main advantage of crowdsourcing is that it opened up the possibility to teenagers all over the world to download an API for Flickr, Google Maps or EBay and have the opportunity to release creative enhancements on the shared code (Nov, Laut, & Porfiri, 2016). Additionally, many widget engines are available and they allow developers to design interfaces to incorporate to the old browser pages. The momentum of freelance design and development is now unstoppable. Widgets provide targeted information and the services most demanded.
The growth of outsourcing triggered a change in the mindset of development in organization. If entities could trust strangers then everyone in the organization might be a source of ideas (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). The installation of a culture where everyone has a stake in the creative process provides an entity with a broader perspective on innovation. Sustaining a culture of innovation requires breaking the restrictive perception of non-creatives and creatives. Everybody steps forward to contribute to the creative process of the organization. However, providing equal opportunity does not necessarily mean that everyone is creatively brilliant. Simple ideas by individuals can develop to become disruptive paradigms.
The magic of Web 2.0 is the allowance for collaboration. Websites such as Digg and Wikipedia collect content from the crowd to aggregate authentic information. Wikipedia has close to 15 million topic entries (Nov et al. 2016). Today, it is the most common encyclopedia reference point. Despite the diverse collection points, most of the entries on Wikipedia are highly useful to the users. By engaging in crowdsourcing, entities raise the odds in attaining the breakthrough in innovation. Additionally, the endorsement of crowdsourcing provides the opportunity to break the old culture of watering down good ideas.
The main challenge is crowdsourcing is creating the capacity to source ideas and building a strong firewall to guarantee quality. In design, evidence is already clear that crowdsourced features are more functional and relatable to the people (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). The huge number of people pouring ideas into projects accelerates the process of creative evolution. At a high level of integration, it is difficult to distinguish between the developers of products and the consumers. Crowdsourcing has opened up endless opportunities to design and create products.
The Impact of Crowdsourcing on Interface Design.
Crowdsourcing has had a significant effect in many creative processes like design. However, the disruptive nature of the development has also made it polarizing. In design, many experts were hysterical about crowdsourcing in the early days (Nov et al. 2016). The skeptics did not understand the concepts well. Later on, most of the designers understood crowdsourcing better as a form of disintermediation and it has alleviated their fears. In effect, crowdsourcing enables end clients to bypass intermediaries and access the pool of designers.
Benefits of Incorporating Crowdsourcing into a Design Project.
The conventional modes of work have significant costs in running the business. The main in house cost in most entities is labor. The lack of efficiency among staff members makes some labor costs losses (Zhao & van der Hoek, 2015). Crowdsourcing alleviates some of the challenges by minimizing both the intangible and monetary costs of the business. Numerous studies reveal that crowd labor has been on the increase each year. Therefore, the opportunities to reduce the costs through crowdsourcing are increasing by the day.
In terms of labor costs, enterprises incur costs in recruitment, training, hiring and supervision. An additional cost in dealing with the turnover of the employees is also a loss of revenue to the entity (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). Crowdsourcing eliminates such costs by the use of pay per task model. Managed crowdsourcing models allow the entity to use individuals with a proven record of accomplishment. The crowd sourcing spaces create an on demand environment where people are readily available to provide the required form of service. Thus, the higher the utilization of the crowd for labor, the lower the costs on a project.
Carrying out duties more suitable for crowdsourcing in-house requires exorbitant overhead costs. The costs incurred are mostly on the creation of functional work environment and provision of extra benefits to the employees such as bonuses (Nov et al. 2016). Individuals who insist on sticking to the traditional modes of production fail to eliminate the traditional costs of business. Some of the expenses tied to the conventional forms of production include, utilities such as office space, employee payment rates based on taxes, paid leave for the employees, and the managerial costs. Most of the traditional overheads are a nonfactor in the determination of crowdsourcing costs.
Projects completed in house have significant management costs. An teams involved in a long terms project requires oversight through a position created to specifically provide a governance structure, management of costs, and quality assurance. Crowdsourcing avoids the management costs (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). It is possible to handle quality assurance through the crowdsourcing platforms. Additionally, the platforms handle the communication on behalf of the crowdsourcing client. The same benefits of an in house project are achievable through crowdsourcing. The ability to achieve the same results without over extending the internal resources is an imperative advantage to any entity.
Crowdsourced places day-to-day tasks of the business in the hands of others. Therefore, entities have the opportunity to save on time, which is an important resource. To that extent, individuals can focus on the core competencies and maximize on the maximum potential of the enterprise (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). Consequently, there are more benefits such as operational efficiency. Additionally, the business is more competitive due to better processes in product development and marketing.
The availability of crowdsourcing also enables the business to reduce in the opportunity cost incurred while completing the tasks in-house (Nov et al. 2016). The crowd completes tasks faster than the internal staff members do because they have specialized skills. Fast completion of projects provides a competitive advantage to the business. Completing tasks faster provide an opportunity for the business to realize the benefits sooner.
The use of crowdsourcing has genuine advantages like the completion of tasks by individuals at an affordable rate. Other than that, the high number of people who are readily available to offer a service provides an entity with numerous options. However, there are also some disadvantages of outsourcing.
Challenges of Incorporating Crowdsourcing into a Design Project.
One of the main ways of crowdsourcing is through the creation of contests. For instance, an entity can have a challenge to create the best logo. The winner takes home the prize money and the company adopts the creative design as a trademark (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). However, the process for crowdsourcing has a negative implication to the designers because they all lose rights over their creative designs despite having only one winner. Entities retain all the designs and utilize them for business promotions without recognizing the efforts of the designers.
All entities hope to receive thousands of options to choose from at the least cost. Most companies have a misconceived perception about branding. The entities think that branding is about how the business looks (à Campo, Khan, Papangelis, & Markopoulos, 2019). However, branding is about how the company interacts in the business environment. In any business, the perception created among members of the public is critical. Additionally, the careless involvement with designers in the market may have negative repercussions to the business.
Crowdsourced designs bring out the creativity of the individual designers. A background check on the designs of the competitor and design brief is not available to the designers (à Campo et al. 2019). Therefore, the submissions might be creative but ineffective in the market. Additionally, the designers understand that they might fail to receive pay for the work done. Therefore, they rush through the projects with the hope of achieving instant gain. Most of the designs do not realize the benefit intended by the business.
Critics of crowdsourcing also argue that it is bad for the creative industry. Crowdsourcing takes advantage of availability of many designers in the market. According to the critics, it is a shortcut taken by the entities (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). Instead, they should invest more in promoting the talents of the creative individuals. Critics also pose the argument that designers who participate in crowdsourcing make it difficult for their fellow colleagues in the industry to get contracts for their works. Creativity needs to be natured. Crowdsourcing creates the perception that entities are starving the process of creativity by not appreciating the time invested by the designers.
The cheap labor provided in the process of outsourcing might result in a design that is less credible. Professional recruited by other means dedicate their experience and expertise to the project (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). To that extent, in design, crowdsourcing is only practical for simple tasks. Any task that is not simple is a risk in outsourcing. Crowdsourcing also faces challenges in management. On most occasions, the crowdsourced work should undergo a process of reviewing to ascertain the quality of the work. In contrast, mangers have an assurance of quality from internally completed projected. The internal members of staff have proven quality in completing the task. Therefore, the supervision does not have to be too rigorous.
Achieving collaboration between crowdsourced members is also difficult. Often times, individuals compete against each other. Additionally, on some occasions there is no formal contract binding the members to act in a certain manner. Therefore, a designer might choose to abandon the project midway and that interferes with the budget and timelines of projects. A binding agreement is imperative for any business negotiation. Suppliers should act in a manner that is predictable to enable the entities to put proper measures in place to achieve success.
Generating Interest in a Design Project from the Online Community.
The current needs of the business and the amount it intends to pay for a solution determines the process of crowdsourcing. It is also imperative to take certain steps in evaluating the skills needed (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). First, the entity needs to provide a specific description of the type of skills needed to provide the solution. Individuals applying for the position should measure their competencies against the detailed description. Next, the business owners should evaluate and choose individuals the best individuals among the applicants. Specificity allows the business to narrow down on the individuals who can offer the best skills.
Secondly, quality in crowdsourcing is only available after using the standard market rate to fetch the skills required. Using a cheaper rate to crowdsource mainly attracts individuals who without the necessary qualifications (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). Well skilled individuals are aware of the value they bring to the business and they cannot offer their services at a low rate. Value for money is an imperative concept in all forms of enterprise. A proper research on the standard market rate for various quality levels is critical before beginning the crowdsourcing process. It is also important not to overpay for a service that is available at cheaper rate and in the required standard of quality.
Additionally, it is imperative to have a form of analyzing and verifying the work submitted from crowdsourcing. Before making a payment for works done, entities should ensure that the crowdsources members have attained the required standard. A review is necessary if the quality is not satisfactory. The crowdsourced members should only submit a project that meets the expectations of the contracting entity. Fetching the right individuals to complete tasks also involves choosing the right platforms for engagement. Different platforms have distinct members with certain specializations (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). In the wring forum, it is impossible to find people with the required level of skill. Some platforms have enhanced features that classify members according to the feedback received from their previous clients. Platforms with a rating system make the work easy for individuals sourcing qualified individuals.
Entities can also retain a database of crowdsourced individuals who have provided quality services in the past. The records hasten the process of recruitment. Additionally, the business does not have to spend too much times in verifying the work done by such individuals because they have an assurance on their quality. In the same way, entities should blacklist individuals who fail to meet the expected standard of work. Evaluation of the required skill set should also involve the referrals. Entities should ask other companies that have the same skill needs for advice on who and where to crowdsource. Individuals who have proven their competencies in the past on similar capacities provide the entities with good options.
Evaluating the Skill Set and Quality of the Code
All entities and individuals strive to be efficient in order to make the best use of their time. The best way to avoid the fete is by reducing the time wasted on the insignificant tasks. In that regard, crowdsourcing is highly effective in the completion of such tasks (Garcia-Molina et al. 2016). However, many entities are do not have the awareness to achieve the full potential of crowdsourcing. Generating an interest in the project among members of online communities is a challenge to most of the participating entities. One of the solutions is to ask for help for individuals who have been in a similar position before. The special question and answer sites available only such as quora can provide individuals with answers they need on where to find individuals with the necessary skills and what it takes to motivate them.
Additionally, the right pay for the work done is an imperative aspect of attracting the required level of skill. Many individuals consider money as huge motivational factor (Brito, Vieira, & Duran, 2015). Entities seeking to recruit the services of professionals need to understand the intricacies of paying the right amount for the services offered. With the increased demand for the skill of interphase designs, a good rewarding mechanism is a sure way of beating competition to the best talents available in the market.
Entities should also create a good relationship with individuals online. For instance, the modes of engagement should be professional. Individuals prefer to work again with entities that treated them better in the past (Brito et al. 2015). In the online world, individuals trade cautiously. For instance, some entities take advantage of the lack of a binding contract and they fail to pay crowdsourced individuals even after benefitting from their work. Some online platforms have a way of delisting such individuals. Therefore, the crowdsourcing entities should also demonstrate their commitment to attract designers.
Entities should also make use of individuals who are influential or authorities in the field of design to encourage participation. Individuals look up to their colleagues who have made more advances in the field of design (Brito et al. 2015). The influential members in the design communities can vouch for the entities as trusted members of the crowdsourcing community. Trust is easier to attain by using familiar faces. Individuals might be hesitant to trust an entity that they have never seen before.
Social media is one of the best online platforms to engage members of the public. Additionally, it is possible to target certain groups on the social media platforms created specifically for the designers (Brito et al. 2015). In such groups, individuals discuss only matters that involve designs. Therefore, it is easier to source candidates from such platforms. The groups also have avenues for vetting the trusted and skilled designers. Online members are more likely to pick work from such platforms than other random online requests.
The Budget and Timeline of a Design Project
Crowdsourcing affects the budget by reducing the cost of a design process. On most occasions, crowdsourcing is much cheaper than completing a project internally (Brito et al. 2015). Additionally, the internal staff members can engage themselves in other activities instead of designing. Therefore, it saves on time as well. The timeline of a design project is not affected by crowdsourcing from qualified individuals. However, a challenge can arise if the project is not in the specified form. To that extent, valuable time may be lost redoing the projects. It is possible to overcome such inconveniences by choosing the right individuals to complete the designs in the first place. Additionally, it is better to set tentative timelines. The deadline provided to the crowdsourced members should be earlier than the actual time limit. The allowance provides entities with an allowance to make the changes that they deem fit before the projects are actually due.
Legal, Societal, and Ethical Issues
Crowdsourcing does not have regulatory formalities. For instance, there no institutions set up to deal with conflicts arising from crowdsourcing. To that extent, the legal and ethical standards are losing (Brito et al. 2015). One of the main challenges facing the industry is the lack of face-to-face interaction opportunities for the participants. Therefore, it is difficult to negotiate on the legal and ethical intricacies. Most of the agreements rely on the regulation on the online platforms. In some instances, the online spaces may fail to have adequate measures to resolve the challenges. In other instances, some entities do not care about the legal and ethical concerns of the users.
The creative nature of crowdsourcing design allows the participation of many members. Therefore, it is not possible to establish legally binding contracts with all of them. Contracts force individuals to engage in a manner that is beneficial to all the parties (Brito et al. 2015). Failure to comply by one of the parties can attract a legal suit. In the absence of such measures, some parties may take advantage and hand in poor designs and still expect the same amount of compensation.
Another legal challenge facing crowdsourcing is the lack of a formal method to distribute shared compensations (Brito et al. 2015). A number of people might be involved in a project. The client might not have the means to assess the amount of work done by each individual. An equal distribution formula might not be fair for individuals who have done most of the work but there is not remedy for the situation in the lack of proper agreement prior to the engagement.
Crowdsourcing is a wonderful opportunity for designers to engage each other in the creative process. However, the modes of engagement need more refinement to reduce the obstacles in the process. The use of crowdsourcing for interphase design has developed gradually over the years. Today, even the largest corporations rely on crowdsourcing for their designs. Additionally, the number of skilled individuals has also increased significantly. Therefore, it is easy to seek individuals with the skill online. However, the challenge lies in vetting the right individuals for specified tasks. The referral system is the best means to obtain the best designers.
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Garcia-Molina, H., Joglekar, M., Marcus, A., Parameswaran, A., & Verroios, V. (2016). Challenges in data crowdsourcing. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 28(4), 901-911. DOI: 10.1109/TKDE.2016.2518669
Nov, O., Laut, J., & Porfiri, M. (2016). Using targeted design interventions to encourage extra‐role crowdsourcing behavior. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(2), 483-489. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23507
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