We do want media queries and it isn't too complicated, indeed. Like you correctly pointed out, we have some amazing designers on Scoutzie and many of them are familiar with responsive layouts. We could design a layout that looks great. More so, we could upgrade to the latest version of the Bootstrap and use their responsiveness to accomplish this goal.
Having said that, we have been been changing something on the site on at least weekly basis, tweaking the layout, occasionally flipping it on its head. With that, I track analytics and I know the percentage of users that come from mobile and I can guesstimate their behavior on the site; it's very similar to the desktop users, not better, but not worse. So, maintaining a responsive layout right now just doesn't make as much sense for us, if you consider the time tradeoff.
Furthermore, a responsive layout shouldn't just be smacked on top of the regular design. If we were to create a truly great experience on mobile, we should design it with mobile needs in mind. Just having object be smaller and wrap around is a good start, but I believe there is more to responsive design than that.
For right now, we'd rather focus on making a better overall (desktop, for now) experience, and once we got it down, we'll go ahead and revamp the responsiveness.
There is an astronomical difference between the effort required to buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of imagery, and the effort required to buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of someone's time. The former is a matter of a cart and credit card, the latter requires lengthy emails, contracts, legal approvals, timesheets, and all other sorts of mumbo jumbo and for most projects, is enough work that I often just don't bother.
Though those roadblocks are there to protect both parties, I suspect that there's an artificially large delta between cost and risk.
Buying designs is easy. Buying commercial photographer's time is in the same ballpark as a designer's.
"Design on tap" is something larger companies with a standing contract / retainer can have. If you reach out to a larger design firm in your area and establish a relationship, you can cultivate this sort of relationship.
You don't buy design because it's not an asset. It's part of the process.
99designs also minimizes communication and interaction. Yes, this makes things easier for you, but designers are basically left to guess in the dark. It's a spray and pray approach that really goes against the word "design".
Yes, there will always be a place for 99designs. On Scoutzie, we believe that there should also be a place where a designer is valued by his merits, can be given the opportunity to apply his creativity, and be paid for his work.
It appears you're using Heroku, check out the docs for how to do this here: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/ssl
I am going to work on answering questions properly next time. Thanks!
As I explained to Nicole (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4262188), I saw the original comment as an offense on the quality of Scoutzie-listed designers and I take any such offense very personally. We spend a lot of time talking to the designers, getting to know them, looking to understand how they work and what they want to get out of their design careers. When I see a negative comment about the site or about our user base , I see it as a negative comment about each one of our users. It hurts me because I see these users as real people, not just user ids.
Now, I can see that 'mnicole' wasn't out to get us, and it was wrong of me to engage in a hostile manner myself.
Unfortunately, as one comments irritates your skin, it's really easy to quickly overreact with others. I will get better at this.
Lastly, thank you for giving the feedback.
What wonderful ways to respond to people you're trying to profit off of.
As per the 99designs, we are not badmouthing them at all. There are designers who are willing to do design at a chance they will not get paid and let's face it, most designers on 99designs don't get paid because only the winner takes the money. This is terrible for designers who put in the hours of work and then don't get reimbursed of it. This isn't always good for clients either. Given that each designer can only spend limited time (knowing they might (most likely won't) get paid). As a result, most designers end up with no $ in the pockets and clients end up with work that could be improved upon.
All said, there are clients who use 99designs and there are designers who work on these projects. 99Designs as a company is doing well and we are happy for them. But, we don't have to support them because we prefer to encourage great design and to encourage great designers to be paid for their work.
Do you say 444 because that's all you have signed up currently, or are you restricting it to that number? I think it'd be interesting to see what would happen if you did the latter, almost as if you were curating top talent, something like an agency. Imagine if 37signals kept the number of designers in each price bracket it represented on Sortfolio to only 20 or so. A part of me thinks those design firms would have gotten a lot more business than they would have otherwise.
Instead of limiting the total number for the top 20, the bar is at "awesome": more than 444 designers can be awesome, each in their own right.
No doubt there are more than 20 awesome designers out there, but from a client's point of view, I would think the zero-sum nature of a top X list would do a bit more to ensure that the designers are worth their weight. Think of it like Billboard's Top 10/20/100. I'm not saying this model would be better, just that it would be interesting to see how this sort of presentation would influence a potential client's perception of quality.
But unlike Dribbble, we're not looking to build a popularity contest.
Actually, let me ask here: how much does popularity of a designer matter to you in choosing a designer to join your team?
It also looks as though all it takes is downloading the Teehan+Lax template and making a few fake iOS layouts to join as opposed to real mobile/responsive experience. I'd find a lot more usefulness as both a designer and a scout if there was more to it than that since mobile UX is imperative to the success of the product and UI has a lot to do with that (static images - especially taken at those dreaded angled/screenshotted Dribbble perspectives - of an interactive experience don't sell me).. otherwise I'll just search Dribbble for "mobile" to find someone's profile and get a better gist of their overall skillset, be it more code- or design-based.
I agree UX is imperative to the success of a product. But so too is the code, its marketing efforts, and more. Can you elaborate a bit more on what you're getting at?
After Kirill's remark I'm not sure why I'm replying, but my overall point is that the lack of minimum shots-per-project give little to no context of the app or the cohesiveness of the UI, which is why it's hard to tell if they're real or just concepts. I also think it would benefit the designers and scouts alike to have their uploads sorted by project so you aren't just clicking into a random assortment of thumbnails and you/your perspective clients can link others to specific ones instead of saying "Click on the one with the big pink star."
There is a huge gap between average and great, and whenever someone suggests that Scoutzie folks are just average, I won't hesitate to remind them otherwise.
Given your further feedback, I don't think you were aiming at the designers, so my apologies for incorrectly assessing your comment and snapping back. Sorry.
Additionally, there's a drop-down to say you have experience with responsive, but there's no follow-up to that. Does that mean you have experience building the hi-fidelity mockups or are you actually building the media queries? Those are the questions I would have as a scout or how I'd want to distinguish myself as a designer, since a lot of employers either expect both skillsets or make them two entirely separate roles.
Sorry if I came off as harsh in the initial response, I understand the need for a service like this, but couldn't really tell how it couldn't be superseded by the current go-to for finding designers until there was a little more focus/drilling-down of projects/skillsets that the "competitor" doesn't give you the room to include.
Right, because your quality of work is so outstanding, that you are to judge. A little jealous, perhaps?
For a bootstrapping startup trying to ship: not much.
For a brick and mortar business looking to help establish their web presence with a mobile app: quite a bit.
And often times it's the latter category of clients that pay more.
I'm just brainstorming here, not criticizing Scoutzie at all. You guys are off to a great start.
Good breakdown on where popularity matters. Thank you. We'd love even more ideas too if you care to share!
I would urge you to take this to the next step and unify accounting. This would allow customers to feel as if they were hiring a traditional firm, and would relish in the idea of being able to select out of 444 designers and then work directly with them.
So, do the designers need to pay a fee to be listed, when they receive a message from a client etc.?
What's the main difference between you and dribbble? They let you people message designers about projects too, no?
Right now, we allow you to post a simple project request. It's like a job board. Except, since our site is curated and only our designers get to see it - your respondents will be from vetted designers, not just any random Joe who says he can draw. We made sure you get qualified leads - we leave you to move forward with the designer as the two of you agree to.
We do not believe in asking anyone to work for free.