Why Crowd Collaboration is a Bad Idea

2 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

Crowd collaboration. You ever heard of it? We’re not talking about meeting up with a bunch of people in a busy airport and breaking out into a well-organized flash mob. No, sadly, we’re talking about recruiting some well-meaning, but maybe not the most dependable, folks to provide feedback on work from your design team. Whether it be in a Facebook group, Instagram comments, forums, or any other web group – it doesn’t matter. Crowd collaboration is a bad idea. Trust us when we say, we’d much rather be in a flash mob.

This is one of the top ways a brand project can go off course and directly down the crapper. Not to mention, you will drive yourself crazy listening to 50 people weighing in on your brand identity. In this post, we’re going to break down a couple reasons why we think listening to the opinions of a bunch of randos to provide feedback is a bad idea, and also list some suggestions for who you can trust instead.

Don’t talk to strangers. Seeking help from internet trolls is a major risk. These people do not truly know your brand and the direction it is headed, so how can you trust they will give constructive feedback? I’m not saying all of the apples picked from the crowd collab tree are going to be rotten, but chances are they’ve all got some weird brown spots that should probably be checked out by a professional.

Translation: some design feedback from humans on the interwebs might be useful and constructive, but more often than not you will receive tons of critique with no real merit or advice. Listening to the peanut gallery will only confuse your direction, cause you to doubt your brand, and your designer’s process will suffer and might even cause you to get fired. Ok, maybe a little dramatic with that last one, but crowd collaboration will make things a lot harder for you and your brand in the end.

You know nothing, Jon Snow. This next one is crucial. Not all these people understand branding and most wouldn’t know good design if it smacked them across the face.

So imagine you are working with your designer and you both have a good idea of where your project is headed and you post a logo on your favorite entrepreneurial Facebook group (with 32,478 members) to see what the folks on the ‘gram think. Aunt Jane loves it and is proud of you, your friend thinks it looks cool but hates the colors, your old coworker sends you an email blowing apart the design, and then a few randos chime in with useless emojis and Papyrus font suggestions.

And now you are confused AF and second-guessing your whole business model. Raise your hand if this sounds familiar. Trust us when we say crowd collaboration and listening to people who are not in the design or strategy game is a BAD IDEA. Your own personal likes and dislikes may not even be relevant here let along Joe Schmo from East Bumble.

Listen up. Moral of the story: don’t take the opinions of people on the internet too seriously. Think about it. Who knows your business and your client best? You.

Now don’t get us wrong, talking through ideas and feedback can be of great value, but if you absolutely must have an opinion, make sure it is someone you trust. Perhaps a business partner (past or present) or a mentor in your field. They not only know you on a deeper level, whether personally or professionally, but chances are you’ve bored them to tears with your ramblings about your business, your brand, and your goals that they already know you like the back of their hand and can contribute something valuable. Not that we’re speaking from experience or anything…

At the end of the day, trust your designer, know your client and your business inside and out and it will be all good baby.

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