I'm an artist myself, graphic designer, web designer, and illustrator. I was frustrated on how the freelance scene worked, so I'm asking you'alls help to mend the system, or at least grease the wheels. We feel exactly how you do, if not by using a 'vs. comparison', how would you the user(you) feel is a best version of this designer network?
I admire your perseverance, just wish it would go into something more productive. This project is not.
I appreciate you asking and being open about it, as well as not becoming defensive, especially considering the amount of work that has gone into the site.
Ideas that come to mind:
If it is to be a professional level tool for marketing I would do away with ANY gimicky stuff like the "vs." ratings.
Small portfolio pages that may allow reviews, testimonials and comments possibly.
A way for the designer/illustrator/artist to easily share their resume, contact info.
Plenty of social or sharing sites exist that have the right tools but they aren't focused on design and illustration of course (and actually plenty are, they just aren't professional enough). Things like Flickr or even DA are close in format. I would think a streamlined Flickr crossed with something like Carbon Made(?) or Coppermine(?) would have potential. You may want to expand your research into architecture and interior design network/marketing sites for ideas as well.
Would up/down votes, similar to a reddit integrated into our current format be better than a 'vs. comparison'?
We would like to go above & beyond just being a portfolio site for you. Which as you say, begins with streamlining a product like a carbonmade/flickr mixture for designers.
Honestly? Voting system isn't going to work.
Would it be more preferable to have people browsing your art/design to have the option to collect it, and share it on their collecting profiles? & the most collected designers would appear in Top Rated/ popular.
Sorry, but no.Be bold and register? lol.
I'm the user, you are the website. You need to make it enticing for ME and give ME a reason to look at your site. I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm trying to offer you some constructive criticism. Many people operate this way and by pointing it out, I've done all I can. Now you know.
You can feel free to ignore it or you can make it more accessible to the passerby so you actually get people using your site. With millions of websites in the world, people need to have a REASON to go to your site.
And giving them a browse-able version that doesn't require a login is fairly basic for this type of site.
As I mentioned before, this seems like a "Hot or Not" of art.
The website, Hot or Not, did not require any form on login. Anyone could go to it, vote immediately, and then leave if they wanted. That created a fairly viral scenario where people would tell their friends to look at it. The easier something is to use, the more people will use it (if it interests them). Of course, it's worth noting "Hot or Not" was popular about 12 years ago.....so I have no idea if such a site would be popular today.
We are wondering if you the user would use a site that is similar to this pair comparison, but allows only employers to go through the art in pairs and it suggests the top picks of their preferences for them to place in the job? You would receive the private info of which pieces the employers were and were not picking without anyone else seeing the results.