I’m not a fan of sites like Fiverr.com where the idea is that you can get a valuable service at a super-cheap price – like design work. From what I have seen of others’ experiences, you get what you pay for.
I struggle, however, with delegating things I’m capable of (in some fashion, anyway) but that I really should hand off because they are outside my primary focus. This month I’ve been busy working on the Kindle version of the Make A Tiny Website guidebook – which is the priority – so I actually outsourced something: an infographic design for a side project (not client work).
I chose someone who had excellent reviews and whose portfolio looked great, and paid $25+ (that’s still really cheap) instead of $5. Everyone’s experience is likely to be a little different, but in this instance the designer’s incomplete grasp of the English language turned a shoulda-been quickie job (for which I supplied all text and some graphics) into a real ordeal. After 2.5 weeks and four revisions, this morning I finally received an acceptable graphic with no mistakes.
For the last two revisions, I took to marking up the graphic to indicate exactly what needed to change. It worked only marginally better. I wondered how the woman had such a stellar review record, since after struggling through four rounds of back-and-forth with her, I was sure my issues couldn’t be isolated incidents. I felt bad, but I left her this two-star review:
The end result was good, but my requests were repeatedly misunderstood. I’d request changes, and in a couple of days receive a graphic that had only some of the changes I requested, along with new mistakes or misinterpretations. It took about two weeks of back & forth to finish. Frustrating.
Shortly after leaving that review, I discovered how this designer maintains her positive review status when I received an e-mail from her asking me to please delete my review and offering me a refund. If I deleted that review some other person would see only glowing reviews and hire her, and go through the same ordeal I did. Good thing I didn’t have a hard deadline. I did not delete the review, BTW.
If you are ever in a situation where you need inexpensive design work, it’s fine to try Fiverr, 99Designs, etc., if you don’t expect much. It’s best to choose someone whose first language is the same one you use to communicate. The designer I chose left telltale signs in her service description, but I gave them a whole lot less weight after reading glowing reviews of her work and her service. Don’t believe reviews, and assume the less you pay the worse the quality.
In the images below, the last infographic was the one I started and didn’t like; I sent it to the designer for reference. The first one is the final infographic I received from the designer this morning. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I was just _done_. The second one was my revision of her work. Between what I paid the designer and my billable rate, this infographic cost me over $500.