The app development project was not moving in a direction that I was comfortable with. This was a slightly complex project, and I didn’t want to commit nearly $300 to my first, outsourcing endeavor. However, last week, I had three smaller jobs that I could easily outsource and manage. And, as small as they were, if the experience ended poorly, I wouldn’t be out too much money. This post will describe the process of working through my first outsourced job: developing an infographic.
As many friends and family members will tell you, I really enjoy working in Photoshop. Although I am far from an artist, I have produced some quality material that I am reasonably proud of. But when I needed a graphic to illustrate the product roadmap for a piece of software my company was developing, I decided to hire a professional from fiverr.com. Under “Graphics & Design,” there are a number of people offering infographics.
A lot of the “artists” on fiverr are not individual freelancers. Although some are, many are part of a team that work together on projects. The benefit of using the approach is that you are able to access a variety of styles with a single hire. So, look at some of the providers and browse through their portfolio. Doing this gave me a pretty good sense of the style (and possibly even the clip art) the artist uses.
Next, send your prospective hire a message. Describe your project and ask them if they are interested. From their response, you should be able to judge their interest. Notice the specificity in my request. I was very clear about what I wanted (a road map) and what the content (all provided). I intentionally did not specify the graphical style – I wanted to see what an independent, creative mind would come up with.
And the response?
Hmmm…Not exactly poetry. To be quite honest, this is where an alarm should have gone off. The focus seems to be on money…not the gig. BUT…I am an optimist (sometimes), so I hired this team.
The response was very quick. They delivered the draft about 4-5 days ahead of schedule. Here was the first draft:
To be quite honest, I was disappointed. The color scheme was right, but the entire approach was simply too whimsical. However, in this you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours peer review economy, I didn’t want to establish a reputation for a bad employer. Regardless, I need to learn to use this platform properly.
They responded very quickly (by the next morning) with the following (bottom was cropped because it was unchanged):
Okay, now we are getting somewhere…but I am really not happy with the duplicated map graphic…and what is that thing those guys on the second map are using? A vending machine? This time, however, I had a little more inspiration. I liked where they were going, so I decided to nudge them over the finish line by opening the proof in Photoshop and tweaking it to suit my needs. I sent the draft back to them, and after a two more iterations (they missed something on their response), this is the result (the small glitches in the graphics were caused by me when I compressed the image):
After the job was complete, I was presented with the opportunity to tip the artist – so I did. They turned this around quickly and didn’t give me a hard time when I asked for changes.
For a grand total around $30, I got this awesome graphic without me having to spend a couple of hours building it. I might enjoy the work, but I never would have come up with something this cool.
All told, my first fiverr experience was excellent and I will be certain to use the site again.
PS: At the time of writing, I have two additional jobs pending. Both were hired the same day as this infographic. I wonder if they will make the deadline!