Project overview
When business owners need to have a logo designed they have three options to choose from in order to have it created. They can hire a freelancer directly, they can approach a graphic design studio, or they can use a crowdsourced design platform.

DesignContest is an online marketplace where graphic designers compete for a design project. The platform allows business owners to run contests for anything from a logo to a T-shirt design to a landing page. Clients receive hundreds of unique design ideas for a fixed price from professional designers participating in the contest.

DesignContest has been on the market since 2003. Tallium was chosen as a software development partner to facilitate the product's growth.
Client contest details
To start a contest a client needs to fill out a brief form that explains the ins and outs of a project.
The facts
DesignContest is a globally-recognized contest-based marketplace. We helped this product become a million-dollar business.
Project delivery model
Fixed budget and scope
Service scope
Web development, UI/UX design, Quality Assurance, Project Management
Platforms
Web, iOS, Android
Team
1 PM, 1 QA, 1 UI/UX designer, 3 PHP developers, 3 front-end developers
Timeframe
14 months
The solution
To implement the marketplace Cardrop turned to Tallium. Our team provided web development services for the following products:
Two-sided marketplace
The DesignContest platform brings together two distinct user groups: customers and graphic designers. Customers come to the platform to get a variety of designs at an affordable price. Graphic designers come to the platform to get access to new projects.

The platform offers different functionality for these two user groups. We implemented the role-based authorization to identify the current user. The authorization mechanism is used to control access to the application’s functions. For example, customers are allowed to create contests, evaluate entries, and choose winners. And designers are allowed to upload designs to the application server.
Custom contest management
To start a contest a client needs to fill out a design brief and set the price amount. They can also protect their contest with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). If they choose this option, the system will hide the project from search engines.

Within a few hours after starting the contest, the client will begin receiving designs created by the participating designers. We created a custom dashboard to make it easy for customers to manage their contests. They can evaluate entries, communicate with designers, and eliminate designs that don't meet their expectations.

The platform also offers contest management functionality for designers. They can browse contests in more than 50 categories, submit their entries, and communicate with contest holders.
Contest finalization
When a client has picked out a winner, they go through the contest finalization process. This includes getting the source files from the designer, implementing changes if needed, and signing the copyright transfer agreement. They are also required to write a testimonial and rate the designer whose work they intend to buy.

The winner has 24 hours to upload the design files. Once the files are uploaded, the designer signs the copyright transfer agreement and waits for the client's final approval. The prize money will be released to the winner's account after all the edits and fixes are complete.
Secure payment processing
We created a secure payment module that allows the system to both accept payments from clients and make payments to designers. Our module is enhanced with a fraud detection system and has a Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate from Verisign that ensures encryption of sensitive information during online transactions.

We used PayPal integration for credit card payments and express checkout.

Designers get paid through their finance board where they can send a payout request choosing the most convenient payment method.
Voting feature
The users of DesignContest can invite other people to the platform to voice their opinions on what design option is best.

Voting can also take place outside of the DesignContest platform. There are three ways in which this can be done: By downloading PDF file for offline voting By installing voting on a third party website (available for WordPress websites) By inviting people to vote by email

The voting functionality helps DesignContest generate brand awareness and serves as a useful tool for business owners to research the preferences of their target audience.

Technology stack

The DesignContest platform has a heavy-weight business logic on the backend.

Technologies

PHP
Yii
Backbone.js
MySQL
Digital Ocean

Integrations

PayPal
MailChimp
Mandrill
MaxMind
Google

Tools

Vagrant
Bitbucket
Selenium

How we can help

Tallium implements custom software solutions for clients ranging from startups to large enterprise companies. We set clear expectations and deliver according to the plan.