Russian Design Cup: results, reviews, impressions

    Hurrah! The first Russian Design Cup competition is over. This competition has become a kind of experiment. And, as you know, the value of any experiment is in the data, lessons, experience. And it's time to share all this with you.

    The idea to hold a competition came last year. I really wanted to go out to interesting designers, and indeed arrange a dash in the web design environment.

    Facts and Figures

    We received about a thousand applications for participation, of the "declared" only a hundred sent works for the first round. 10 participants reached the final, and 9 sent the final works. Among the three winners there is not a single designer from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The jury met only two times, for the first discussion of tasks and for evaluating the final works. Tasks came up collectively. Despite the fact that we had a reserve list of tasks, after each round we still redrawed it, added new ones, removed unnecessary ones. With each post on Twitter and support, we all better understood how to formulate tasks and conduct a competition. Thanks for the feedback!

    When designing the contest, I wanted to do everything faster and easier, because until the end there was no certainty whether it would be in demand. Therefore, we did not make usernames or passwords (which we regretted later). The competition was closed, and only the works of the finalists are now published on the site. This does not mean that you will not see the other works - soon we will fill them in some convenient place for viewing and discussion. Let's arrange a festive web buffet with lynch and likes. The place and time will be announced additionally on our twitter .

    There are a lot of ideas about what the competition will be next year. One of the tasks was a proposal to improve our site. We got so many cool concepts and ideas that they are enough for 10 contests. We will contact the author of one of the works and offer to work together on the site and the RDC 2013 concept. Yes, we will pay the money.

    What have we learned

    Now about the design experience of the contest itself. Not everything went smoothly, here are the top conclusions for next year. Necessary:

    • do the whole part with logins, password recovery, etc.
    • publish work after each round;
    • give an opportunity to fumble and discuss them;
    • lay more time for evaluation;
    • make a trusted test group and run on them the wording;
    • take a couple of girls to the jury.

    If you have ideas and suggestions - write in the comments. We’ll definitely consider it.

    Which, it seems to me, was able to do well:

    • assemble an authoritative, versatile jury;
    • Respond promptly to problems. Many thanks to those involved in the technical part;
    • make interesting (albeit conflicting places) tasks;
    • have a good time.

    In order to get an objective review of the contest, I prepared several questions for the jury members (I also answered myself, I was not too lazy).

    What useful things did you learn from the competition: experience, ideas, plans?

    Dmitry Zimin (Rambler)
    - Contrary to expectations, the top three (and generally cool designers) do not have Muscovites. Maybe the Moscow guys are very busy. Nevertheless, I am glad that there are masters in other cities. There are still many designers who shift their focus to the visual part, but real “thinking designers” appear. Just a "designer" does not need the market in the future. The market will need a designer-designer, or an analyst-marketer, or a product manager with strong UX skills.

    Kostya Gorsky (Yandex)
    - I realized a lot about how the task in different ways is understood differently by the participants. I saw a variety of possible solutions and ways to submit decisions. There were separate magical interface solutions :)

    Yuri Vetrov (Mail.Ru Group)
    - The first shock was the assessment of the first stage - 300 works! And they need to be evaluated carefully, give comments on the most valuable and interesting. And most importantly - completely different work needs to be compared according to a single set of criteria. Strongly affects the evaluation and submission of work. This does not mean that a poor result can pass thanks to a spectacular presentation. But she is able to talk about a complex concept without personal communication.

    I am very proud of the set of tasks that turned out in the end - they were diverse, realistic and balanced in complexity. Although, as always with test tasks, it can not do without ambiguity. After all, a brief description of the requirements makes it difficult to select evaluation criteria, and a very detailed one restricts the designer’s freedom of action.

    It is very important that the jury members communicate live. This made participation more fun for us, and decision making more balanced.

    Oleg Andrianov (Mail.Ru Group)
    - The contest participants presented great ideas, they were not afraid to experiment.

    Alisher Yakupov (Classmates)
    - For the first time in my life, I have been an official twitter - a fascinating activity. He wrote about plans and ideas at the beginning of the article. It was also fun to run after the “forever busy” jury.

    Why do you think there are no designers from Moscow and St. Petersburg among the three winners?

    - Perhaps they are too busy or not motivated (I’m already in a cool office, my salary is good, iMac already exists). Personally, I probably would not have participated, because I often attend meetings, lectures, entertainments, etc. In the region, this number of classes is less likely.

    - It seems that metropolitan designers are so harsh that they don’t work without prepayment ಠ_ಠ

    - Well, at least somewhere there should be equal rights for cities. :) There are good designers everywhere, and it’s great that the fully Internet-based RDC format gives equal opportunity for everyone to participate, without requiring a presence in a particular city.

    - And in the final there were many Muscovites, but they were not included in the top three. Regions and the CIS fought more selflessly, perhaps ... until victorious.

    Are there any works and ideas that have hooked and remembered you? Tell us about one of them.

    - I liked the first work of Stasis Chepulis. He included his work in the context of the user. Photographed himself walking, supposedly in a movie, applying a ticket to a reader. I did not make the interface of the entrance of the social network, justifying why this is not necessary from the product point of view.

    • website concept as a treadmill
    • iOS Icon for Nike Online Store

    - Stunning, crazy, awesome graphics of the magazine store Nikita Ivanov.

    - One of the most memorable was the work of the last stage on the task with adaptability - some of them were very impressed by the jury (Nike, Nikita Ivanov's mock-ups), and the TV disks caused the most disputes (I really liked the decision of Semyon Molotkov). I will not choose the best job - so many things have hooked, and it is difficult to compare them.

    Separately, I note the submission of work - many did a good job, and it was interesting to study design layouts and prototypes. It’s great that some were not lazy to photograph the resulting interface in real life - this means that the authors understand the danger of working in a vacuum.

    - I really liked the work on the RDC redesign: it was clear that the guys were hooked on the topic and they came off in full. Special thanks to everyone who brought their decisions to the real world: printed tickets, connected TV sets, uploaded models to phones. I also liked the work on adaptive design and the preparation of instructions for layout - the level of work is above all expectations.

    What would you say to all the contestants if you saw them now in front of you?

    “I have something to learn from each of you.”

    - Do your favorite thing. Do not stop there.

    - You guys are awesome. Thanks you. You are all incredibly cool! To see so many strong works at once is a great pleasure. Trying to evaluate them and find the strongest author is an extremely difficult task.

    - I was very pleasantly struck by the level of work, as well as the approach to submitting them. It’s great that we have so many complex specialists who can design the interface and offer its visual solution and sell it correctly.

    - Thanks to all! If Maya podsuetsya with a calendar, we will meet at RDC 2013. Goodbye.

    Alisher Yakupov, Classmates

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