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Submitted on
September 16, 2013
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More salesmore securitymore money per sale, more happiness

I'll briefly describe the current Commissioning process before I explain the improvements I'd like to propose. Then I'll include a simple mock-up that shows some of the changes. I'll end with a list of advantages I had in mind for these changes.

(I mainly wanted to bring up these ideas for discussion, more than say "the current process is wrong and this is right". A process like that of Commissions is rather sensitive as money is involved, and there's likely to be downsides I had not considered.)

The current process

  • The potential Buyer searches commissions or finds the widget on the page of their favourite artist
  • The Buyer requests a commission
    • Buyer and Artist discuss details further if necessary
  • The Artist accepts the commission and is automatically paid (cash/points can be withdrawn after 14 days)
    • The Artist works on the commission.
  • The Artist contacts the Buyer separately to provide the finished work

    The suggested process explained

    It begins the same:
    • The potential Buyer searches commissions or finds the widget on the page of their favourite artist
    • The Buyer requests a commission
      • Buyer and Artist discuss details further if necessary
    • The Artist accepts the commission. The points are reserved from the buyer's account but the earnings aren't transferred yet (to ensure the points aren't spent on something else in the meantime).
      • The artist now works on the commission.
    The Delivery:
    • The artist now marks the commission as finished and is required to provide details about where the work is (e.g. by providing thumbs or writing "should arrive in your mailbox by X"). Gallery deviations and sta.sh items may be included (see screenshot below), effectively linking the finished work to the commission process.
      • The artist receives the earnings at this point.
      • The artist also marks if he wants to request a tip or a testimonial (or neither).
    Tips & Testimonials:
    • The Buyer is of course notified of the good news: his commission is done!
      • If the artist accepts but never marks it as finished, the Buyer can choose to withdraw it after a certain wait. If he wants to withdraw for whatever reason before the wait time is over, he'll have to ask the artist to cancel it.
    • If the artist requested a tip or testimonial, the buyer will get a message a while after they've received the commission, saying something like "Are you deviously delighted with your commission? You can help ~Artist by [leaving them feedback in a testimonial] or [leaving them a tip]". (We don't want to say "~Artist asks you for a tip" as this can seem more greedy or pushy.)
      • Testimonial: The Buyer would write one and rates the artist.
        • The artist is notified of the testimonial and accepts or declines it much like critiques.
        • If accepted, the testimonial will appear with the commission widget. It can also appear on their commissions in Search ("this artist has 2 positive testimonials").
      • The Buyer can just click "Yes" to immediately send a suggested tip amount (10-20%), or change the amount first.
    • Party.:party:

    Here is a simple suggestion of how it could be done. Better interfaces are certainly possible :B but here's a quick edit of the current page that can show the idea:

    Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 20.29.22 by namenotrequired

    Advantages of the main changes:


    The money is deducted when the artist delivers - delivery can be tied to deviation or sta.sh item

    • The process is more intuitive and consistent for all participants
    • Easier administration for both sides as all communication is in one place
    • The process is more secure, as there's proof of delivery
    • More relevant data for dA, which is good news because:
      • Better analysis of usage data allows for better improvement of the product
      • Customer service staff can more easily see relevant information in case their inspection is needed
      • Having related items linked in the system could help future development 
        • (e.g. say dA wants to add a feature to browse only deviations that were commissioned - a large part of the required system would already be in place and there'd be a lot of relevant deviations from the start).

    Buyer can write a testimonial

    • Seeing relevant testimonials will inspire trust and encourage purchases.
    • Artists can improve their art and commission process based on the received feedback.
    • Testimonials could be sent out to watchers of the writer (=buyer) to encourage others to check the Artist as well.
    • The Artist chooses what to approve and keeps control of her page, yet cannot lie about her credibility here.
    • Star ratings are an easy-to-read way to help prospective buyers judge quality.
      • Instead of stars, simply choosing "positive" or "negative" is also a possibility.
    A disadvantage:
    • It may get harder to get sales if you don't have testimonials yet (chicken-and-egg problem).
      • An easy solution for this: artists can invite people to commission them at discount if they're willing to write a testimonial. Many starting companies already do this to get testimonials that help build credibility.

    Buyer can give a tip

    • Good quality and service are encouraged.
    • The Artist gets more revenue.
    • I'm guessing more cashflow is good for dA, and we all want the site to stay alive.
    • Buyers can help their artist and have a hand in the price they pay (people underpricing themselves is a common complaint and I actually often feel I'm paying too little).
    Feedback is very welcome! :)

    Thanks to ^neurotype, ^ginkgografix and ^pica-ae for helping me improve this with valuable feedback :blowkiss:
    Add a Comment:
     

    The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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    :iconshehrozeameen:
    shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
    Its a really good idea. I like it. I hope that it works out :)
    Reply
    :iconnamenotrequired:
    namenotrequired Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Student Interface Designer
    Thank you very much :handshake:
    Reply
    :iconshehrozeameen:
    shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
    You're welcome :)
    Reply
    :iconboffinbrain:
    BoffinbraiN Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
    As long as the commissioner makes sure they have enough money to pay in the future when it's done, it sounds like a good idea. Ideally, dA would act as a sort of financial intermediary and holds the funds until completion.
    Reply
    :iconnamenotrequired:
    namenotrequired Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Student Interface Designer
    I'm glad you agree! That's what I meant by this part, do you think I should phrase it differently to clarify?

    The Artist accepts the commission. The points are reserved from the buyer's account but the earnings aren't transferred yet (to ensure the points aren't spent on something else in the meantime).

      Reply
      :iconboffinbrain:
      BoffinbraiN Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
      Ah yes, that's the one. I guess I missed it the first time.
      Reply
      :iconnamenotrequired:
      namenotrequired Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Student Interface Designer
      Ah ok :) But it's what you mean, and clear enough, you think? 
      Reply
      :iconboffinbrain:
      BoffinbraiN Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
      Yes it is. I could also imagine partial payments for different stages of the process.

      This is off-topic, but could you be so kind as to leave a comment on one of my last three submissions? It doesn't have to be very long or insightful... I'm trying to work out whether the lack of comments is a technical issue, or simply due to nobody giving a damn.
      Reply
      :iconnamenotrequired:
      namenotrequired Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student Interface Designer
      Okay, thanks!

      Done. It worked.

      I have one journal that no one ever commented on while most of my journals posted around the time get dozens of them. I guess it didn't interest people or they don't have anything to say. :P
      Reply
      :iconboffinbrain:
      BoffinbraiN Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
      Yeah, I guess I'll just accept the fact that all my watchers are dead now. I was most active back in 2007-09.
      Reply
      Add a Comment: