What I’ve Learnt: My 99 Designs Mega Fail!

My 99 Designs Review with Suggestions

People often look at the success of others and assume that the path to victory is void trials, errors and failures. On my journey to success I have learnt differently. My experience with 99 designs is one such story of choices made, errors and lessons learnt along the way. Enjoy my 99 designs review. Have a laugh while you are at it. But more importantly, learn from my mistakes.


My Introduction To 99 Designs

I first heard of 99designs while reading a blog post from Michael Hyatt and immediately my excitement hit the roof! Finally, a place where I can find quality designs created by big time designers, done just the way I liked them. After all my previous design frustrations, I was more willing than ever to pay the price for quality for the perfect project.

..or so I thought!

My Header Desperation: 99 Designs To the Rescue

My heart was set on creating a new site concept and I needed a header that screamed ‘positively driven’. After 6 frustrating attempts to outsource a header design on Fiverr, Tenrr and Elance I finally gave in to Michael Hyatts’ advice and followed his path to 99designs.

After browsing through the content I had one main concern  – the cost. Why does everything have to be so expensive? For my header desires the cost would be:

(The Information below was taken from 99 designs at the time of this blog post)

Category 1: $199 USDGood Designers and about 30 designs

Category 2: $299 USDBetter Designers and about 40 designs

Category 3: $599 USDExpert Designers and about 50 designs

Category 4: $999 USDExceptional Hand Picked Designers and 40 premium designs

For some, this cost may be pittance, but for me $199USD meant $540ECD on the island of St Kitts Nevis. This also meant that for the best designs I would have to pay $999USD which equals $2697.30ECD. What! I was wayyy out of my league.

After giving myself my usual business pep talk I made the only affordable choice at the moment which was $199USD. Click …

( my bank account was empty, but I was a happy camper 🙂 ) Now I was in!

It could only get better from here! After 7 days I would have great designs and headers to choose from!

My oh my, was I wrong.

99 Designs – The Guidelines Sent

After creating my content guidelines I was immediately directed to a dashboard and left with these last nuggets:

There will be 3 Rounds:

Round #1: Qualifying Round: Expect lots of designs choices within the next 4 days with opportunities to eliminate

Round #2: Final Round: Choose your best 6 designs, then tweak until perfect

Round #3: Choose the Winner

Now I was ready. Let the games begin!

My designs began to roll in after 2 hours … and all my excitement began to roll out …

My 3 Bad Experiences

Perhaps I am to be blamed for my expectations that was held very high, due to spending several hours browsing the designs, created for my category, that was found on their main website. However, through it all I experienced three mishaps:

#1 – I Clearly Misunderstood The Guidelines

When I first read these quotations ‘Qualifying round: You’ll receive lots of designs in the next 4 days’ I interpreted this to mean ‘lots of designs, each from different designers’.

Overall, I received 41 designs from a total of 6 designers. However, almost 30 ‘designs’ came from one designer who just simply changed the colors of the header from blue to green to gold.

By this time I was laughing at myself… ‘How do I manage to get myself into these situations?’

#2 – Poor Quality Designs

The quality of the designs that I received were below the expectations that I had formed. I will say no more on the matter …

#3 – Communication Difficulty

The designers were not understanding my design concept and guidelines, even thou I tried rewording several times. This left me wondering whether there were communication issues on my part or maybe a language barrier.

The Choice I Made After 3 Days

After 3 days I realized that I was not getting any closer to my desires so I decided that a refund would be my best option. Thankfully, I did not ‘guarantee’ my contest, as was suggested by 99 Designs. If I had, I would have parted with a broken heart and an empty pocket.

In the end, I left a little heart broken, without a header … but my bank account was happy again 🙂

What I’ve Learnt – My 5 Parting Lessons

Failures, Trials and Errors are inevitable for us all. However, we can choose to react in ways that help us on the road to success. Here are five tips for making sure your results are not similar to mine:

#1 – If you need really good designers $199USD just will not do. Be prepared to pay the cost for what your desire.

#2 – It will take a while for the designers to get your design concept so be as clear as you can with your requirements.

#3 – Guaranteeing your contest means no refund. So please do not guarantee unless you are absolutely certain that you have superb designs and you will most definitely have a winner in the end!

#4 – More expense does not always mean better quality.

#5 – There are also some great ready made logos. You may find exactly what you desire without having to go through the hassle of creating a contest.

Will I Be Using 99 Designs In The Future?

Possibly. I may test the waters again when I can afford to go PRO and use the ‘Exceptional Hand Picked Designers’. But Until then …

Tips to Carry Away For Future 99 Designers

  • Patience Is Necessary – it may take some time for designers understand your vision.
  • Be Detailed – Be clear on what you would like, and what you do not like
  • Be Honest – Provide feedback for improvements and save your 5 star rating for designs that deserve it
  • Be Loaded 🙂 – Make sure to have enough money because you will definitely need it.

Now Before You Go, I Have A Question Below:

So how about you? How was your 99 designs experience? Are you thinking on trying their product in the future? Let me know your thoughts on my 99 designs review below.

If this blog left a smile or educated you in anyway, please share with your friends and family.

Hi everyone, I am Joan. A small woman with a big voice and a big personality. I have been blessed with many talents poetry, music, designing, but my favorite is the gift of teaching, being my #1 joy. I hope you are blessed by the content on this site. So God bless you!Connect With Me On Facebook

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