Competitor Analysis for @ned's proposed Bounty Management System

in bounties •  3 years ago 


Last week, @ned put up a new bounty for a specially designed Bounty Management Forum (how meta).

This got me excited! As a Product Designer (formerly at Warby Parker and R/GA), this is a great opportunity for me to contribute to the Steemit community. I'm currently in the process of designing the Information Architecture (IA), User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) for a Steemit Bounty System. I'll post my formal submission in the next day or two.

In the meantime, I'm posting some lightweight competitor analysis. I hope it sparks some new ideas for other designers and developers who want to help create the best possible bounty experience for Steemit.

Competitor Analysis

A competitor analysis is usually done at an early stage of a project. The main purpose is to assess the content and features that other organizations are using to solve similar problems—one input used to inform the broader content strategy. The reviewed sites don't need to be direct competitors but should ideally have similar task flows and mechanics.

Competitor analysis can also unearth UX best practices. However, designers should always be very careful of copying a UX solution without being fully aware of the problem and constraints faced by the original design team.

Bounty management systems competitor analysis

I reviewed the following sites which either have bounty systems or have comparable workflow / features:

  1. 99 Designs
  2. Upwork
  3. Elance
  4. Task Rabbit
  5. AirTasker
  6. Bountify
  7. Amazon Mechanical Turk

99 Designs

99 Designs is a pretty good example of a bounty marketplace. Since all bounties are design based, 99 Designs is able to 100% focus on best serving a single bounty category.

Home page


– This is the hero image on the homepage. The value proposition is clear and simple, 'a design you'll love, guaranteed'. Note, this messaging is aimed primarily at bounty creators (demand side).
– Includes work samples which conveys how the platform can be used
– Includes a 'How it works' primary navigation link

Bounty listings


– The bounty reward and category tags are prominently displayed (enabling bounty hunters to quickly scan listings)
– The picture displayed features an actual user's contest submission (this works well for bounties with heavy visuals)
– Watch list (user's can watch bounties and be notified of updates)

Filter, search & sort


– Comprehensive filters and sorting allowing users to get very granular while hunting bounties
– Users can filter bounties above specified reward thresholds within desired categories and industries
– Users can sort by bounties that are ending soonest, or ones with the highest / lowest submissions
– The default sort order is by newest first
– Includes a keyword search

The bounty brief


– The process of creating a contest is tailored towards design. This enables 99 Designs to focus the brief on things like setting design expectations (e.g. the visual style section).
– Includes sections for 'deliverables' and 'deliverable file types'. This clearly sets the required expectations for the bounty hunter.

Updates & announcements


– Enables the bounty creator to communicate updates
– People watching the bounty receive emails when there is an update

Bounty entry submission

– This is the specific submission form for a logo contest
– The submission process requires contestants to agree to a code of conduct and ethics.

Gallery of bounty entries


– The gallery displays all submissions. The grid layout works well for visual heavy design competitions.
– There is a five star rating system for all competition entries


Upwork is a place for people to hire freelancers and for freelancers to find work online.



– Upwork's messaging focuses on finding the right freelancer (in comparison 99 Designs centered around getting the best end result).
– Both platforms message toward bounty creators.
– Includes a 'How it works' primary navigation link

Bounty listings

– Comprehensive filters and sort
– The filters are exposed within a left hand side column on desktop—this enables bounty hunters to always see which options have been selected
– You can sort by 'client rating'. Reputation of both parties is important.
– Uses a 'safer' design which doesn't include pictures. It's safer because the design doesn't rely on user generated content (UGC) pictures.
– Like in 99 Designs, tags (skills in this case) are prominent at the listings level
– Since Upwork is more concerned with ongoing freelance work, the listings don't contain a 'due date' (and instead include estimate time and budget)

The bounty brief


– Essential information summarized at the top
– Includes client information (e.g. how many jobs they have posted, total spent on the site, average hourly rate paid)
– Visually prominent calls to action (e.g. 'Post a job like this' and 'Submit a proposal')
– Summary and metadata information at the end
– The brief is followed by a similar open jobs section


Elance merged with oDesk and then became Upwork. Elance still does have a few pages of the old design worth visiting.

Bounty listings


– Comprehensive search, filters and sort
– Lists both the main category and skills required
– Highlights the country of the poster
– Uses a green highlight color to draw attention to listings with higher values

The bounty brief


– Highlights escrow protection


– Proposals (user submissions) are displayed below the brief
– Has sponsored proposals (the ones at the top with a yellow background)
– The client can invite people to the contests (see the red tick marks on the right edges)
– Users can post private submissions (so other users cannot see their work before the end of the bounty)
– The earnings of the contestants is displayed to demonstrate trustworthiness

Task Rabbit

Task Rabbit is approaching the the problem from another angle. On Task Rabbit, people seeking services are matched with service providers (i.e. service providers don't directly compete with each other for bounties).

Home page


– The 'Get started' section is clear and concise.
– Includes a nice grid list of mutually exclusive, practical, service categories



– Nice profile layout helps users to select a service provider.


AirTasker is an Australian version of Task Rabbit.

Home page


– Similar to Task Rabbit, Air Tasker highlights specific popular services
– The 'Post a task' red toned button is visually prominent
– Includes a 'How it works' primary navigation link

Bounty listings


– Includes a status bar under the title which allows people to quickly see the stage of completion
– The reward is the most dominant item on the listing
– Service providers can actually make a reduced price offer

Filters, search and sort


– Filters, search and sort are combined
– Users can filter tasks by 'online tasks' vs 'tasks with location'


Bountify is a simple site for crowdsourcing simple coding tasks. HT to @kurtrohlandt for alerting me to this site via a comments on @ned's post.

Home page


– Simple, clear messaging and value proposition 'Post a bounty. Get code.'
– Includes a quick three step, how it works section
– Lists the bounties directly on the home page

The bounty brief and submissions


– There is a tip button on each submission

Post a bounty


– Minimal steps to post a bounty
– If there are no satisfactory solutions, the bounty will go to a charity of the creators choice (there are no refunds).
– Users have to agree to the Terms & Conditions
– Includes bounty payment (and a fee). I wonder if Steemit should include a fee which could go to the @null account. Like promoted posts, it might help transfer wealth from the whales who are more likely to fund the bounties.

Mechanical Turk

I had to include Mechanical Turk, because, well, it's a classic!

Home page


Bounty listings





Content & Features for Steemit's Bounty System

Based on this Competitor Analysis and a few of my own ideas, here are some features that would be great for Steemit's Bounty system.

Core features

– Homepage (clear value proposition, link to a 'how it works' page aimed at non-Steemit users)
– Post a bounty (title, description, reward, due date, escrow)
– List of bounties with filters, search and sorting mechanisms
– Bounty page template (includes status, brief, updates, user comments, and summary of contest submissions)
– Submission page template (includes status and the full contest submission)
– Submit an entry form
– Ability to view bounties that you've created, and submissions that you've made
– Ability for the bounty creator to select winners

Nice to have features

– Tip / donate individual submissions
– Ability for people to donate to the bounty (crowdfund)
– A watch list to follow certain bounties
– Ability to set alerts when new submissions meet desired criteria (e.g. match your skillset)
– Leaderboard with total earnings
– User profiles which include resume information
– Location listing (for physical tasks that need to be done in person)
– Ability for bounty creator to invite specific users to participate in the contest
– Private submissions

Questions for @ned and the community

1. Freelance services

If we're going to build a bounty management system for people who want services, should we also build a system for people to post their freelance services. For example, freelancers could post specific tasks that they would be willing to do for a certain price. Think Fiverr.

2. Should bounties be winner takes all?

Can bounty creators choose to give away rewards for 2nd and 3rd place and honorable mentions?

3. Milestones

Adding milestones to bounties will significantly increase complexity for both service seekers and service providers. For example:
– Setting rewards for 2nd and 3rd places (as mentioned above) will need to be managed for each milestone
– What happens if milestone 1 is delayed? Will that also delay milestone 2's dates or is it set in stone after the initial post?
– Should bounty creators be able to tag only the overall bounty post or also the individual milestones (e.g. the skills required in @ned's bounty challenge vary widely from Milestone 1 to Milestone 3).

My gut feeling is to keep it super simple for version 1 and exclude milestones. People could still create individual bounties for separate tasks and link related bounties within the description.

Anyway, I have some ideas for making milestones work, so let's see.

4. Physical location

Should we enable people to post tasks that require contest participants to be physically present in the same city? I can see some potential uses, like for marketing (e.g. bounties for people who join a good old beach Steemit balloon release). If location can be specified, we'll need a way to filter for open bounties in your city.

Well, there's certainly a lot to think about. Look out for my bounty submission in the next day or two which will include designs! If you're a designer who wants to bounce around some ideas, feel free to message me on (username: pkattera).


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  ·  3 years ago (edited)

well, you said this post was a "lightweight" competitor analysis. I don't know any about this kind of research but to me it seem very complete. Also it's nice because includes some heavy weight sites in the industry such as 99 Designs, Upwork and Amazon Mechanical Turk. Hopefully expert designers here will gather some great ideas to implement the proposed Bounty Management Forum.

Yeah, it certainly took a while! I say lightweight because more formal competitor analysis' sometimes include detailed scoring systems to rate each site. For this one, I've just listed a bunch of the notable features to consider when designing for Steemit's bounty system.

i could be of assistance on design part later on!

Hi @cass, I'm a big fan of your work! I'd love to work with you on this or another project in the future!

It will be a tremendous boost for steem !

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