Exposing scores on the submission pages
As a lot of you noticed, yesterday we experimented with publicly displaying the current score a design is getting while it is still in the running. Part of the reason for that is to give designers more info about their design so they can act on it, be it finding ways to promote their design more or otherwise.
But the bigger issue here is that since about 2007, the number of people voting has been dropping pretty hard. Last year, we had significantly less votes registered when compared to 2007. Those votes are so important to our decisions in picking designs for print and we really need more people voting.
Separately, we feel like the last couple years the work we've been doing at Threadless has been mostly focused on sales, promotions and otherwise things related to the "Shop" section of the site. This year we are refocusing on the community and participate side of Threadless. There is a ton of exciting stuff happening in the community that goes unnoticed... and it's more valuable to the health of the company and the community for people to come in and start scoring designs than it is for someone to come and buy a t-shirt.
Right now when a design is submitted, it goes into this black hole where Threadless can't really talk about it... But by exposing scores publicly, it's the first step in give us the freedom to showcase the cool stuff that's happening in the community. So rather than just us talking about printed t-shirts for sale or a promotion we're running, we can talk about artists and their submissions, get people in there voting, show leader boards of currently top scoring designs, promote designs in the running to people that are just shopping on Threadless right now, etc.
That all said, right now I'm leaning towards a system where the average score becomes exposed after you've scored the design... kinda like how most poll systems work. So the score is still public in a way but it won't influence your own score. You could always go back and change your score but I don't think that will have nearly as large of an effect as exposing it up front would.
We'd love to hear any of your thoughts on how we can increase scoring numbers on designs and also how to make the cool stuff happening in the community more front and center to Threadless.