Is randomization coming back for the scoring section?

Haven't posted a blog for quite some time, but I was hoping a staff member could enlighten me on if randomization is indeed a feature coming back to the scoring section any time soon.

I ask this because it's needed now more than ever because of how the contests are set up. Now that many of them last for 20, 30 or even 60 days and the designs entered early on are up for all 60 days, the designs submitted near the end of the contest are buried behind a lineup of designs that could be as many as a thousand per contest.

Amelia Senville and I made a design for the B&W contest ( that was submitted with a day left before its end, which before the new scoring system/website gave it as much chance as any other time in the contest when all designs were only up for seven days, but MOST importantly, the subs were randomized so that people who hadn't scored any of the contest's subs still had a good chance to score yours.

We barely got 300 votes for this design when the regular Threadless contest nets 5-800 on average now, and nearly a third were 1 votes which leads me to believe most of the people who took the time to finally get as far into the contest as our design were there just to down vote everything in the contest anyway (unless I'm completely biased and the design actually sucks ass).

Sorry if this has been brought to the staff's attention a zillion times already, I won't be submitting a design to a contest past the first week at this point because it seems like a lose-lose situation in terms of your design's exposure and score.

Anyone else notice this issue or is this contest experience an anomaly?

Watch this

I'm not sure if you're only asking for randomization within a contest or for entries on the whole.

Personally, I'd like to see Threadless randomize the whole pool. For me, especially with the black and white contest, it gets a little tiresome to look through 100 b&w entries at a time.

I also feel like contest entries submitted later have more thought and effort go into them, so giving more visibility to the ones submitted early seems to hurt quality in general.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

I agree JL, I would like randomization not just within each individual contest (I was just trying to start out with a small request, haha), but for having ALL contests in one jumbled-up pool if you so wish that has everything randomized. That's the way it used to be before the redesign, and like you said, it greatly alleviated the fatigue of scoring 500 designs straight of Fraggle Rock or whatever theme the contest might be, and made you vote for longer periods.

I was just made aware that the B&W contest in particular had rampant scoring inconsistencies and points towards multiple fake accounts and downvoting, so I guess the score on Squid's Up wasn't THAT bad considering lol.

blackhand_ profile pic Alumni

Nowadays, it seems like you're lucky to get 3-400 votes for the ongoing Threadless challenge, even for printed designers.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

Really? Most of my recent collabs have been getting 700+ votes and most subbed in the regular Threadless contest...

soloyo profile pic Alumni

I think all subs on a contest should have the same number of days to be voted on. The period for each sub to be voted should start from the day it goes it should not be based on the contest dateline


With those long contests, I definitely think randomization would be a good idea. This might sound stupid, but with those long contests, the ones that the designs score for more than a week, I usually submit on the last day. Mainly because of procrastination, but also because I can't wait more than a week to know what my design scored. Blame the ADD! lol.

Regarding the number of votes, 300 to 400 seems to be normal for me at the moment. I was completely shocked when one of my SpongeBob designs got almost 1200 votes. Another SpongeBob one got 800 votes.

Thomas Orrow
Thomas Orrow profile pic Alumni

I do like the cat tees, but I was scoring those and it seemed like they would never finish with some kind of infinite loop of feline apparel. It would have been nice to have had a few other comps. thrown in here and there.

Thomas Orrow
Thomas Orrow profile pic Alumni

It might be a case of Threadless wanting to prioritise voting. So, that would make sense business wise for the people who want to hold competitions, although possibly not so good for the voter.

melmike profile pic Alumni

Seven days for every sub regardless of what it's for seems the fairest way to move forward. I read somewhere that it's on their to do list.


Yeah, I totally agree with the 7-day cap.

phraze profile pic Alumni

I had wondered about this as well, it seems my current submission (obligatory plug :P) in the general competition has basically slowed to a virtual standstill after hitting 500 votes. I don't know if it's because it's buried beneath newer entries or if it's just because it's not good enough. I suppose I'll have to wait till it's completed to find out if it's the latter.

38Sunsets profile pic Alumni

hi guys, with my little Threadless experience (3 month), here is what I feel: no matter if you get 500 or 1000 score it is just a sample, and final score wont be so much different - this is like pure statistic thing - the proportion of 1-5 scores are about the same. [Anyhow would be good to have a point of view of a statistic specialist in that matter, mathematic&statistic being a science, and social behavior too ;)

I hear you clearly about 7 days period for all. That sounds like more "equal" system, but will I be off topic if I bring this again: down-voters is the biggest issue - this is what may render final score inaccurate, but what's more important it is acting like a discouragement.

I just feel like to find a perfect scoring system is nearly impossible.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

haha@Tom Orrow and the infinitely spawning kitten design loop. Yeah, you get burned out faster the more of just one topic or reference you see over and over, putting back the randomization option for ALL subs currently up on the site would be a way for the voter to have their say in a bit of everything offered on the site, opening customers up to more experiences which I would think would benefit both the voter AND the business.

Yeah Nestor, seven days for any design regardless of how long the contest runs is once again a good way to go back to. Glad to know Threadless is working on re-implementing this back into the system.

Morkki profile pic Alumni

I hope they bring it back. I also don't like the Atrium style voting time, I'd rather see all subs getting the same exposure. I remember that one time in Atrium they didn't open scoring before the submission deadline was up. I don't know if that could work on the new site too.


The default scoring order is actually newest first. (just checked and scored the Impressionism challenge, haven't seriously scored in ages and not planning to)

This said, I too want 7 days / random back. As well as many many old site features ;_;

digsy profile pic Alumni

yep, 7 days and random scoring would sort a few problems out. i personally don't see what the delay with 7 days scoring is - it'in operation on Threadless regular subs, so how hard can it be to implement it across the board again

Akaka profile pic Alumni

Also when there are voting incentives it can really screw people over with the current system. Then an older sub could have like 300 votes and the newer ones could have 1000 votes. It's happened before in Atrium. Cant' be fair... I would like to keep the option of not mixing up the challenges, just to be able to avoid a challenge I have no interest in. :P

speakerine profile pic Alumni
Morkki said:

I hope they bring it back. I also don't like the Atrium style voting time, I'd rather see all subs getting the same exposure. I remember that one time in Atrium they didn't open scoring before the submission deadline was up. I don't know if that could work on the new site too.


soloyo profile pic Alumni

voting for the new subs firsts jeopardize the chances of been able to vote for the oldest ones before their voting time ends. I found myself having to manually look for the oldests subs so I can vote for them first. It's a time wasting operation.

Theo86 profile pic Alumni

I hope they bring it back as well, I only got around to voting for your B&W sub because I saw a blog about it, if there was no blog about it I don't know if I would of gotten around to it.

38Sunsets profile pic Alumni

with all those requests, will certainly get some voting system improvement! wait and see, the sooner the better ;)

38Sunsets profile pic Alumni

....and I had no chance to experiment the previous site version, but I can read here and there you guys miss it a lot. as you says guys it was better the older way, in a fact why not to bring cool features back!

maybe the next version will be a mix of the best of both worlds... Threadless team certainly work on something ;)

speakerine said:
Morkki said:

I hope they bring it back. I also don't like the Atrium style voting time, I'd rather see all subs getting the same exposure. I remember that one time in Atrium they didn't open scoring before the submission deadline was up. I don't know if that could work on the new site too.



rossmat8 profile pic Alumni

I haven't read every comment but in skimming didn't see this opinion, but it's mine. I would like to see designs add to the forums in some capacity. Just limit the amount of times the designer can comment. I liked being able to comment on a design and click on my participated tab and see how it ended up. Maybe add a scoring option in addition to designs I voted 5, etc have designs I commented on.


Some good fodder in here.

Luke, I am your fodder.

Carry on.

rossmat8 said:

I liked being able to comment on a design and click on my participated tab and see how it ended up.


FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

Lotsa good thoughts here!

Manupix: Is it really the newest first? I swore when I was voting it was the oldest, but perhaps you're right. Regardless, the randomization point remains whether it's newest or oldest first: the older system on Threadless proved that randomizing the subs you saw was the great playing field leveler.

Akaka: Voting incentives are split bag...I like the idea of encouraging people to vote on Threadless subs, and it is unfortunate that some designs miss that window where the push from Threadless occurs. The only reason I don't mind them is because getting more exposure and opinions for your work isn't a bad thing for both Threadless and the designer, and Threadless isn't directing you to a specific design, just usually a specific contest but sometimes it's sight-wide (which I wish most of the voting pushes were for score 50, 100, 200 etc designs in any contest, not just one). It's different than when an artist gets 5,000 of their non-avatar, just-signed-up-that-day friends to vote 5 for them.

I also agree the randomization should be customizable, at the very least making possible random sub order within each contest or an ALL feature, and later on possibly one where you can click which contests you'd like to score from and be able to randomize just them.

Rossbro, I agree with pretty much all you said! So I'm not gonna repeat it, people just read his post up a couple spots!

Any word from anyone at Threadless Central on this issue?

SteveOramA profile pic Alumni

I completely get what you're saying and I'm on board with your suggestion. Randomization would be a great feature.

I think the B/W contest could be considered an anomaly purely due to the high amount of subs it was flooded with.

goliath72 profile pic Alumni

I agree its frustrating to see that some get tons of votes amd comments because they are subbed rigt away, and other posted late barely get support. I feel your pain buddy feel it kind of would be best with the 7 day voting like before


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