Our last major update included shifting our focus to design-only projects as well as putting students at the forefront of all freelance activity on Boonle. Today, we’re announcing our latest improvements towards making Boonle the best platform to get quality design work done by talented students.
As we’ve stated before, and what continues to hold true, is that we believe the future of work is changing forever. There’s no question that quality design is important and that the freelance boom is real. This release keeps us on the path of our mission to help businesses connect with students for stunning design results. Here’s what has changed:
The creative brief has now expanded from one single text area to a more specific Q&A flow, allowing for better clarity when describing the wants and needs of a specific project. When filled out completely, students will have a clear understanding of project objectives as well as the reasoning behind starting the project in the first place.
Up until now, all communication took place within a project, and only once it was being worked on. Although this had its purpose, it restricted communication prior to work beginning and didn’t allow for proper questioning to clear up any uncertainties about the project.
We’ve fixed that.
Now, students can communicate with clients before a project is started through a dedicated messages area.
Applications & Invitations
As the more notable change with this update, this warrants some attention.
We at Boonle take pride in what makes us different. One of those differences was within the model, allowing students to work on projects on a first-come, first-serve basis. Although this did prove to have some success, it also had failures. We’ve reviewed both successes and failures, as well as solicited feedback from our community, and have decided to no longer use this model.
We want both our clients and students to have the best experience possible.
To make that possible, we’re now allowing clients to browse student profiles and invite them to projects as well as allow students to browse projects and apply to those they’re interested in working on. Clients will have the final say if a student is hired for the job.
This seems to be the best case scenario to ensure that the client is working with the right student and vice versa.
Student Profile Options
Students now have the option to select their 3 favorite categories (from our available list) to be displayed directly on their profile as tags. These tags are useful as they tell potential clients what type of projects that the student is best suited for and most interested in.
Students also have the opportunity to have verified accounts. Verified accounts communicate to potential clients that the student account has been manually reviewed by the Boonle team and that someone from Boonle has been in direct contact with the student.
We now have dedicated pages for universities that have active students on Boonle. You can reach a university page by clicking the university link on any student profile. To see a live example, check this one out for the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Payments & Guarantee
Another major change to the flow of how projects are handled, are payments. Prior to this update, payments were made after a project was completed and the client was satisfied with the work. This process was validated as the client was not in control of which student was doing the work (remember the first-come, first-serve model?).
Now, the client is in full control of who he/she hires to do the work. Reviewing student portfolios, student reviews, and inviting students to apply are now all part of the hiring process. For that reason, payments now are handled before work is started.
In the event that the student becomes unresponsive on a specific project, the client has a 5 day window to request a refund. This provides plenty of time to establish post-hire communication. Although, active communication with the student prior to hiring is encouraged to reduce the chances of project failure.
In the coming days, we’ll be rolling out a few additional updates. This post will be updated to reflect those changes once they are made.
Our continued goal with updates is to set up both students and clients for long term success. What we’re announcing today is part of that process.