Launching IdeaBuzz: Designing for the Crowd


This blog post is part of a new series authored by IdeaScale employees. It showcases how they’re thinking about crowdsourcing and innovation as part of their daily routine. Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

This post is by Chase Facer, Product Designer at IdeaScale.

When assigned to design IdeaBuzz, we were presented with the task of creating a place for users to be able to submit ideas, vote up others, and feel at home in a public community that promotes ideation and collaboration.

The hook was that users of the community could also earn points that would translate to money for charities.  When stripped down to the bare bones we wanted to create environment for ideas, where the people felt compelled to submit ideas for a good cause. User experience design is about finding the true motivation of a product. What do people want from IdeaBuzz? Was the question we sought to answer. For some apps, such as Spoon Rocket (a local favorite at our office), that answer is easy – I want cheap food delivered to my work – fast. Things like an estimated delivery time, and photo teasers of the day’s meal options provide enough incentive for a user to order up lunch.

For IdeaBuzz, though, finding a way to drive our users participation proved more difficult. We knew we wanted ideas, and that we wanted people to be compelled to keep coming back to submit more ideas and build off each other’s  ideas.

Luckily for IdeaBuzz, we are not a fresh out of the box product, we are backed by IdeaScale, a innovation management platform that allows organizations to collect and develop ideas in public or private communities by collecting their ideas and giving users a platform to vote. With a solid foundation to build on, we were able to create an instantly engaging user experience. The first major change we made was in the visual redistribution of challenges and ideas. Instead of stacking ideas on top one another like in IdeaScale, IdeaBuzz uses cards. Cards are a great way of collecting and sorting through information quickly. In addition to being visually appealing, card design works great in all types of screen sizes. They can be stacked in a collapsed mobile view, and easily move to fill the void when the screen in expanded.

Gamification is also a defining factor of IdeaBuzz. IdeaBuzz represents a single community of users working together to submit ideas to various challenges and causes, all the while earning points for collaboration and participation. We wanted an exciting way to hook the user in and engage them from the moment they signed up.  Thus, began the design of the User Dashboard. When a user visits their dashboard they are greeted with a personalized panel of stats that relate to their participation . This includes their rank on the overall IdeaBuzz Community and Charity Leaderboard,  and various cards listing all of their idea submissions, interests, and profile information. We hope to build out the gamification of IdeaBuzz even more to create seamless ideation software that fosters community and collaboration. 

If you want to go see what it looks like so far, sign up at

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