The following are the guidelines that we set out for voting. Please adhere to these guidelines, as they are explained below. Please keep in mind that while most of this voting tutorial is applicable to other LIMS icontests, some parts may not be; please always read voting guidelines before you vote, anywhere.
♫ You must vote for 3 icons of the least quality for elimination (2 icons will be eliminated), and for 2 icons that are the best quality. Please evaluate the least quality icons based on overall technique and aesthetic quality, not personal preference (such as favorite color, or the icon maker you think made the icon). We reserve the right to void any vote we feel is unfair or petty. You do not have to give a reason for your best quality icon choice (though it is encouraged), but you must give reasons for your least quality votes.
♫ We encourage you to be as detailed as possible in your icon critiques. Many participants here are looking to improve, and since we will allow participants to see their comments once results are posted, your opinion will help any aspiring icon maker. All votes are screened, so please be as honest and objective as possible. No icon maker will ever know who voted for or against them, and all icon critiques will remain completely anonymous.
♫ Do not vote for your own icon, do not feel obligated to vote for your friends' icons, and do not get your friends to vote for you. Do not vote in a strategic manner. Keep things as objective as possible. Please look very carefully at each icon while you are voting, and please double-check your votes to make sure you've used the correct numbers in your voting comment. Votes are not weighted, so order does not matter. We prefer votes in numerical order, however, for our sanity in counting them.
♫ Here is an example vote for you to follow (3 least quality, 2 best quality);
#108 - The text treatment is too weak for the strong icon.
#109 - Overcontrasted and so oversharpened that the image is badly pixelated.
#110 - The negative space is distracting rather than drawing the eye to the subject.
#111 - The cropping and coloring are beautiful.
Please be considerably more detailed than this, however. You must write and elaborate on at least two points of critique for each least quality choice in order for your vote to be considered. Your comments for least quality votes must constructive and non-insulting, and remember that negative votes are NOT to be based on personal preference; please do not use 'I' or 'me' in your negative critiques.
If you would like, you may use the following code for your comment.
♫ ANYONE MAY VOTE. You do not have to be a contestant to vote! We encourage as many people to vote as possible so that the results are as fair as possible. Every vote is extremely important, as a single vote could decide results. Your vote against another icon could even save your own from getting eliminated, as the tallies are often that close.
The purpose of these guidelines is to tell you how to vote, and for how many icons you must vote. In this case (for this specific sample), you will need to vote for THREE least quality (negative), and TWO best quality (positive). For your reference, we also include how many icons will be voted out in the current challenge (if it applies). If you vote for greater or fewer icons than the specified number, we will ask you to re-vote. To assist you in voting for the correct number of icons, we have also included a text box with code for your vote with the correct number of lines for each type of vote required.
DO NOT VOTE FOR YOUR OWN ICON, either positively or negatively. If you do so, we will either ask you to re-vote or we will disqualify your entire vote.
VOTES ARE NOT WEIGHTED. For each vote, the icon will receive one point (whether positive or negative). We prefer that you arrange your votes in numerical order, but that is merely for our ease in counting the votes and is not strictly necessary.
Least quality icon votes must based on TECHNIQUE, SKILL, STYLE, and the like, and not how much you like or dislike the icon. DON'T use a personal standpoint for your negative votes. DON'T use the word 'I' at all in your negative critiques, even in comments about how to potentially improve the icon. DO write at least two lines for each icon's critique. Be objective (non-preferential), and DO try to be constructive... that is, DON'T be bitchy and mean just because you think the icon sucks. You must have solid reasons for voting icons as being of lesser quality, and you must be able to back up these reasons.
Some points to think about when you make your negative vote critiques are;
1. Technique and technical skill - does the icon show that the icon maker has good technical skill? Examine the cropping, the coloring, the sharpness, and the layout of the icon, as well as use of textures, brushes, and other embellishments. It is also helpful to examine color saturation and contrast.
2. Typography - does the placement and treatment of the text accent the icon well? Is the typography well-executed? The text content shouldn't matter, except in some specific cases.
3. Style - is the style original, or have you seen it before? Is the style well-executed?
4. Theme - does the icon fit the theme that was provided for the challenge?
These are just some examples... please feel free to suggest more for inclusion here.
When you vote for the best quality icons, it is preferred that you include a comment, although you are not required to do so.
Additionally, you do not need to be a contestant in the particular round or challenge in order to cast your vote.
#05 #06 #07 #08
The following are some examples of GOOD and BAD ways to vote for this icon set. Please note wording, tone, and focus;
EXAMPLE OF A GOOD WAY TO VOTE #1;
#01 - The icon appears to be over-sharpened, giving it a pixelated look. That lowers the overall quality of the icon, and the coloring is unoriginal and plain. Try spot sharpening, and the higher image quality will make it easier to color the icon better. Saving the image as a .png would help, too.
#04 - The coloring gives the subjects a washed out look and lessens the overall image quality. It is hard to actually SEE the people in the icon because of the washed out color. The crop is also unimaginative, though it effectively included the entire band on the icon. Maybe a more angled crop would help the visual interest. Also try upping the contrast (or using selective coloring) to make the pale style effective.
#06 - The aspect ratio is off, giving the subjects compressed faces. The crop is unoriginal and uninteresting, and the subjects are blurry. Sharpen the layer just a tiny bit for more definition, or use spot sharpening, as well as a more dynamic crop for better visual interest.
#02 - The crop is so creative! The coloring is lovely, and the rounded edges are a nice touch. The icon looks well thought out and very well executed.
#03 - The background texture is great. It blends in with the color of the shirt, but not entirely. The coloring is nice and bright, but no to the point were the icon is washed out. However, I would suggest making the border around the subject a bit more smooth and even, to give the icon a more polished look.
EXAMPLE OF A GOOD WAY TO VOTE #2;
#01 - The cropping in this icon is creative and compelling, but the subjects are over-sharpened. The definition in the hair is interesting, but the faces are very pixelated due to the oversharpening. In contrast, the xxx brush used is blurry. Sharpening that layer would help a lot for an overall cohesive look.
#04 - This icon is -very- bright. The light texture adds some pleasing color, but it is so bright that it also obscures some of the finer details in the faces of the subjects. The font doesn't go well with the rest of the icon... maybe try something larger, bolder, and in a contrasting color for more visual interest. Try something simple for the font, like Century Gothic.
#05 - The image is over-sharpened, making it very pixelated, and almost obliterating the features of the subjects. It seems like there is a selective color layer used, or something, but the color turned out uneven and blotchy, and extraordinarily garish. It might help if the color was toned down with a desaturated copy of the base layer on a lower transparency.
#02 - The icon is simple and elegant... not over-sharpened, over-colored, or over-worked, and the cropping is great! The embellishment adds just enough for visual interest, although maybe something is needed to balance out the lower half of the icon... it just looks a little unbalanced because the focus seems to be at the top. I also like the rounded edges!
#08 - I love the forced perspective in this icon... great cropping! The font works, though unexpectedly. I would do away with that brush in the lower left corner, though, and maybe add something more interesting.
EXAMPLE OF A BAD WAY TO VOTE #1;
#02 - It doesn't appeal to me, sorry.
#05 - It would have been better without the whole band, I think, because the curly haired one makes the icon ugly.
#03 - I don't like the background texture. It's really unappealing.
#08 - It looks like one of the icons my best friend would make. His icons are great!
#01 - I've always liked the 'x' brush.
EXAMPLE OF A BAD WAY TO VOTE #2;
Most of the icons are really foul, but I really hate #04, because it's so fucking ugly, I have no idea what you were THINKING when you made this icon. UGH, I hate pink. I like your text, though, because it's kind of the name of the band. #07 is really nasty, too... it's all chunky and blah and I don't like it. I don't like the colors, and the girl should be more in front. I think there could have been a better image of the band than this one, or something. And also I don't like... #6 because they're all squished.
I like #3 because teal green is pretty, and #8 because yeah, Courtney is totally hot, even if the other guy isn't.
EXAMPLE OF A BAD WAY TO VOTE #3;
#01 - Too sharp, x's are blurry.
#06 - No face detail, it looks sloppy.
#07 - Grainy, too contrasted but saturation is good.
#03 - Nice color.
Note that good votes are objective and constructive, and focus on the technical aspects of the icons, while bad votes are based on how the voter feels personally about the icons, or the critiques are too short. Please remember that you need to write and elaborate on at least two points of critique per icon.
Please note that although you are allowed to vote how you please for the positive votes, it's much better if you have good reasons for the positive votes instead of superficial ones like the reasons we used for the 'bad' examples of positive votes.
Also, arranging the votes so that we can easily read them is much better than clumping them into a paragraph. This is a minor point, but we appreciate being able to more easily determine the appropriate votes (which is also why we include a text box).
Furthermore... if the trend of heavily subjective voting continues, we will be forced to disqualify votes we feel are questionable. We don't want to be forced to disqualify any votes, because we need a high volume of votes for results to be as fair as possible. However, we prefer fair votes over vote volume.
If you vote poorly or in an unclear manner, or if there is confusion regarding your votes, a moderator will comment to you asking for a re-vote, re-wording, or clarification. If you do not correct the error(s) or clarify, your vote may be disqualified. If English is not your first language, don't worry, we will take that into consideration in our estimation of your votes. Please be sure to check your votes over before submitting, as will will not fix errors (including spelling errors) for you.
Also, it may be a good idea to re-check your votes at the voting post before the voting deadline arrives, to be sure you have not been commented to by a moderator. If we comment, it will be because your critiques are too subjective, or they are too short. If you do not elaborate or re-vote when we ask, your votes will not be counted.
If you need to re-vote, for any reason, DO NOT edit or delete your old vote. Please re-vote in a new comment, but with the subject line specifying that you are re-voting; this will help us in properly counting votes.
Finally, please remember that critiques will only be revealed to the icon maker for whose icon they are intended once voting is over, and your identity will never be revealed.
If you have any questions about voting or about this tutorial, you may ask them here. If you have any further suggestions as they pertain to this tutorial, please also comment here! We would like to make this as comprehensive as possible. This tutorial will be linked in the community profile, main community, memories, and in each subsequent voting post for easy reference.
[Last updated March 24, 2009]