Last month the LEGO Ideas team made some pretty significant changes to the platform based on user experience testing, surveys, and listening to comments and feedback on their website and at LEGO fan events. As you know, LEGO Ideas is a platform where LEGO fans can suggest their own models to become future LEGO sets. If the project receives 10,000 public votes LEGO will consider it for production. So it is very important that the website is friendly to use and easy to navigate, so people can find projects they would like to support. 🙂
A lot of the recent changes has to do with searching and filtering projects to improve user experience. For example, now you can choose to view only original projects or those based on third-party intellectual property. Taking advantage of the various categories, filters and tags, it is easy to narrow down projects to your specific interest. I regularly use the LEGO Ideas website, and I find their navigation quite helpful. It is a good way to find projects you would like to support to become official LEGO sets.
The changes however that are the most impactful are related to how much time projects have to achieve a certain number of supporters. One of the biggest complaints towards LEGO Ideas has been that it is cluttered with poorly designed and/or unrealistic submissions that should never be on the site to begin with. LEGO Ideas is a platform for projects that actually have a chance to become official LEGO sets, and not a space to just upload pictures of one’s own creations that may be nice, but do not meet LEGO’s standards for subject, size, and design quality. Various picture sharing sites and forums are more appropriate for sharing one’s own creations.
The LEGO Ideas team has been working on culling out these poorly designed and unrealistic submissions by gradually reducing the time projects have to achieve certain numbers of supporters. This is what they share on the LEGO Ideas blog:
“We’re attempting to balance making LEGO Ideas as open as possible to members with a range of skill levels, with peoples’ desire to browse and support beautifully presented models. We consistently hear from people who want to see more projects they think are ‘high quality’ and fewer they think are ‘low quality’. We say think, because quality is highly subjective. This feedback persists even when our moderators filter out the majority of submissions for not meeting our Project Quality Standards.
The most successful Ideas projects – those that reach 5,000 and 10,000 supporters – share one thing in common: every one of these projects posted since LEGO Ideas launched in April 2014 reached 100 supporters in their first 30 days. No project that has gone on to reach 5k or 10k supporters has taken longer. It could very well be that the ‘wisdom of crowds’ is the best quality filter of all. We’ve decided to let you tell us which projects are high quality by doing what you do best: supporting your favorite projects. Starting today, projects will have 60 days to reach their first 100 supporters before receiving time extensions.”
This change should clean up the LEGO Ideas platform quite a bit. According to the same LEGO Ideas blog post I linked to above, approximately 58% of the 5,500 active projects have had their Days Left counter reset to 60. This will hopefully encourage people to submit projects that actually have a chance becoming official LEGO sets, and they would take presentation and promotion more seriously.
So from now on, new projects will have 60 days to reach 100 supporters, which they should be able to achieve easily, based on what previous successful projects received. Once the project reaches that milestone, they’ll receive a one-year boost. The six-month boosts at 1,000 and 5,000 remain the same.
The LEGO Ideas team also posted links to some helpful articles and videos from the creators of successful projects. Brent Waller, the original creator of the #21108 LEGO Ideas Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set, wrote a blog post with advice on submitting effective projects. There is also a video-interview and blog post by Angus MacLane, the creator of the #21303 LEGO Ideas WALL-E set, about his journey to make a successful project. Andy Clark, the fan designer of the #21304 LEGO Ideas Doctor Who set, discusses how it took as much work promoting his project to reach 10,000 supporters as it did designing it. Glen Wadleigh and Ellen Kooijman, creators of the #21302 LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory, break down their promotion techniques in detail in this video, starting at 2:58.
I think these are good changes and updates for the LEGO Ideas platform, and based on the original announcement, it seems like there is one more to come this year. You can read the full announcement here, browse LEGO Ideas projects here, and check out the currently available LEGO Ideas sets at the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like these changes to the LEGO Ideas platform? Do you agree with them? Dislike them? What other changes (if any) would you like to see? Do you have any projects currently listed at LEGO Ideas? How are they doing? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
- LEGO Ideas Caterham Review, Thoughts, Fixes
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- LEGO Ideas Maze – More Alternate Mazes
- LEGO Ideas Birds Review & More!
- New Book with More LEGO Ideas Birds
- Review of LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory
- LEGO Ideas WALL-E Now Fixed & Available!
- LEGO Ideas Doctor Who Set Review
- LEGO Ideas Exo Suit Review, Thoughts & Tweaks
- LEGO Ideas Yellow Submarine & Apollo 11