Stock libraries are an essential tool every designer has used. Whether you are just getting started freelancing or working for a major agency, content is vital to delivering quality work for your clients.
As more and more libraries are becoming available online, we decided to talk directly with designers to see how they feel about their current options. This post outlines the survey, discusses commonalities, and exposes gaps between the users and design platforms.
Our Sample Group
We surveyed just over 1000 UI/UX designers to get their unbiased opinion on design libraries. These professional creators ranged from independent freelancers to established veterans at celebrated design studios. Their work includes building apps, video games, websites, and social media content.
Below we provide each of the questions we asked the designers with a short description of the results.
What do you prioritize when choosing a stock library?
The designers were given four options:
- Quality over quantity
- The size of the library
Around 90% of the participants choose "quality of quantity," revealing the quality of the designs is an essential factor when looking for stock content to use in projects.
How much do you spend on design stock libraries on average per month?
Our survey revealed that the median spend per month on stock content or a design platform was around $30. While the amount isn't huge, most professionals are willing to pay to access design content.
What disturbs or irritates you most about design libraries?
For this question, we allowed the designers to fill in a custom answer. The most common response was that they wanted access to the content they needed in a well-organized platform.
We received a revealing answer, "For example, searching with specific topics is always so hard. On the markets, filters are generally too limited. As always, hard to find a quality product." Another response related to the organization was, "most are way too big with a lot of cluttered BS that has gotten thrown in. I am thinking about when I am trying to build some sort of design system or visual language and need to find a LOT of."
The frustration of finding high-quality content on a design platform was evident. We also received feedback stating the existing overlap in libraries. For example, one of the participants answered, "They all have very similar designs, so I find I have to modify them heavily after the fact."
Transparency was also a throughline in our responses. One participant recalled a shared experience, "when they show premium results first, with the exact thing I need, and then the free ones have nothing to do with the prompt I gave. Also, when they do not display the number of downloads a file has."
Other responses included the following concerns:
- Low-quality products
- Lack of cohesion
- Not enough selection
- Challenges setting up an account
- No originality
What kind of features would you like to see on stock websites?
Our next question also required a written response. Given the sample group's experience using stock content and design platforms, we found several trends within the answers.
The most common response was related to accessibility and organization, which correlates with their struggles. However, the comments provided even more insight into what professional content creators would like to have available.
“For example, one participant gave a comprehensive answer, “detailed filter for search (e.g., color, price, style, etc..) well-working inline search field with search operators and with relevant keywords, worry-free licensing, similar product recommendation."
"Another related response was, "Highly detailed search functions: search by image color, race, gender, orientation, topic, ... More diverse offering: vector images, video, audio, iconography, ..."
Another interesting response that correlates with the challenges mentioned in the previous question was access to cohesive collections. Designers need content in the same style for large-scale projects like websites and applications. One of the surveyed creators said they hope for "more comprehensive, robust, and realistic collections of themed designs. Having lots and lots and lots of options that all go together."
Other common features the designers would like to see include the following:
- Free content
- Feedback from other users
- No ads
- Design editor
Results of the Survey
We were surprised that many designers were frustrated and wanted access to more effective search functionality when looking for content. However, the problem makes sense considering many design platforms prioritize quantity and fail to provide access to the content. You can see evidence of the objective in how the libraries are advertised.
In summary, the consensus of the UI/UX designers who were polled reveals that users want high-quality content that can be used on the same project and is easy to locate. While many issues were expressed in the survey, these 3 stood out.
How Creattie Meets Designer's Expectations
The survey results supported many challenges that inspired us to build a design library. We felt that there was a need in the market for premium-quality designs available in cohesive collections that are easily accessible, and it's apparent that the need still exists.
At Creattie, we are a team of professional designers and animators who take pride in making creating easier for our peers. We strive to help creators by offering the following on our platform:
Premium Quality Content
We offer an extensive selection of animated and static illustrations and icons but always put quality over quantity. Our team of design professionals curates every asset so it's ready to go from our platform into your project.
Every designer needs access to multiple content pieces designed in the same style. Otherwise, they would need to be altered before going into production. At Creattie, we've built our library of assets by creating collections, so our users can use the designs throughout their apps, web pages, or social media content.
Advanced Search Functions
Access, organization, and a user-friendly experience were overwhelmingly the most common challenges and requests raised by the designers in our survey. Our search function allows you to filter search results by collection, people, price, style, and industry. As a result, you'll have no problem finding the perfect high-quality design or collection for your project.
Surveying UI/UX designers was a reveling experience that gave us significant insight. The current design platforms and stock content websites aren't meeting the needs of professionals in the field.
At Creattie, we plan to continue narrowing the gap by listening to designers and reflecting on their requirements in our platform.
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Special thanks to Asa Marjew, Esther Vidal Andreu, Naoki, Anna Pinger, Jaclyn, Willem Plaisier, Zoia, Henrique Cardoso, Jan Byttebier, Bora SIPAL, Sami, Thomas, Jay Lockwood, Yash, Luis, David Koltai, Aram, Sebastian, Thea, Oana Munteanu, María Ibor, Mattia, Corey Dean, Louise.