Indiegogo’s Odd Numbers

Internet companies spend a lot of time thinking about design, sweating over the placement of every pixel. Today I want to talk about a design decision over at Indiegogo that’s been bugging me. I’d love to hear how other people feel about it.

This campaign from Peak Design looks like it did very well on Indiegogo:

That’s a big number! But what’s that little question mark at the bottom? Let’s mouse over it.

Huh? It says $6.6 million of that $7.2 million was raised “on another platform.” Which platform is that?

It’s Kickstarter, of course. (Full disclosure: I work at Kickstarter!)

This means a full 91% of the amount shown on the Indiegogo page wasn’t actually raised on Indiegogo.

How many visitors to the page will be curious enough to investigate that mysterious question mark? If they don’t, they’re likely to come away with a pretty misleading picture of this campaign’s Indiegogo success.

Indiegogo doesn’t seem too concerned about whether this design approach is confusing. They do it every time a project moves to their platform for additional funding after wrapping up on Kickstarter.

In fact, three of the top six campaigns on Indiegogo’s ”most funded” list started out on Kickstarter — and the Kickstarter funds represent a full 83% of the combined amount raised by those campaigns, as shown on Indiegogo.

This design choice has tripped up reporters for Wired, Business Insider, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. They’ve all published stories that got the numbers wrong. I’ve talked to many Kickstarter project creators who have been similarly misinformed. Who knows how many other people are confused about how much support Indiegogo campaigns are actually getting?

At Kickstarter, all the numbers are real. This is important because the stats help everyone understand how our system works, and they give project creators a realistic sense of how their own projects might perform. We don’t use tricks that might get results in the short term but are bad for the health and integrity of Kickstarter in the long term.

Design choices can be an expression of values. And values are a big part of why I’m proud to work at Kickstarter.