35 posts
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
_deleted_ says

In this season of open letters we thought we’ll add ours too! We wrote this letter because we saw that Envato has taken the initial steps to take cognizance of author’s issues (timeout on support feature) and responding to them which gives us a lot of hope for change. We have been regular guest visitors to Envato forums for the past couple of years and just last month we finally bit the bullet and registered as exclusive author.

The reason we hesitated being part of the community is because of the dreaded “review” process. It might seem unusual that we hesitated because we had problems with nomenclature.

It all begins with the word “review”. From the handy Oxford Dictionary app (OSX) the meaning of “review” is “a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary”. Now lets see if Envato’s review process follows the definition:

1. "A formal assessment or examination" which Envato's reviewer does.
2. "with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary" rarely happens.

Lets believe that Envato ensures that point(1) is followed 100%. At least we believe that Envato doesn’t pay its reviewers to just click accept/reject without even looking at items and they have a system in place which takes care of that. So lets go straight to point(2).

Point(2) talks about the “possibility”/”intention” of “instituting change if necessary”. This means that its upto the reviewer whether he wants to recommend changes to the submitted template. He can always accept/reject the template without giving any personalized reviews. This is the root cause for all problems. If you just glance the “Item Discussion” forum page you’ll know that its less about “Item Discussion” and more about “Item Rejection”. Now lets face this fact that we don’t know what the acceptance/rejection ratio is at Envato and we can safely assume that the acceptance rate is way less than rejection rate (if we are wrong, Envato is more than welcome to refute with data).

Upto this point we have been looking at the definition of “review”. Now lets talk about the process itself. The reviewal process has 3 stages: Accepted, Rejected (Hard), Rejected (Soft). The process begins with the Author uploading the Template (the baby, which s/he created, spent weeks/months nurturing until it matured). Then begins the nail-biting wait for the item to move through a “queue” to be finally reviewed by the reviewer. This is all good right? You say to yourself everything will be ok, right? Wrong! From the moment you upload to the nail-biting wait for queue to move, you’re dreading the worst… An automated mail saying “Sorry your submission XYZ has been rejected and cannot be resubmitted”. Is this what you want your authors to go through Envato? You (Envato) must be wondering why there is so much fuss about some goddamn progress bar / review queue which takes a few days and max to a week to get reviewed where as the Author spent months developing the template. Can’t the author wait for a few more days/week? The real problem is that the Author wants the item to be reviewed quickly not with hopes of getting accepted but with the dreaded feeling of getting rejected. If the item gets rejected the author would have to spend another week trying to figure out what was wrong (as the reviewer gives no clues) and then another week/month trying to fix it. We want the queue to move faster because we know the inevitable and the quicker it happens the better for us as we get more time to fix the template. This is counter to the goals of a review system. If you look at the “Item rejection”... ahem “Item Discussion” page, you’ll see that some designs which are no where close to the marketplace standards are reuploaded 4-5 times. No wonder there is so much backlog in the queue. Author’s do that because they just don’t know what is lacking in the template. So they fix all the non-issues and the real issues still remain.

Wouldn’t it have been better if the 1st rejection message carried a better review and would have prevented the same item being reuploaded 4-5 times thereby reducing the queue length?

Picture this. The same procedure but no automated mails. Envato’s reviewers “take the pain” to review the item and write down their thoughts on why it did not meet the standards of Envato’s marketplace and then send a personalized mail to the author with changes required (ex: if the template had good concept but bad design explain what the bad design was so the author at least has a head start in fixing the template; if the template was pathetic give out links where the author can take inspiration from and possibly even redirect the author to take advice from peers at the “Item discussion” page). We as authors understand that doing this takes a lot of time and holds up the queue. But it doesn’t matter. We are willing to wait longer if we get constructive criticism which will ultimately “help us” get our item approved. We then wouldn’t care about “the queue” as we know that whatever time was supposedly wasted isn’t anymore when the reviewal is over. Now that puts confidence in the “reviewal” system. That also ensures that bad player’s don’t make minute changes and reupload adding backlog to the queue.

The current reviewal system makes us Author’s feel that we are all already in the grave. “Rejected (Soft)” makes us feel that we have one leg out of the grave but with one leg still inside. “Accepted” gives us a feeling of relief of having finally made it out of the grave rather than a feeling of celebration. Is this what you want your author’s to go through Envato? The reason we ask the nomenclature to be changed is because there is no real “reviewal” happening here. There is only “viewing” and classifying the template as Rejected (Hard) or Accepted/Rejected (Soft). There is no middle ground. I agree that there are some reviewers who write more personalized mails but that is not the majority.

Instead of trying to make cosmetic changes to the review system revamp the system itself. Make it mandatory to provide detailed review on each submission. This reduces the rate of resubmissions thereby reducing the queue length. If you can do this then I can safely assume that the author’s won’t care about a UI for the queue system or time taken for review as they get constructive criticism in the end. That means you can also redirect your resources that you are wasting on making a UI to instead make the process better. Have an appellate authority(s) setup (whom authors should have a direct access to and not have to go through support/twitter) so authors can complain if the reviewer did not review the item properly. This makes everyone accountable and builds confidence in the community.

You (Envato) want “your” reviewers to do the job of screeners. We (Authors) want their roles to not be limited to being that of a screener but do what reviewers are supposed to do: review the item and provide personalized, professional opinions. This can only change if you (Envato) make a policy change and make it mandatory for reviewers to give personalized, professional opinions and not robotic replies.

It all boils down to this:

1. Sacrifice review quality for quickly moving the queue backlog (but end up with greater backlog due to unexpected resubmissions).
2. Sacrifice time for great review quality and eventually (over time) lesser backlog.

Now we want to ask the authors:

1. Do you want the reviewal to take place fast (ex: max 1 week, min: 1-2 days) and have a UI for the queue backlog but have automated robotic responses? OR
2. Do you want the reviewal to take its time (ex: max 2 weeks, min 5-6 days), have basic UI for queue backlog and have personalized, professional responses? OR
3. Do you have some other suggestion of tackling this issue?
4822 posts Interactive Design
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Has sold $500,000+ on Envato Market
  • Interviewed on an Envato blog
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
+8 more
digitalscience says

It’s called a Review Process because there are two outcomes 1) Approval 2) Rejection. If we called it an Approval Process – it’s like assuming everything that get’s uploaded will eventually get approved – which is not the case, some authors upload an item multiple times and get rejected each time and give up.

It may seem like a Review has a negative connotation.. but it’s basically a process that checks if your item meets Envato’s standard for sale. If you get Rejected, it’s easy to take it personally, but it just means you’re not meeting that standard and you need to follow the guidelines or work on your skill set.

Also the Reviewers job is not to help you get approved – their job is to sort out what items are at the standard and which are not, and then they’ll provide reasons which you’ll need to take into consideration for the next time you upload – so they’re not being paid to teach you how to get approved. You need to figure that out, by following the guidelines and looking at what types of items are getting approved to get an idea of what you need to be doing. Practice and patience!

640 posts
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Located in Slovakia
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 2 years
  • Won a Most Wanted contest
+3 more
LubosVolovar says

Man, if you had spent time writing this article rather on working on your item, you will be little bit closer to the approval :)

This was discussed countless times. Reviewers WON’T provide detailed info for hard rejected items, because it would take a LOT of time. Reviewing times are way too long already. This is marketplace, not a tutorial website. Every author here faced rejections, especially when they tried to submit their first item. I totally understand how depressing the whole rejection can be, I’ve been there, trust me. But the only way is to work harder, keep trying different things and be critical to your work! Arguing about review process is a total waste of time.

3711 posts Ruben Bristian
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Has sold $750,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
+10 more
KrownThemes says

This isn’t a learning site. It’s a site where you come only when you have the skills to get approved. Or at least have the patience for it :)

1830 posts
  • Has referred 10+ members
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
+4 more
Bedros says

This isn’t a learning site. It’s a site where you come only when you have the skills to get approved. Or at least have the patience for it :)

+1

2649 posts aspire to create - create to inspire
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Helped several times protecting Envato Market against copyright violations
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
+10 more
Creattive says

I agree with the rest and I hope not everyone is doing an “open letter” now for each tiny little thing.

When your file is good, it gets approved, when not, it gets rejected. It’s not their job to educate you how to do your job.

I do agree it would be helpful, but it is just not reasonable with the amount of time it costs.

6150 posts
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
+8 more
VF says

Isn’t it irony that you didn’t get approved single item but having in-depth suggestions? Especially asking for a rename of “approval” process.

How about calling it “Rejection process” since that’s probably the majority here :D

35 posts
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
_deleted_ says

Man, if you had spent time writing this article rather on working on your item, you will be little bit closer to the approval :)

This was discussed countless times. Reviewers WON’T provide detailed info for hard rejected items, because it would take a LOT of time. Reviewing times are way too long already. This is marketplace, not a tutorial website. Every author here faced rejections, especially when they tried to submit their first item. I totally understand how depressing the whole rejection can be, I’ve been there, trust me. But the only way is to work harder, keep trying different things and be critical to your work! Arguing about review process is a total waste of time.

The problem is we are pushing ourselves to make sure our item is not rejected. Possibly we are pushing too hard :P And thats what ticks us off. When do we say its more than enough already to push for upload? We come close to the point of “Okay this should be sufficient enough to upload” and then someone in the team brings up the dreaded review process and we go back to square one to push ourselves even further to make sure not one pixel is out of place :P Probably the idea of “rejection” is too convulsive to even digest!

35 posts
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
_deleted_ says

Isn’t it irony that you didn’t get approved single item but having in-depth suggestions? Especially asking for a rename of “approval” process. How about calling it “Rejection process” since that’s probably the majority here :D

Is envato a place where only accepted authors are allowed to have a view of the process? We are talking here as someone who hasn’t even stepped into the process and already finding it daunting enough… surely this must mean that there is something wrong and process is not inviting enough for new authors?

2649 posts aspire to create - create to inspire
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Helped several times protecting Envato Market against copyright violations
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
+10 more
Creattive says

your fear of rejection sounds like a personal psychologic problem, not like it has something to do with this marketplace.

Send it in, when you get rejected make it better. You are asking for feedback while right now what you do is improve it without any reviewer feedback even without submitting it.

Helpful Information

  • Please read our community guidelines. Self promotion and discussion of piracy is not allowed.
  • Open a support ticket if you would like specific help with your account, deposits or purchases.
  • Item Support by authors is optional and may vary. Please see the Support tab on each item page.

Most of all, enjoy your time here. Thank you for being a valued Envato community member.

Post Reply

Format your entry with some basic HTML. Read the Full Details, or here is a refresher:

<strong></strong> to make things bold
<em></em> to emphasize
<ul><li> or <ol><li> to make lists
<h3> or <h4> to make headings
<pre></pre> for code blocks
<code></code> for a few words of code
<a></a> for links
<img> to paste in an image (it'll need to be hosted somewhere else though)
<blockquote></blockquote> to quote somebody

:grin: :shocked: :cry: Complete List of Smiley Codes

by
by
by
by
by
by