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Minimum character limit for software descriptions

Active Member
Stephen J Member Since: Jul 9, 2016
1 of 7

I've already flagged "I need an app" as spam and noticed the post still existed much later. 

Then there's the "You must be good, professional" and "I already have all the art and design just copy this app" and they don't link to what you should copy, nor is there a description. Yet I have to bid a max of a few hundred dollars?

This isn't a minor problem, this is half of the scrolling, and the android app doesn't even let you preview the descriptions so you waste most of your time scrolling through crap. I have gotten good jobs here but not since eLance.


I know you can't fix the mentality of someone who thinks apps are easy and we can magically break Apple's rules to do things the phones were designed not to do, like the job where "just disable games on the iPhone", where we have to spend connects just to say "That is impossible, unintended use, and probably harms other developers if we did manage". But you can provide a minimum limit of a couple hundred characters with big red text that says:
"YOU MUST DESCRIBE YOUR APP IN MORE DETAIL" and give examples like, how many screens, is there a network, what is the basic idea.

We don't have time to take everyone's "valuable idea that's too important to share and will be the next youTube" even if we wanted to. That's why we're here, to provide client-services. 


Of course, I can always bid 30 bucks and make whatever I want because well, all they said is "I want a game". They'd rate me down and you'd have to deal with the fact nothing in the contract was breached, so I'd get the rating taken down and just have fun messing with the ones that do that. If it was rare I'd just ignore it, but it's not. It's over 50 percent of the jobs in software category and you're not taking them down when flagged.

What are we to do?

Active Member
Kevin L Member Since: Aug 3, 2016
2 of 7

Hi Stephen


I can not agree more with what you said. Especially in the mobile application sphere. 


How many "I want an app like Instagram" or "I want a clone of this application" have gone through upwork ? 

I would like to know also how many have been sucessfull. 


I think by accepting kind of description, upwork lower its quality standards. I also don't think it is helping a client very much to let him post something so vague.My personal opinion is that is opeing the door for scammers, escpecially if the client has no technical expertise.


In addition to adding a minimun characther limit for software description. I have an other idea.


I woul like to know what is the impact of clicking the down thumb in the job feed.

How it does affect my freelancer profile and how it can affect  the client jobs>


If a job collect too much down thumb with reason "Too vague", "Irealistic expecation" or "Budget too low"

would make the job anouncment unavailable until client does the correction needed.




I would like to hear what upwork and other freelancers from the software/mobile application business think about it ?


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 7

Stop flagging job descriptions that are too vague for you as spam. Just because a job description doesn't meet your standards, it doesn't necessarily mean this is a bad job. Many Upwork contractors are able to work with inexperienced clients whose job description skills are lacking.


If a client simply says they need an app, this is sufficient for an hourly contract. It would be a bad fixed-price contract, but it constitutes the beginning of an hourly contract with a skilled contractor who knows how to manage a project and ask a client about her project needs.

Active Member
Stephen J Member Since: Jul 9, 2016
4 of 7
I never flag hourly, you are right in that regard. But these are legal contracts, you can't seriously be encouraging vague legal terms.. Kevin, I read a blog about upwork management, if accurate, this place offs just an untended garden. Preston, I did accurately describe what vague is, within the criteria I gave, even if it's not me, said freelancer still has no description. It is not subjective, so your remark of "what counts to you" was oddly personal. It does not being here, unless you do not understand my criteria
Active Member
Stephen J Member Since: Jul 9, 2016
5 of 7
Is an untended, auto correct iPhone
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 7

A vague job posting for a fixed-price project may indeed be stupid. But it is not a "legal contract."


It is just a job posting, essentially an ad. It is not a contract at all.


There is no contract until a contractor applies to the job and negotiates an agreement with the client, is sent a hire offer, and that offer is accepted by the contractor.


If a contractor agrees to a vague fixed-price job offer without clearly identifying what the deliverables will be, that contractor is making a huge tactical error.


I understand your unease with vague job postings, and I appreciate your clarification that you are only flagging vague job offers if they are fixed-price projects. I think the main question here is not whether or not these vague job postings are a good idea for clients to post (they're not)... The question is whether one should flag them. Because there is no flagging option for this type of complaint and it is not clear that these postings are violating any Upwork rules.

Community Guru
Vince D Member Since: Feb 18, 2016
7 of 7

In my line of work I see vague descriptions all of the time like "I need a database". If I have time to work on another project (hourly or fixed price) I will put in a proposal and explain that their description is vague and we need to discuss the requirements before I can give an accurate estimate. If they are interested we will open a dialog and hash out the details.


Sometimes new clients don't know what's expected of them. I don't think it's out of our reach to spend a little time to ferret out the details. Freelancing is part customer relations. If initially holding the hand of a prospective client can result in a long term relationship it can be worth a half hour or so of our time.


Just my $0.02.

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
Buckaroo Banzai