Interface designer? Information design guru? Online identity and branding director? UI geek?
I am looking for you!
Photo credit: Dragan Trifunovic
Yes, the MasterNewMedia Design Challenge is open.
Starting today, I am launching a web design contest open to anyone capable of designing with valid XHTML+CSS.
What is it all about?
Challenge your design skills and re-design the basic look and feel for MasterNewMedia.org.
This is a web design contest where the mission is to propose an innovative new look for this site, and the prize is a nice amount of cash and an opportunity to work together with me, Robin Good, on multiple online design projects at least for the next six months.
The mandate is to submit a redesign proposal for MasterNewMedia.org home page and for the layout of individual article pages.
The goal is to do this by giving priority to accessibility, legibility, information design elements over decorative, uninformative "chrome".
Here more details:
Why a contest?
Photo credit: Marja Flick-Buijs
a) Choice. I want to find the best possible match out there and feel this will be a good way to get a good selection of proposals in front of me. I see this as the best way to see some good design work without having to run multiple classifieds and having to interview an endless list of candidates.
b) Focus. By doing a contest instead of a traditional candidate review I can demand that applicants showcase their talent applied to a very specific goal: my site. This further allows me to compare each designer talent to a common reference.
c) Viral reach. A web event, when properly used, has a lot more traction and reach than any Craigslist ad or job announcement on your preferred monster job list. People email and talk to each other about a new contest to design a popular site, but they don't do so much with the classified announcements they find.
d) Time. I want to collect as many proposals in the shortest time possible and select the winner from them. A contest makes it easier to synchronize candidates submissions within a short time span and make a final selection in a relatively small time frame.
e) Sharing. Because I want to "showcase" the design works that will be submitted. By creating a contest and showcasing all of the submissions (and the people behind them) I can enable some talented visual designers to get some extra reach and exposure for their work while I could be having a much easier way at selecting what I like. Content contributed by applicants will provide by itself value as the contest gallery that will grow out of it will remain a reference of web designer samples for others to peruse.
What is the prize?
Photo credit: Alen Stojanac
1) $ 1,500 in cash to the winning designer.
2) A design contract for a period of at least 6-months to work on MasterNewMedia.org and on other new Robin Good's web-based projects, including:
3) The winner will be interviewed and showcased on www.masternewmedia.org and masterview.ikonosnewmedia.com.
4) The winning design prototypes, credentials and reference information will be kept on permanent display on Robin Good's MasterNewMedia web site.
Who will judge?
Photo credit: Julie Elliott
I, Robin Good, will be the one and only judge of this design competition.
What criteria will I use the select my favorite?
I like minimalist, essential and highly usable designs.
I also like color and richer design layouts.
Even though the two may appear to be at the extreme opposite ends of an imaginary design continuum, what I seek is design that is highly rational, minimalist, aware of information-design principles, while at the same time capable of utilizing color and richer design components toward the creation of a rewarding and effective user experience.
Here are some references:
Simple - Minimalist
Microsoft Start - www.start.com
delicious - http://del.icio.us
Colorful - richer design
CNet - http://www.cnet.com/
How do I participate?
Photo credit: Bob Smith
To participate you need only to submit your design proposal as a viewable set of web pages accessible via a standard URL to the official MasterNewMedia Design Challenge submission page.
Your proposal will need to reach me before February 15th 2006 midnight GMT.
Max number of submissions:
You can submit as many alternative proposals as you like under your own name.
Design assignment (what to focus on):
Photo credit: Piotr Sikora
1) Re-design of MasterNewMedia.org two key pages
a) home, (see: www.masternewmedia.org)
b) individual article (see: http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/...)
Let me further clarify. This is a contest, not a design assignment to redo my site. It is as if you HAD TO redesign my home and internal pages and create a design proposal for them.
In a real setting several concerns would have to be addressed before even considering the drafting of new page layouts. Content organization, components needed, features, etc.
Here instead you need only to play with what is already there to create a new design proposal around it.
2) Upgrade identity/logo
Upgrade existing Robin Good logo to integrate the word "Sharewood"
(as in "Robin Good from Sharewood")
3) Utilize new tagline
"News, tools and ideas to communicate effectively with new media technologies"
(to replace: "What communication experts must know")
a) RSS and newsletter subscription elements
b) Support and access to multiple language editions
Individual articles today should be thought of as mini self-sufficient micro-sites made up of only one page. How can then these pages be better conceived as to provide maximum reward to those arriving there from search engine results pages?
How can you best integrate, on each individual article page the following components which are already used on my site?:
a) Amazon 4-6 book references
b) News feed (headlines and excerpt) on same article topic
c) 4-6 related articles from Robin Good's site network (title and excerpt + date)
d) Effective AdSense integration
e) A dedicated ad section strip to accommodate multiple advertisers and sponsors
f) Listing of other content Categories that can be visited
Photo credit: Ariusz Nawrocki
Fast loading pages
Home page template (without fresh content) max size: 65 KB
Individual Article (without fresh content) max size: 45 KB
Printability of articles content.
- CSS-based design
- Valid XHTML code
- Viewable on FF, IE and Safari
- Compatible with screen resolutions ranging from
800*600 to 1600*1280
What are you waiting for?
For any further information feel free to contact me directly via email at Robin.Good[at]masternewmedia.org or on Skype (my ID is "robingood" - make sure that when you request to be added to my contacts you specify MasterNewMedia Design Challenge as a reference)