We run a growing portfolio of niche media sites powered by professional content and best of breed community and social media features. We are passionate about creating cutting edge user experiences and bringing the best design possible to our portfolio. We want our sites to look better than anything else on the Internet. We run a network of Home and Garden niche media sites. We have been operating in a proof of concept phase for a number of months and are now ready to begin rolling the project out at a larger scale. To do so we want to introduce a radical new design to our sites. The key elements of the design are Approachability, Folksiness, and Elegance. One example site that we are fond of is http://www.foodzie.com. We believe this site has a lot of personality and soul. The design indicates that there was care and attention to detail. We like the spirit and soul of this site and want to capture the folksy elegance that it embodies.
Our audience for this collection of websites are general Internet users. People searching for information on Home & Garden articles and topics will likely find our content in search engines and click thru to our sites. When they arrive at our sites we want them to be delighted. We want them to enjoy spending time on our sites. We want them to feel like the site is professional and welcome and that an extensive amount of care and attention to detail went into designing the site. We want them to bookmark and share the site on facebook and twitter and tell their friends about it. We want them to trust the site.
We need design for a Home page, an Article Page, and a Topic Page. Here is an example of one of our sites currently - http://www.universeelectronics.com. the current site is nothing more than a proof of concept. it includes a home page, an article page (http://www.universeelectronics.com/…order.html), a topic page (http://www.universeelectronics.com/sony/), and a couple other less important pages. This site is not a Home and Garden site, but it is shared here as an example of what our current templates look like. We want to radically re-imagine our templates. While we have some ideas of what we like and what we don't like, we want the 99designs creative community to approach this project with fresh eyes and creative minds. To this end we are listing here some examples of sites that we like with the goal of trying to provide some directional guidance:
http://www.foodzie.com - approachable, folksy, professional, fun yet trusted, photos and drawings are clean and crisp
http://www.dailymile.com - sharp and deep colors, clean, good use of white space, clear calls to action
http://www.foodspotting.com - AMAZING footer, feels folksy and clean and professional
http://www.epicurious.com - deep textured color treatment with depth
http://www.gowalla.com - clean, professional, symetrical, folksy, and elegant