Sanger got their new web page design by running a design contest:
Website design for the new Reading Bear!
Check out Sanger's Web page design contest…
a website that teaches young children to read--new, free, non-profit
I liked the advice on http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/27/designing-websites-for-kids-trends-and-best-practices/ but there is one problem I have with some of the sites showcased there: they are way too busy.
Please see another section below for absolutely essential general requirements! These are only the individual page requirements! If you're entering the contest, please read the entire brief! Pages required: 4 ====================== Page 1: Home page The content for this can be found here: http://watchknowreader.busedge.com/ Design all the current links and text you find on that page, and a little more (see below). The column width is one thing that you could fiddle with a little. Obviously, the Reading Bear logo goes in the top left of the page. We’d like the logo to be fairly large on the home page. When I did a very quick mock-up, I put it at 660 by 230 pixels. It could be 25% smaller than that. You could use up to, let’s say, 400 pixels (vertically) of the top of the home page for introductory stuff (so, a bit more than what is used now on the demo site). Please create an account and log in, because I would like you to design the “Choose For Me” button which appears only for people who have logged in. I do not want that button where it is, but off to the right side near the top of the list. It would be nice to have buttons of some sort for “settings” as well as “Quiz.” If you can improve on the “Review” thumbnail (on the left) that would be nice. Note that there will be up to 50 presentations listed on that page, so it should be able to expand indefinitely. Do not give individual designs for the “short a” etc. links that you see there, because we would then need separate designs for each button. But we could probably handle wraparound image for text that appears on a button. There will be a Getting Started video in addition to the Getting Started page. You could include a video thumbnail/icon of some sort. That would be nice because people have complained that they don’t immediately understand how to use the site, and a link to the video might solve that problem. Otherwise, it would be nice to have a pointer of some sort, alerting people to the Getting Started page. Add a tagline: “We sound it out. You learn to read. Totally free!” ====================== Page 2: Presentation, quiz, and review wraparound and buttons Click on the “short a” link and you will come to this: http://watchknowreader.busedge.com/Presentation.aspx?PresentationID=1 then click on “Sound It Out Slowly” and let the presentation play. Here, we need a wraparound for the presentation which is 800 x 600 pixels. A neutral color (even white) is fine. Be sure to watch several presentations, of all sorts, before designing this. The background has to work well for text, pictures, and videos. The pictures are of different dimensions. The rectangular box that’s there now is not necessary but if you think it looks better with some such box, try it out. Unlike on some other pages, these specific buttons need to be designed, as does the progress bar. (I picked out the current buttons as temporaries, but I expect that a designer would be able to find or make something better.) I think the current placement of the progress bar (in the upper left) is fine, although it’s a little non-standard, so if you want to move it down, be my guest. Don’t try to design anything in the presentation (or quiz or review) itself. Any such design ideas will be ignored (if not laughed at!). Separate designs for the quizzes & reviews are not required, but the design for the presentation should work for them as well. Note that the quizzes do not have any buttons. ====================== Page 3: Generic text pages (Getting Started and About) We need a design for the text pages, i.e., the About page and the Getting Started page. We don’t have the text yet. Just use lorem ipsem with headings. The logo (and header) should be smaller on this page. Notice that there will be an area (as you can see on http://watchknowreader.busedge.com/GettingStarted.aspx ) where some videos will be listed, in “Getting Started”. Feel free to design for just that page. (We’ll simply remove the video box from your design for the text-only About page.) ====================== Page 4: Generic pop-up dialogue design There are what I’m calling “pop-ups” in three places. (1) Click on a presentation such as “short a”. You’ll see the “Select Presentation” pop-up dialogue box. (2) Settings (upper right button). (3) Use the slider to go all the way to the end of a presentation. When you come to the very end, you’ll be shown the end-of-presentation dialogue box. We want an attractive design for these three dialogue boxes. It should be a “generic” design in the sense that we can use the same basic design for all three. You can rearrange how the options are presented (for usability), add images and design buttons (we need blank copies of the button style, since the text is variable and we’ll lay it on top of the button), and fiddle with the appearance of the box itself. If you design just one of the dialogues, we’ll use that as a template for the others. Maybe the best one to design from would be the one you’ll get after you get a presentation going and then you press Options.
I WILL GUARANTEE THIS CONTEST AS SOON AS I SEE A DESIGN THAT I AM COMFORTABLE WITH! About the website: The website will be called “Reading Bear” and will be at readingbear.org. (The URL above points to the demo/development site, which may be buggy.) It is affiliated with watchknowlearn.org, funded by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, and organized by Larry Sanger (me). We recently concluded a 99designs logo design contest (the logo is attached). We plan to name designers in our About page. One previous website that I started, Wikipedia, has become a top 10 website. We expect and hope this will be a high-profile website, so your work should get significant exposure. WARNING: I will not award the design to anyone who I know or strongly suspect to have copied the work from elsewhere. Please do NOT copy your work from elsewhere. I consider this to be fraud. We are paying for an ORIGINAL design, not for a shameless copy of someone else’s design. Before awarding a winner, I will invite participants to identify designs that are copied from elsewhere. People have been very good at identifying the copy-cats, so don’t waste your time. General requirements: Our audience is 0-6 year olds and their teachers and parents. We expect the site to be most heavily used by early elementary grades and preschools, so it should be appealing to the little kids but not too babyish. Generally, we want something that is warm and welcoming to little kids. Not “edgy” like for older kids, but also not all plush stuff, pink bows, and baby blue. It should make kindergartners feel comfortable, inspire them with confidence, and feel like they’re in for some fun. Please note, there is a special technical consideration! Do not fiddle too much with the current dimensions or placement of stuff either on the home page or the presentation, quiz, and review pages. Most importantly, we cannot resize the presentations to fit your design, which are 800x600 in the 100% version, and correspondingly bigger in the 125% and 150% versions (see the three different-sized As on the top right of the presentation window). Your design should scale up with no trouble--this is crucial. Did you see the previous point about your design being able to scale up to 125% and 150%? This is important! The content is the main focus of this site. We aren’t trying to sell anything (no ads), we’re simply trying to get people to go as efficiently as possible to the presentations. (We also want them to sign up, so they can track their progress.) Although the logo is somewhat complex, we’re really aiming at a fairly simple page design, something that puts the content in its best possible light. It should be undistracting, and it should not use any “gimmicks” that will get old, since people will be coming back again and again to the website. Any artwork and hand-rendered lines should be very competent, and consistent in style and mood with the logo. I will give low ratings to any sub-par artwork. The colors, too, should be complementary to the shades of green and blue in the logo, i.e.: Blue – 0,172,225 (Pantone=#00ACE1) Green – 90,135,40 (Pantone=#5A8728) You do not have to use these colors as your main colors, but they should not clash, and it would be nice to include them at least a little. I do not like bright or garish colors, but as this is a children’s site, of course it should not have a lot of blacks and browns either. It should be cheerful. As to “themes” to pursue, the obvious ones are the contexts in which one might find a bear that is reading. This might involve books, letters or the alphabet, a library, and other “literacy” themes, but also “bear-y” themes such as a forest and playing cubs. If you draw any pictures of bears, they had better look very close to the one in the logo (same or similar bears in the same artistic style, but in different poses, cubs playing, etc.). Theoretically we could ask the logo designer to draw more bears to include (I’m pursuing that question). My guess is that almost no one will be able to pull that off credibly other than the logo designer, so you probably shouldn’t even try. The Copyright notice text = “Copyright 2011 Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi”. h ANY QUESTIONS? Please ask in this contest’s public discussion area! I will answer ASAP. You might want to check that discussion before you get to work.
US$1,745 Gold package
Every design category has flexible pricing for all budgets. Web page design starts at $849.
Full copyright with production-ready files for digital and/or print.
It all began with a design brief.
A quick, interactive guide helped them understand their design style and captured exactly what they needed in their web page design.
Designers across the globe delivered design magic.
Sanger collaborated with designers to refine their ideas
When design entries come in, you can rate them so designers know what you’re looking for in your logo design.
99designs has great collaboration tools so you can pinpoint and capture your ideas
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
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