Desired Color Scheme:
Your choice - Logo colors should not be changed.
Clean, Creative, 2.0, CSS, Apple.com, ClearWire.com,
Accepted File Formats:
.jpg and .png and native format
Nexternal Solutions is looking for some fresh design ideas for its website, http://www.nexternal.com. Heres what you should know. The existing web site hasnt changed much in the last few years. Nexternal has developers in place to code the site, but would like fresh perspectives on the design. This contest will have one guaranteed winner, even if we do not use their design. We have included a very rough wire-frame for you to work with, please review before you begin. The wire frame conveys how we think the site should be laid out, but is reasonable flexible and should not be considered an absolute road map. We are open to other layout options and are coming to you for creative ideas (that work). However, usability and the site objectives are the most important aspects at the end of the day. One of our favorite resources is the book Dont Make Me Think by Steve Krug and have incorporated many of its ideas into the wire frame and basic navigation structure. The deliverable files should include both a .jpeg, a layered file (.png preferred) and the file in the native format it was created.
Nexternal was founded in 1999 and provides hosted ecommerce software to online merchants. During a 2006 survey of its clients, Nexternal found that the top three things that impressed its clients were:
1. Customer Service Knowledgeable staff that responds quickly
2. Continuously Evolving Software: http://www.nexternal.com/updates
3. Ease of use of the software
It is important that Nexternal can convey the above message through a site that is friendly, suitable for a high-tech company, yet simple and usable. Nexternals software is considered upper tier. Our clients include Alcoa, Hersheys, Time Warner, Taser and more. Consequently, professionalism is of utmost importance. If, when submitting your work, you would not feel comfortable presenting it to a major national brand, you should reconsider submitting until you are satisfied. This is not a design race. This is a design contest where you will have ample time to practice your craft. Designers will have two weeks to make submissions and there will be one guaranteed winner even if we don't use their design.
The purpose of the website is to encourage users to learn more about Nexternals ecommerce software and ultimately contact Nexternal for a demonstration of its ecommerce software. These objectives are symbolized by the 1,2,3 steps on the wire frame.
Usability is key as there are few very specific user actions that we are hoping to encourage. To reiterate above the user should not have to think or guess what they need to do next, just act on once of the three actions listed on the wireframe.
This project requires no coding, but the final product will separate content and design utilizing CSS. Design the graphics in the best way you see fit, but please keep this consideration in mind.
Example Sites :
Clearwire.com Like the rounded corners, simple gradient at the top, clear tabs, friendliness. Dont like the submenu options as they dont stand out enough in the sub nav bar.
Apple.com Like the main navigation tab and the way the sub-nav falls under it. Overall clean, professional look.
Salesforce.com Like tabbed navigation, flash movie, high tech feel, and Next Steps concept.
Wireframe Layout: http://host.nexternal.com/newsite/barebones.jpg
Dont worry about the flash movie placeholder. Just put an empty box or solid box placeholder where it should go. You may use graphics to frame the movie area, but please do not distract from your design by attempting to design in this area.
The main navigation tabs will be: ecommerce software, clients, partners, company, sitemap. The tab selected when landing on the homepage will be ecommerce software.
The Ecommerce Software sub navigation will be: features, demos, free trial, upgrading, pricing, FAQs, why Nexternal, knowledge base
Keep core site width at 780 pixels.