Redesign my site contest

So, it’s been a long time since this site’s design has been updated. And I mean, a long time. The entire design is getting a bit long in the tooth and it’s time for a change. Most of my extra time has been either writing books or working on YUI stuff, so my personal site took a backburner. At first, I thought about dusting off my old Photoshop skills and seeing what I could come up with. Then I thought…my design skills are probably so far out of practice that I’d just come up with something lousy, so why not get someone with good design skills to do it? And so I announce the, “Redesign Nicholas’ Web Site” contest.

What’s the deal? Basically, you submit your idea for redesigning my site. I’ll choose the best of the submissions and rework my site to your specs. You’ll have to work with me, of course, to provide sliced up images, specs as to what colors and fonts are used, etc. I promise that I’ll leave the design up for a minimum of one year with a credit to you above the fold for the design work that you’ve done. Additionally, I’ll throw in a signed copy of any one of my books thanking you for your work.

Who can enter? Anyone! You don’t have to officially be a designer by trade or anything like that. If you enjoy web design and want the chance to showcase your skills on my site, in front of all of the readers that visit me, then you’re free to enter.

What are the requirements? Ah, the fun part. Basically, the design must be for four pages:

  1. The home page. As opposed to right now, I want the home page to be more of a splash page. It should display my five most recent blog posts (with date/time and tags), my five most recent articles (with date/time), and my twitter status, all with links to their RSS feeds. It also must show my book covers (with room for more than two…who knows what the future holds) and a search box. The idea of this page is, of course, to show everything I’ve been up to without too much detail. Other things you can feel free to add but aren’t necessary: JavaScript-related links, “What I’m reading”, blog categories, blogroll, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
  2. A single blog post. Along the same style as the home page, this should display a single blog post in a clean and readable format along with comments and a form to submit the comments. There should be room for related links (whether they be books, articles, other blog posts, etc.); these can be in a column off to the side or somewhere else.
  3. A page displaying multiple links. I have many of these on my site right now, pages that display a bunch of links (Writing, Downloads, etc.). Basically, this is just a page with a list of links, each with the date/time that they were posted and a short, one-paragraph summary.

All pages should have site navigation to the following sections: Home, Blog, Books, Articles, Talks, Downloads, About, Contact Me (though not necessarily in that order).

I’d like to keep the stylized “NCZOnline” that I have now (Arial Narrow, italicized, with “NCZ” bold), but other than that, I’m open to any other changes including layout, color, graphics, etc.

How do I enter? Simple. Just email redesign2009 (at) and include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your web site
  • Three PNG images (one for each page of the design)
  • Any other info you’d like to let me know about the design or yourself (for instance, if you’d like to show how you envision some interactions working, send along more images as well)

You’ll get an email from me letting you know that I’ve received the design submission and letting you know if anything was missing. You can enter as many designs as you’d like; there’s no limit, just make sure to send a separate email for each design.

What’s the deadline? The deadline for entries is January 15, 2009. I will make a decision about the design and write a blog post showing the new design on January 30, 2009. I’ll then try to get the design up and live by March 2009.

What’s the fine print? By submitting your designs to this contest, you grant me the right to display the page designs in any blog post on my site as well as your name (you can provide a pseudonym if you’d like, but that would kinda defeat the purpose of giving you credit). If your design wins, you must grant me the copyright for the design. The winning design may be augmented or extended after selection or any time in the future as my needs for the site change. I also reserve the right to *not *choose any design if I don’t like any of the submissions; there is no guaranteed winner for this contest.

So that’s it. Redesign my site for 2009. Make me proud!

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