Completed contest site design - Web 2.0 social network

NotAtAllStrange needed a new web page design and created a contest on 99designs.

A winner was selected from 29 designs submitted by 8 freelance designers.


How NotAtAllStrange started their web page design journey


looking for friendly, inviting, decidedly feminine, web 2.0 feel - 2 pages, a vertical menu bar and a data table layout

What inspires you and how do you envision the design for your business?

Accepted File Formats:
Layered Formats (.psd or .tiff)

Cheat Sheet


landing page

profile page




nb. tabs would vastly improve the existing layout

see the menu bar at

nb. the menu bar expands horizontally when moused over and is incorporated into every site page including the landing pages and profile pages

also need a good looking way to layout tabular data ie. fonts, lineheights, borders etc that matches the rest of the site



existing icons available upon request

new icons to be designed by contestant or chosen from


soft muted pastels recommended but not required


friendly, feminine, web 2.0


nb. I've just uploaded a mashup of content taken from 4 or 5 different sites in order to provide a more visual example of how i see the site working. The elements dont work together, but should give a pretty good indication.…panded.jpg


Contest Overview is a free to join social network exclusively for mothers (think MySpace or Facebook for mothers). The site was launched in beta earlier this year with limited first phase functionality. The next release of the site will include significant new functionality together with an entirely new design, and is currently scheduled for the end of October.

We are currently looking for submissions of 2 pages and 2 page overlays for the new website design. Basically we are looking for the main landing page for the entire network which shows all members etc., an individual profile page which displays the profile of a single user, a mock up of the main control panel menu and a mock up for any of our tables of data.

We will not require any cutting of the winning design to HTML and CSS as we will be doing this ourselves.


We are looking for a friendly, inviting, decidedly feminine, web 2.0 feel.

I highly recommend the following article as a starting point (if you are new to the world of Web 2.0). It looks fairly basic at first glance but is well worth the read.…-guide.cfm

The article highlights and provides examples of several key web 2.0 design trends that I feel would really benefit the design - simplicity, central layout, bigger text, bold text introductions, rich surfaces, gradients and cute icons. There are others that I feel might detract from the design - reflections, star flashes and strong colors - but overall I feel it would be beneficial reading to anyone looking to understand what we are looking for.

It is important to note though, that although the site targets mothers, our users are fairly diverse. We have mothers ranging in age from about 16 to about 60. We have single mothers, mothers with large families, grandmothers, and pregnant mothers to be. Therefore the style cannot be too girly, cannot be tied too closely to babies, cannot be based upon toys, etc. In fact, almost all of the typical generalizations associated with mothers are likely to be in some way inappropriate.

We are open to slightly altering the logo design if required, but this is not part of the contest, and should only be undertaken if it will further a design. We would like to keep the butterfly, but positioning, fonts etc, are open to manipulation.


We require designs for 2 pages and 2 page overlays as follows:

Page 1 - The main site landing page

A starting point for the landing page would be to check out the existing site You'll find here examples of the key content we are looking to include in the new design.
- Featured Mumspaces- Featured Groups- Latest Activity- Newest Mumspaces- Newest Groups Additionally we will require search functionality directly from the landing page. This might be as simple as a single text entry search field and search button.

We will also need to include navigation linking out to:
- About Us- Contact Us- Frequently Asked Questions- Our Newsletter- Features- Terms Of Use- Our Partners Using the current site design it is difficult to add more content without making the landing page appear cluttered and busy. Using tabs may help with this. Latest Activity is the most important content piece though, and if tabs are used Latest Activity should be visible by default.

Page 2 - A user profile page

A new feature of the site will be the ability to view the profile of any user from within the main site. Currently, user profiles are viewed by linking out to the users mumspace (blog) and viewing their profile from within that mumspace. This means that each user profile looks like the users mumspace, and that each may look slightly different. Although this behaviour is desirable and will continue, there will also now be a way to view all user profiles from within the main site in a consistent manner.

For an example of user profile content see

Profile information will be changing, but the current content is fairly indicative. Unfortunately we were not able to find an example of a profile page that we liked on another site in order to provide an example of what we are looking for.

A user profile page should still contain navigation consistent with the main site and the main site landing page.

Partial 1 - The menu bar

The menu bar of the site will be visible to any logged in user at any point on the site. In its initial state, it appears as a vertical strip containing icons, to the left of the page, the same height as the browser window. When the user mouses over the menu bar it expands horizontally to its full size, and shows not just icons, but icons and text for each icon.

For an example of what we envisage for the content within the menu bar, check out the apple mail application…050412.jpg You'll notice big friendly icons with text next to each describing its function. Imagine that when minimised you can only see the icons, and that the menu bar is only slightly wider than the icons. Also imagine that when maximised you can see the entire menu bar, and that the menu bar is only slightly wider than the widest piece of text.

One last thing to note is that we will require icons, if the existing icons are not used, for the menu bar but would prefer to go with pre-existing icon sets taken from istockphoto if possible. This may mean that the icons used are not perfect, but this is something we can adjust later - We'd prefer to put our money into the contest than into icon sets.

Partial 2 - A typical data management layout

This will be by far the easiest part of the submission, but to us will be almost the most important. What we are looking for here, is simply a good looking table of data that somehow matches the rest of the site. Effects must be reproducible using HTML and dynamic data, meaning that fonts are limited to Arial, Helvetica etc, and kerning etc is out. Simple effects such as alternating color bands, cell border etc are welcomed.

We would like to see an example of a table of data containing at least one column of thumbnail images and 3 or 4 columns of text.

title a titleb titlec

cell a1 photob1 cellc1 linkd1 linke1
cell a2 photob2 cellc2 linkd2 linke2
cell a3 photob3 cellc3 linkd3 linkr3
cell a4 photob4 cellc4 linkd4 linke4

where photob1 would actually be a small thumnail image, and linkd1 would actually be a HTML link.

Imagine this as a table showing photos in a photo album, with the thumbnail representing the photo, and the links being for editing or deleting the photo.

For an example of what can be achieved using tables check out I dont personally like this example, but it does provide samples of what can be achieved.


I'd highly recommend a staggered approach to submission. The last thing you want to do is to spend 2 weeks labouring over a design only to turn it in and receive feedback, with little or no time to respond. I will make every effort to provide timely extensive feedback to every submission, so a rough early submission is a really good way to feel out your direction prior to committing too much time and effort.

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