Scotweb - http://www.scotweb.co.uk
We're seeking a freelance designer to work with long-term. To show us what you can do, please mockup your ideas for just a single page area - our Search Results. We hope to work further with the winner, on terms to be agreed.
We are the world's leading online retailer of Scottish heritage products. Our top sellers are tartan and tartan products, and especially kilts. We're a quality brand, selling authentic goods, not tourist tat. So we don't want a 'chocolate box' treatment. It must communicate professionalism and authenticity.
About a year ago we undertook a major redesign of our branding and site structure. We don't want to revisit that right now (so please don't touch the header or footer). But we think better design could make the main page content areas work a lot more clearly AND make our site more visually attractive. Above all we strive for usability. The challenge is to make our large and complex choice as user friendly as possible. Can you help?
As this is a closed contest, I'm happy to accept partial or sketchy ideas to start with, so you can see if you're on the right track without too much work. Please just ask for more information. I generally give quick and full replies.
Our market is primarily middle aged or even elderly, and are often not expert web users. Some may even have poorer eyesight. So we prefer clear and simple styling.
We're a UK company but a lot of our market is North America. So we tread a fine balance, needing to display the Scottish heritage that Americans expect, without falling into cliche that might alienate contemporary Europeans who buy our cashmere etc. On the whole we go for modernity with just a shade of national iconography.
Our customers are also typically well educated and perhaps quite well off, so we must come across as reliable and authoritative. We are very much the experts in what we do, and give excellent service and advice. But we can't afford to look too expensive either.
Our model in the UK is John Lewis, a middle-market department store with a great reputation for quality of product and service but without luxury prices.
We'd like you to look at our Search Results page (below header and above footer only) and improve its look and usability, in any way you think will improve sales. A good example would be: http://tinyurl.com/scotwebkilt (keying "macdonald kilt" into our search at http://www.scotweb.co.uk ). To enter the contest, please redesign it with much the same content, without changing the header or footer.
Our aim is (1) to make the page more visually attractive, and (2) to make it more intuitive for navigation. The second is most important!
We're leaving the design brief fairly open, to get your own ideas. This might involve more graphics or it might focus more on subtle layout issues. It's up to you. We're generally not keen on animation, but nothing is ruled out if it contributes to usability.
Please bear in mind that this will be the start of a larger project, during which we want to unify the template styles across the site. So, for example, we are currently using several different formats to present product lists (e.g. on the browse navigation pages, or for fabric lists in the tartan finder). We want to achieve a more coherent and consistent style for the various components across the site, so the Search Results page should work within a suitable template.