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Website design critique needed!



Hi everyone!

This is the breif -

Project Overview:
I'm looking to create 2 screen shots of a new web 2.0 site that will be a Question / Answers site. The site name for now will be called Acme Answers.

The screen shot has the following requirements:
- Total screen shot size should be 1400 x 1100 px (repeating background image)
- Main website body is 1000 x 1000
- Top Navigation area should be about 240 - 275 px in height (including nav banners)
- Should have 3 main navigation banners: Ask, Share, Discover (300 - 320 px wide By ~200 height)
- 2 columns for content
- Left hand content box should be 310-320 px
- Right hand content box should be 640-660 px

- You should incorporate the following text links or buttons:
- Search, Login, Help, report abuse, review helpful? yes/no, 5 stars vote
- Submit to: Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Email
- 300 x 250 banner
- Custom icons

The overall design can be clean and simple. The main thing I am looking for is the use of simple design elements like colors, gradients, and icons to make the site look really nice.

I would like for you to create the design based off Yahoo Answer's main page and their question detail page (which has the reduced size top navigation banners) (No copying though)

Here is a screenshot of a very basic mock up that I like:

Notice the gradient background and the layout of the main areas of content. What this screenshot doesn't have is it's own use of colors, icons, and other creative elements.

For Delivery, I will need 2 PSD files. One file for the homepage and one file for the question/answer detail page.

Upon selecting a designer, I would like you to include any reasonable revisions to complete the template that I want. Good Luck and hope to find a creative designer! Please reply to the original thread with a link to your submission. No PMs please because it's hard to keep track of them.

Contest Ends Next Friday!


Heres my design which I havent posted it yet because I wanted some feedback from you guys!

Do you think it looks too much like Yahoo Answers? If so kindly give me some suggestions on what I can do to make it look different.. I tried really hard to align it all properly..

Heres the HomePage

The Question Page


Senior Member
A lot of heavy gradients and gloss effects. Soften them up, I know you're aiming for web 2.0 but you can have sexy 2.0 and... not so sexy 2.0 :p
Your ask, share, discover buttons are unattractively gigantic for no apparent reason.

When it comes to technique, align your elements. Centering a box doesn't quite count as aligning. And for text you should either use no anti-aliasing for body text (and header text that will not be an image) or sharp (possibly smooth) on text that will most likely be inserted through an image. The exception on that last rule is that if the text-image isn't supposed to be distinguishable from actual text, it should also be none.

Not sure if that makes much sense... :confused:
Is your boss exigent ? if yes you might start redesign again... mostly on second page you´ve very unaligned content.

you might start with this:

960 Grid System
defining your grid content to align your content more effective

Defining your design color

Hierarchic your content.
dont know more what to say... going to shut up my...hands lol


Staff member
Mohammed you do realise that facebook and twitter are both web 2.0 sites and neither of them have any heavy gradients effects or anything else that will slow down the user experience. Facebook even went so far as to release a simplified version.

As to the design, it would be nice to see you have found something else in photoshop other than the gradient tools to try and make you designs stand out.

I don't like the use of the gradients as it looks childish in this context and they're too heavy as well.

Choice of fonts isn't very web friendly either and personally I found the blue wide text hard to read.

Overall I wouldn't stay at the site and yes it has too much influence from yahoo in my opinion


Senior Member
Mohammed, You need to look past shiny, fancy interfaces and think about how you actually interact with applications on the web, think of the most popular websites around, google, facebook, twitter etc - what do they all have in common? theyre all super simple and to the point, content is king.

By using all the effects your taking focus away from content and just making it impossible to actually view the articles, I like the way your trying to stagger the replies/threads or whatever but the majority of people read from top to bottom, left to right. If you wanted to stagger reponses perhaps tab them in

Like this
------------or this
----------------------or this

IMO ignore pre-set out grid systems, if you need these give up and throw in the towel. Things should line up but you should do that subconsiously and not be regulated by someone telling you thats what you should do.
Keep at it, your visuals are strong and with a little work/understanding you'll get there.


Active Member
God forbid that all this Web 2.0 sh*t lasts for much longer.
Bright shiny things hide substance, content and design as Brendan said. A lot of your work follows that route and it is a predicable road that as a designer you are following. It is also not a road that will lead to any substantial long term career design development. Never put design in front of Communication - BBBoL


Senior Member
Must be difficult to constantly be told that what he is doing isn't that great yet consistently win competitions because people seem to like glossy...

Lets hope the critique is taken on board!


Staff member
renniks said:
Must be difficult to constantly be told that what he is doing isn't that great yet consistently win competitions because people seem to like glossy...

Lets hope the critique is taken on board!
Winning a competition doesn't automatically mean you are good at something, it just means you are better than the other people that entered.


Active Member
renniks said:
Must be difficult to constantly be told that what he is doing isn't that great yet consistently win competitions because people seem to like glossy...

Lets hope the critique is taken on board!

Yes, I'm feeling a bit if a Numpty! I buying some Pie at lunchtime to eat!

Levi's comment: Agree, I've always said that" you only have to be faster than the slowest person to win a race"


Staff member
chrismitchell said:
what a knock down Levi :lol:
I didn't mean it as a knock down as its more a statement of fact.
If the design is put out to competition (with relatively low winings) its very unlikely a full time designer is going to enter and as such the poster of said competition is probably expecting a lesser quality of job (no reference to mohammed etc) or wanting to get the job done on the cheap.

As Berry says you can only get 2 out of 3 when you are looking at quality, speed and cost :)