There are two pages that we're looking for help with now: The home page and the question page. We've done a lot of work to build a general framework that bridges the two use cases we see on the site, but we need design help to make sure the look, feel and tone of our site can also bridge the two use cases. We think the winning design will have a modern, simple and clear look/feel/tone. We need a design skin that can be converted to CSS so that our developers can apply that to the functional prototype we have built.
A completed design will include changes to (1) Colors, (2) Typography, and (3) design elements on the pages. We've focused on building the core functionality of our site, so our design has been based primarily on Twitter Bootstrap. As a result, our site works well but lacks that well-loved look that we are hoping the winning design will help us show. We want to see you working with color to improve the feel of the site and make it pop more. If you have improvements to typography on our site, please ensure that you limit yourself to using Google webfonts, and avoid having too many font variants, which could affect pageload performance. For improving design elements, we want you to do what you do best: give the page some love.
We have attached screenshots of the two pages we're looking for design help with. Here is a fuller description of the purpose of each of these two important pages:
Question list page
The question list page is the page where a user is directed to browse or search for advice (if a student) or find a question to answer (if a mentor).
Question detail page
The question detail page is dedicated to a specific question posed by a student, and all of the answers that have been provided by mentors. After each answer, there is also some space for discussion about that answer (where students say thank you or ask for clarification). On this page we want mentors to either post an answer to the question, or refer the question to a friend (if they don't think they know the answer, but they know someone else who does).
We're looking to depart from the current design, so do not use that as what we're looking for. (A special note about http://www.careervillage.org: We do not want to use this design at all, and you should not base any of your work off what you see at http://www.careervillage.org. We're making a dramatic departure from that look and feel. We do *NOT* want you to work on any pages you see there. Please focus ONLY on the two pages we've added as screenshots in the attachments.)