Completed contest

Help save the planet... Solar Energy referral website.

Ken222008 needed a new web page design and created a contest on 99designs.

A winner was selected from 81 designs submitted by 8 freelance designers.

81
entries
8
designers
1
winner

One of the designers who made it happen

Winner - Art of Design
Great designers, listen carefully to your needs and then come up with something brilliant! :) These people I can definitely recommend!
- Anonymous

How Ken222008 started their web page design journey

Company name

SolarPlanet.net

Overview

SolarPlanet.net is a solar energy referral website that refers customers to solar installers all over the United states. This is the first of about 5 websites that we will be designing around the solar industry and we would ultimately like to use the same designer for all the sites if possible. We are committed to creating a greener planet through educating the public and connecting high quality solar companies with the consumer. Our company culture is energetic (pun intended), up-beat and committed to making a difference in the world through the adoption of solar energy.

Tell us a bit about who you are and the people you reach

The target audience is generally professional males in the US between the ages of 40 and 60. These people are looking to install solar panels on their home or company. They are typically professionals with good income, and have a commitment to the environment. They are looking for information that is easily accessible, clear and concise. They are also looking for reliable and trustworthy references to solar companies that they can work with.

Requirements

I have attached a more detailed document of what I'm looking, but if you read this brief you will get most of what I'm looking for. Essentially there are a couple of websites that have a very similar look, feel and style to them that I'd like to use as reference. The detailed document should answer any specific questions and get more into details if you have specific questions.

Total pages: 5
1) Landing page
2) Article listing pages
3) Find an installer data entry page
4) Tax Credits and Rebates page
5) Installer listing page

Desired Colors: Blues, Greens, creams, maybe orange if it is done right.

Design Style: Professional, warm, welcoming design
, must demonstrate trust, partnership and community
, Clean, simple, and easy to read
 navigate, Original design concept

There are two design styles I am considering: 1) Professional, simple, and clean looking and 2) Cute, Trendy and friendly.
1) Professional, warm, welcoming design
, must demonstrate trust, partnership and community
, Clean, simple, and easy to navigate, Original design concept
2) If someone can pull off a good design with “Cute and Trendy”, great. Trendy can be more easily branded. I'm thinking of something like the godaddy.com logo (not the site... that's way to busy).

Number of pages

5

Page descriptions

Please see attached document for specific details. I'm including a quick synopsis here (5 pages total):
1) Landing page
The landing page should be very similar in functionality to solarPros.com with ONE major difference: the navigation buttons. The main navigation of the site should be a series of 4 large buttons that stand out (Solar Tutorials, Going Solar, Cost & Rebates, and Solar News). These buttons should have nice graphics as well as an obvious "call to action" so that people know that they can click on the button. Next, I want a banner on all the pages that allows the user to "Find a solar Professional" by entering their zip code (very similar to solarpros.com)

2) Article listing pages
This is essentially identical to http://solarpros.com/residential/index.html, but please be creative so it doesn't look like a direct copy.

3) Find an installer data entry page
This page is basically used to ask a series of questions to the consumer wanting to get quotes from solar companies. The questions will be almost identical to solarpros.com/get-started/index.html.

4) Tax Credits and Rebates page
See the webpage http://www.energysavvy.com/rebates/ for a reference. I would like the content to be very similar to this webpage without the left menu "What's your project" on the left side of the page.

5) Installer listing page
This page should list companies and allow the user to select which ones they get a quote from. This should be very similar to solar.coolerplanet.com/Directory/CO/boulder-solar-installers.aspx with "Request a bid" replaced with a checkbox.

Existing website

None.

Example websites

Competitor #1: Best Reference - solarpros.com
Like: Almost everything I like. This is the website closest to what I’m looking for in simplicity, feel, colors, and functionality.
Dislike: Logo and font are a bit too simple.
Competitor #2: Also a good reference - solar.coolerplanet.com
Like: This website is also similar in look, feel, color, and functionality to what I’m looking for. I like the simplicity of the landing page, but it is almost too simple. The top part is great, but I like having some articles and highlights towards the bottom (below the fold??) I like their “request a quote” menu: solar.coolerplanet.com/Directory/CO/boulder-solar-installers.aspx.
Competitor #3: thesolarguide.com
Like: I like the look and feel of the data entry page located here: thesolarguide.com/solar-energy-systems/solar-installation-quotes.aspx .
Dislike: The rest of the website is too confusing and not easy enough to navigate
Competitor #4: findsolar.com
Like: Structure/layout is not bad. The “Find a solar Professional” Banner is simple and has a nice “call to action” which I like. This might be a good place to start for the website design (a banner across the screen). I kind-of like the run rays coming though the “Find Now” button. This is a good way to incorporate texture in a subtle way.
Dislike: I don’t like the shade of green at all. The colors are bad and don’t mix together well. Logo is horrible. I don’t like yellows. Its tempting to use yellow because of the sun, but it is just too bright and “cartoon” like giving an unprofessional look and feel.
Random Website #1:
http://www.valpak.com - This site is a good example of a potential navigational structure that I’m looking for with the large pop out boxes that highlight the main areas of the website. This is just a concept to illustrate a design point.
Dislike: I don’t like the look and feel of this site other than the “idea” of the large navigational boxes.

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