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Design Brief for OngoingWorlds

I’ve been working on the OngoingWorlds website quite a bit lately, I’ve been focussing on the functionality of each page first, but sooner or later I’ll need to apply a design to the site so that it looks like a proper website. I’ve already created some mock-ups to show the bare-bones layout of what certain key pages will look like. This shows where important things will go on each page, but obviously doesn’t show the final colours or look-and-feel of the website. This is about as far as I feel comfortable going with the design, as I’m not the world’s best designer, and would rather recruit the help of someone who does it every day for a living. I’m lucky enough to have the luxury of knowing a good designer so have employed his help.

Mockup of the OngoingWorlds page: "Game Homepage"

Mockup of the OngoingWorlds page: “Game Homepage”

However, with a project that’s this close to my heart, it’s very hard to describe to the designer what I want the site to look like. The mock-ups are essential to demonstrate the layout, this will allow him to see where important page content needs to go. However, describing what type of look-and-feel I have is not as black and white.

So what I have done is created a “design brief” which outlines important things I need to communicate to the designer. This will include the purpose of this site, what it needs to achieve so that certain areas could be designed to be more “eye-catching” than others, and also it includes the audience of the site, so that the designer knows who to design for.

Here is the design brief of Ongoing Worlds website below:

Purpose of the site
To allow users to setup a text-based role-playing-game, where they can invite members to contribute to an ongoing story. Visitors to the site should find it easy to see examples of existing games, and view the game’s posts. Users should be able to create a new game very easily, or join an existing game.

Target Audience
The audience of this site will be teenagers to middle aged. They will be mostly male, some female. They will be internet savvy and most likely like gaming. They will either like fantasy, or scifi, but not necessarily both.

Colours
The content of the page needs to be black/grey on a white background though because that’s the easiest to read. The rest of the site could be any colour.

Page size considerations
Fixed width site to fit 1024 pixels wide.
The height of the page could potentially be very long, as people are posting long stories. The background therefore must loop or fade to a solid colour.
I’ve not actually got a logo. I’m not expecting you to come up with one, but if you have something in mind that fits the design it would be very welcome! Initially I just thought about using the globe on http://www.ongoingworlds.com followed by the worlds “Ongoing Worlds”.

Themes
Themes and ideas I have had already are fantasy, futuristic scifi and historic. I like the idea of a collage of illustrations showing all these in the header of the page, and maybe bleeding down the sides in the background.

Example sites I like
http://www.2advanced.com – ignore that it’s a flash site. What I like about this is the image when it’s loaded, there is a big lake with a futuristic city in the background, an Aztec pyramid, some industrial Blade Runner buildings, and a bloody great scifi planet. I love that mix of styles.

I have no idea what to use for a logo. Maybe a planet perhaps to represent ongoing worlds?

I have no idea what to use for a logo. Maybe a planet perhaps to represent ongoing worlds?

Logo

http://www.studio7designs.com – I love the world poking out of the top and bottom. I worry the black space background is too dark though.

www.worldofwarcraft.com – A great fantasy site, they use the medieval theme well, and have large dramatic fantasy images that sometimes break-out of the boxes. I think it’s TOO fantasy for my site.

http://nibbler.silktide.com – Love the background and the robot! I much prefer your initial designs where it continued down the page in the background. I love the buildings, hills and trees.

http://www.epicwords.com – My main competitor. They have a very neutral site, so that people feel comfortable creating a story about anything. I like the graph paper and torn paper headers.

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