Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are you a web developer?

The FreeDOS web site has always been run by volunteers. M. "hannibal" Toal was our first webmaster, but after he left, I took on the web site duties. I mostly picked up design elements from my favorite web sites, eventually settling down to the "blue" web site we have now. It was a slow evolution, to be sure, since I am definitely not artistically inclined.

The new default stylesheet now uses an orange bar at the top for all our links to hosted apps at SourceForge. (SF used orange as their primary color, so it was less shocking to click on those links and then be presented with an orange-and-silver SF page.)

Since then, SourceForge has changed their colors, now using blue-and-grey. So I thought it might be a good time to update the FreeDOS web site, at least so the "SF" bar color is a closer match to SF's colors.

It occurred to me that if I changed that, I really should clean up the rest of the FreeDOS web design at the same time. But I'm just not a web designer, so I need help. I think it would be better to find a [semi-] professional web designer to update the FreeDOS web site stylesheet for us.

If you have a talent for web site design, or know someone who does, this is for you: Help us update the FreeDOS web site.

There are a few "rules" in finding a new FreeDOS web design:

  1. You must use the FreeDOS fish logo. However, feel free to create a new "FreeDOS" banner that uses the "Blinky the fish" logo. I prefer the original color, not the purple we use in the "glossy" fish.
  2. Our primary colors are blue. I'm not stuck on the particular shade we use now, just as long as it looks good with the FreeDOS fish.
  3. We must use the SourceForge logo. This is a requirement from SourceForge, since we are hosted by them (but you can choose other SourceForge logos that may better match your colors.)
  4. I'd prefer to keep the amount of web site edits to a minimum when implementing a new design; if you can, use the existing xhtml document structure. However, I'm open to moving content around, or editing the banner/footer, or moving some content to sub-pages. For example, maybe the Software page should be split into two pages, so the LSM stuff is on another page (or in the wiki)?
  5. The front page is tricky, since this needs to have information for new users, and news updates for current developers. We also have an "announcements" box, which may not always be shown. Other pages will probably be easier.

I'm not particularly fond of the fonts that we use on the site. Feel free to change them.

Interested? Web designers can submit their design idea via email (you can send them to the mailing lists for discussion if you want - but send your final version to me.) I prefer to get a link to your own web site, showing the design idea. I'll post the top finalists in about a month, and provide a way for people to vote for their favorite new web design. I'll pick the winner based on the votes.

Don't have a web site? Note that almost all pages on the FreeDOS web site recognize the "css=" directive, so you can specify your own stylesheet. For example: http://www.freedos.org/?css=http://www.example.com/freedos.css

What does the winner get? As a kind of "reward" to the winner, we can provide a "Original site design by __" link in the footer. This might be a resume-builder for someone trying to break into web design as a profession, or another reference for someone who is already a professional web designer.

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