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  The Ishmael Community: A Contest -- Redesign the Ishmael Community Website

A Contest -- Redesign the Ishmael Community Website

    It's that time again...time to renew, revise, reorganize...time for another metamorphosis...

    The Ishmael Community website is due for a re-launch. The current look and feel and organization was put in place almost five years ago--eons in internet time. (For a full history of this website, see The Annals of Ishmael.) Over the past five years, the site has grown by leaps and bounds now topping 700 pages of content totaling more than 300Mb of information, data, images, and archives. The original organization of content on the site was not designed to handle this much growth!

    In the past, we have hired professional artists and web architects to envision the Ishmael website -- these efforts were paid for by the Quinns. This time we are going to try something new...

    We are holding a contest for a new look and feel for the Ishmael Community website.

    What do we mean by look and feel?

    There are at least three components to redesigning a website:
    1. A look and feel: the colors, graphics, fonts, and the like. This is the contest--see specifics below.
    2. The organization of the content of the site and the associated navigation: We will be developing questionnaires, holding focus groups, doing usability studies, and reviewing past use of the website to determine a new organization scheme.
    3. The actual programming of the site (database driven, static html, something else , some combination): DataDrive will coordinate numbers 1 and 2 above, then combine everything and relaunch the site.

    Rules, Restrictions, and Rewards

    Everyone is eligible to enter the contest; professionals and amateurs, children and adults. Individuals may enter more than once.

    It is true that the current site does not follow the below guidelines...that's exactly why we are initiating this redesign!

    Rules and Restrictions

    1. The winning artist(s) will be chosen by the Quinns and DataDrive.
    2. The winning entry will be a comprehensive new look and feel for the Ishmael site. This includes, a appropriate new name for the site, new colors, new images, new navigation features and descriptive titles, etc..
    3. A winning entry will include top-level, second level, and third level elements (eg., splash and welcome page, major section heads, and sub-section heads).
    4. A winning entry will capture the gestalt of Daniel's work--it will be consistent in theme and ambiance.
    5. A winning entry will make use of and be appropriate to incorporate good website design principles (for an example of such principles, see Six Principles of Accessible Web Design: An Introduction to the WAI Page Author Guidelines) and will avoid common problems of websites (for an example of these see Top 10 Web Site Sins). A winning entry will follow the advice of the best research available on web design: Yale University's Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites.
    6. The winning artist/shop will be expected to work with the Quinns and DataDrive to refine and complete graphics and design as needed once the relaunch process begins.

    ...and what about rewards? See below!


An image from version 1 of the Ishmael website, circa 1994
An image from version one of the Ishmael website, circa 1994. This was Ishmael's first foray onto the internet.
Sean Spengler did the coding.


In late 1995, version two was launched with Stephen Potter doing the graphical look and feel. DataDrive did the coding.
In late 1995, version two was launched with Stephen Potter doing the graphical look and feel.
DataDrive did the coding.


Patrick Neeman designed the next version in 1997 with the famous ad as the splash page -- the entire site was launched simultaneously in French!  DataDrive did the coding and hosting.
Patrick Neeman designed the next version in 1997 with the famous ad as the splash page -- the entire site was launched simultaneously in French!
DataDrive did the coding and hosting.


In 1998 we renamed the website to Ishmael's Community, and with the random quote from Daniel's work on the splash page, version four and was graphically envisioned and executed by John Gonzales of Rounder Graphics.  DataDrive did the coding and hosting.
In 1998 we renamed the website to Ishmael's Community, and with the random quote from Daniel's work on the splash page, version four and was graphically envisioned and executed by John Gonzales of Rounder Graphics.
DataDrive did the coding and hosting.

    Rewards

    Besides being able to work with the Quinns and DataDrive to create the next vision of Ishmael on the internet, what else will you get from the work you will put into this?

    Exposure, for one...we will feature the winners prominently and links will be provided in the footer of every page across the entire site. Who will see it?

    • Ishmael.org receives more than 45,000 visitors per month
    • Over 40% of all people who visit spend more than 20 minutes on the site each time they visit--12 minutes/visit is the average
    • Within a given month, approximately 20% of the visitors visit Ishmael.org more than once.
    • Approximately 15% of all visitors are from outside the USA

    ***AND, the winner gets to select any three autographed items from the following list:

    • The very rare (Hard Rain Press) first edition of The Book of the Damned
    • The Hard Rain Press (trade paperback) edition of Providence, also rare
    • The Fifth Anniversary (hardcover) edition of Ishmael
    • The limited (hardcover) edition of The Man Who Grew Young
    • The hardcover edition of My Ishmael
    • The hardcover edition of After Dachau
    • The hardcover edition of Providence
    • The hardcover edition of The Story of B
    • The hardcover edition of Beyond Civilization
    • The hardcover edition of A Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife
    • The hardcover edition of The Holy (when available)
    • The Animist Testament (audio tapes)
    • Food Production and Population Growth (video tapes)

OK, you got my attention, but I need more info!

Here 'tis...