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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:

Walker Tracker is a step-tracking community for pedometer enthusiasts. We've walked 4 billion steps to date. http://walkertracker.com

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:

Walker Tracker is already a sort of real-life game - you can compete, compare stats, socialize, get feedback on your progress. Everyday you enter the steps you have walked.

What we're doing now is building in a points system, so that walkers feel as though they are working toward the next level, just as if you were practicing for your next belt in Karate, or toward the next level in World of Warcraft. We need a way to indicate these levels to the user.

These will be mini dashboard-like icons that will tell you:

1) What level you're on

2) Whether you're meeting your step goal

They will need to be very small: 80 pixels wide by 14 pixels high. They're intended to be affixed to the bottom of a user's icon. Here's our default 'anonymous' icon:

http://walk.cachefly.net/images/anonymou...

here's a few of our user's existing icons:

http://walkertracker.com/talk/img/avatar...

http://walkertracker.com/talk/img/avatar...

http://walkertracker.com/talk/img/avatar...

If you feel like 14px high isn't enough, a piece of the icon could stretch up and overlap the user's icon, but just a small part, and only if it was necessary/subtle enough.

Part of this challenge is coming up with a good metaphor for indicating levels. There are status indicators everywhere -- in games, the battery level on your laptop, amazon star ratings, military stripes, thermometers, etc. However - good design may not need a real-life metaphor here.

Most importantly, we want something that is interesting enough that a user stares at it, checks in on her score there (via hover which we'll do) and strives to make it to the next level. This is a game, and this is the game's scoreboard, and it's something that will be glanced at a lot.

So, regarding points 1 and 2 above:

1) For level, this must be something that accumulates, or shows with a glance a progression.

I would allow for 10-14 accumulations, if possible. Or more if you can. This could be in the form of items that build, along with color changes to indicate a whole new level.

This bulletin board uses a military motif (which would not work for us):

http://www.healthdiscovery.net/forums/im...

http://www.healthdiscovery.net/forums/im...

2) This can be a single stationary item that changes color. It will indicate if they are:

a) Below their goal (need to work harder)

b) At their goal (good!)

c) Above their goal (we discourage this - we want them to reset their goal and move back to #b.

Here's the forum post where the idea was introduced to the site for feedback and the original sketch:

http://walkertracker.com/talk/viewtopic....

(Please note that the idea has matured somewhat since then regarding the accumulation/transfer of points/levels, etc)

Also note that we'll need many (small) variations on the same icon to show each level/etc .

Feel free to submit a few iterations - then upon win we'll have you finish out the set.

Please submit the designs with an 80x80 pixel icon (of whatever) so we can see how you imagine it attached to the icon.

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:

Users of our system are around 70% female, with a decent scattering across a wide age range (22 - 70). If I were to guess, I'd say the majority are between 35 - 55. That said, there are some high-tech users who enjoy self-statistics tracking and are very familiar with the likes of twitter and the social web, and there's a good chunk of people who will likely not belong to another social network.

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or we don't want to see) THIS IN OUR DESIGN:

We're not a garish site (we're a facebook, not a myspace), and since the design will sit under the user's icon it shouldn't be too distracting. Subtle, but obvious...?

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