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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:

Alacra is a content technology company serving the financial markets and large professional services organizations. This application, Alacra Pulse, filters vast amounts of web-based news and blog content, identifying key business events (M&A rumors, bankruptcies, downgrades, analyst comments on companies, etc) to help users in two areas:

1. Idea generation (for example, a rumor that company A might acquire company B could give a banker an idea to call Company X to talk about acquiring similar company Y)

2. Current awareness (when calling on a client/prospect, I cant know everything about them but dont want to look dumb by missing critical events about they and their peers)

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:

Alacra Pulse is currently in use by a handful of clients, but we are planning a redesign to improve the information flow. We have finalized the design of the basic content on the page as well as the navigation of the application. Our next step is to update the creative design to make it more compelling/attention grabbing.

The product itself is strong; now we need a compelling design to grab the user's attention.

Specifically, we want to create a new header graphic and modify the color palette and fonts to make for a more compelling user experience. There are also a handful of graphical and navigational elements for which wed like new design ideas.

We are not looking to change the basic layout/arrangement of the information on the page, but are open to changing the appearance of the information.

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:

Our target audience consists of professional users at investment banks, accounting firms and management consultancies. Our client base is global (largely US and European). One goal of this project is to make the design look professional, yet not boring. Business-related sites should not have to look dull.

WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:

Google News

SkyGrid.com

Mail Chimp

http://radar.oreilly.com/

Bloomberg (e.g. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/industries...

Bing News search (http://www.bing.com/news?FORM=Z9LH6)

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE THIS IN OUR DESIGN:

A key value proposition of Alacra Pulse is our ability to automatically extract events (M&A rumors, analyst comments, bankruptcies, etc) from the text. As such, it is important that when a user looks at the page, (s)he can easily see the specific event types displayed and not just see them as a list of stories. You can see that in the current mockup, where we use color-coded event identifiers (Street Pulse, Deal Pulse, Weak Pulse, etc). We have provided more details on this in the attached spec.

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