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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:

I am developing a Vendor Manager System (VMS) web application that will be marketed to Fortune 500 companies. Managers in really big companies use VMS applications when they need to hire contractors to fill a temporary need within their departments. The manager enters the skills that the contractor needs to have and other relevant facts into the VMS. The VMS then forwards the information to Vendors (employment agencies) that go out and try to find a qualified person for the job.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the typical user of a VMS is in a hurry and probably has other (more important) things to do. He or she probably doesn't use the system often enough to remember how things work from one time to the next. So, it's critical that the VMS be designed in such a way that everything is simple, obvious and requires very little thought.

To be honest, VMS applications aren't terribly exciting...but I would like to change that as much as possible. When I'm done, this VMS application will make extensive use of Ajax to provide an extraordinary user experience. For your part, the design must be professional, but it doesn't have to be boring.

I like...

1. "Cool" colors (especially blue and green, but not opposed to seeing others)

2. Rounded corners

3. Hyperlinks that are not underlined until you hover the mouse over them

4. Using colors to suggest the relative importance of the users actions (i.e., red for a Delete button, gray for an infrequently-used Cancel button)

5. Subtle shading and gradients

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:

DELIVERABLES:

1. Photoshop files for the two base pages, with layers for all the transitions and possible states.

2. High-quality JPEG files for each layer.

3. Documentation on what each layer represents.

Your final deliverables will include...

1. Two base pages

2. Additional layers for six "transitions" that build UI elements on top of the base pages

3. Additional layers for changes to control state (like pushing-in or pushing-out a button)

The two base pages will be used as templates for the rest of the application. It is important that you provide me with everything that I need to slice-up the Photoshop files and create image files for all possible control states (like pushed-in and pushed-out buttons or mouseovers for menu options). Also, don't forget to check-out the attached Transitions document. It's important!

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:

Managers at Fortune 500 companies who are busy. I want this web application to be so intuitive that they don't think about the application or what they're doing much at all.

WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:

1. Xero.com - I like everything about their design. Jakob Nielsen named it one of the ten best application UIs of 2008. Here are some specifics...

a. Uses lightbox pop-ups where the pop-up stays bright but the rest of the screen is dimmed.

b. Hyperlinks not underlined until mouseover.

c. Mouseover a tab in the main menu and it becomes a subtly different shade of blue.

d. Currently-selected tab on main menu is white and merges with white background of page below.

e. Buttons that are most likely to be used are green or blue. Buttons with serious consequences (like Delete) are red.

f. Buttons that are less likely to be used are gray. In general, uses subdued colors (white, gray) for less likely actions.

g. Multiple paths for getting to the same place.

h. Error boxes have an arrow on their bottom sides that points down towards the form.

i. Help options have an orange color scheme rather than blue like the rest of the application.

2. LinkedIn.com - I like the profile completeness bar that leads you through filling-in your profile. I also like how you can customize and rearrange "widgets" on your home page.

3. salesforce.com - I like how required fields are marked with a small red bar next to the entry field. I also like how every menu option has its own color scheme, but I'm not sure that's the right choice for this web application.

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

1. There's a small circle at the upper-right that says "Powered by Peleta" - that's the branding. I'm attaching the Peleta logo for you to work with. See what you can do to make this little circle look good.

2. On the Dashboard rough sketch, there are a couple charts. The actual data on the charts isn't important. Just put some good-looking charts in your design.

3. However, the text on both rough sketches is important. Please don't change it. Using the "lorem ipsum" type of text won't work.

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