Cygno Solutions has been around since 2000. We're offering offshore software development services, mostly Java and Joomla. Designs are normally delivered to us, we're the technical guys. We're based in Uruguay, and use Uruguayan and Belarusian engineers to do the actual programming. The founder (me) is a Dutch guy, who's been living in Uruguay since 2000.
What we're trying to get across is the worker bee mentality. I want to make clear that we're "worker bees for hire". Taglines that could potentially be used on the home page include:
"Worker Bees for hire"
"It's how we do things"
"Buzzing for your needs"
We're a small company, about 5 people are working here permanently, and we're working with a group of trusted free-lancers that we hire on a need-only basis. We're willing to grow, but the trouble we have is that we don't have a sales force near to our target audience (USA and Europe, mostly Netherlands).
The formula in which we work best and that we find most comfortable is to partner with a local IT-representative, and to become their "worker bees". We've been working successfully like this with small companies and individual web designers, that just outsource the development phase to us. That way, we can focus on what we do best (making it work) while they can focus on what they do best (local customer service, acquiring new projects).
Since we're a small company, it would not be logical to expect that we would cater to big customers. So our target audience is small to mid sized IT companies and web design agencies. The idea is that we either offer a service they do not have themselves currently (for example, a web design agency that has graphical designers, but nobody that knows how to convert that into a working website), or that we allow companies that already offer programming services to outsource projects because they're understaffed or because they don't want to hire based on certain peaks in amounts of work.
In the past, the texts on the website focussed mostly on what would potentially appeal to the *end customer*. Recently we rewrote all texts to make it extra clear that we are not interesting in the end customer: we are interested in the middle man.
The design ideally would appeal to this audience by not making us look like a big unapproachable firm. IMO the current site layout *does* make us look that way (the texts have already been updated to convey the new approach). The design should convey the message "hi there, we're friendly and here to help".
The design should clearly convey the worker bee approach. So that literally means the use of bees, honeycombs, whatever. I'm looking for a clear, crisp design that looks fresh and young. The front page should clearly illustrate the services offered (website development, software development, business intelligence)
I'd like the design to fit the content. In other words: the following pages ideally should have a different design:
- business intelligence
- who we are
- technical overview
- cygno project tools
- contact form
- portfolio overview
- portfolio page about one project
-------- UPDATE JULY 14th-----
I am not expecting that every designer turns in designs for all those pages in order be be eligible. I'll need several pages to be able to choose with whom I want to continue though. So proposed approach is:
- start with the home page. Maybe we'll simply not be able to get that to work anyway.
- if home page seems to work, go for 2-3 more pages, one for "websites" (a typical "content" page), one for "portfolio overview" and one "portfolio page for one project".
Based on that diversity I should be able to select a winner. I'll then indicate the winner, who can then finish the remaining pages, after which I'll award the prize.
-------- END OF UPDATE -----
So this is different than what we would do normally, where we'd use a generic template for a content item and making it all look the same. We *make* websites, our website should be a showcase, it should give a bit of a "wow-feeling".
For inspiration, sites that I like are:
- http://culturedcode.com/ (clear, crisp, fresh, calm)
- http://www.31three.com/ (nice use of surreal image with tagline)
- http://www.kaleidoscopeapp.com/ (the use of different designs for different pages)
- I love a bee image like used on http://stuntsoftware.com/onthejob/
We will convert the design into Joomla templates, only supporting modern browsers. I'd prefer not to use Flash in the implementation.