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Offer HN: free design work.
65 points by sahillavingia on Oct 25, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 60 comments
Inspired by http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1826828 I decided to see if HN would be open to the idea of a weekly "giveaway" for around 5 or so design hours [1]. And the idea seemed to go over well, so I've decided to do it.

The first one is today. Just comment with a link to your project/company. After around 24 hours I'll pick the post with the most upvotes and send them an email.

In return for the design hours, I'd love to write a blogpost with a before/after and about the overall process.

I think it'll be fun. :)

[1] - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1827654

Africa Nutrition Society - http://answeb.org/

I'm doing pro-bono work for them to move their flat html to a CMS so the people running the organization can update news, events, calendar, etc. on their own without need for tech support, but am still just evaluating CMS's and hosts (probably gonna be Django-cms or Vosao on GAE for the amazing price point).

Their flat html site was designed by a company in UK, but is not as modern looking as it could be, and the information architecture is busy imho. They don't have all the content available for it yet either, but had to make it public for their annual African Nutritional Epidemiology conference in early October. It's also all table-based, and converting the non-tabular elements to div/span something I'd like to do, but getting it converted over to a CMS is a higher priority.

I've got my hands full getting the backend up and running and would love to have a review by a pro web designer. In addition to being able to blog about it, I'd be happy to include 'Design by Sahillavingia' at the bottom and introduce you (via email at least) to the organization principals.

You "win." I'll be contacting you... now. :)

EDIT: I can't find an email address on your profile, could you email me (in prof.)? Thanks!

Great, thanks Sahil, added my email address to profile comments and just emailed you.

Thanks also to everyone who upvoted, much appreciated!

http://www.mymomjust.com and http://www.mydadjust.com. Using hadoop/pig, I searched through my 620-million strong twitter archive for all tweets containing "My Mom/Dad Just....." The results are hilarious. It's just a single-page site and could be some low-hanging design fruit.

I think your site already looks quite good. Just clean up the about bar (remove underlines, vertical center text, add more space between each item)

um how? Dammit Jim I'm a data nerd, not a UI designer! This is why I threw my hat into the competition ;)

Like this? http://kruisit.nl/projects/mymomjust.png

I would also add a hover effect for the arrow and maybe some javascript to replace the page reload. Since this seems to be HN feelgood week: need a bit of help?

mydadjust.com has <title>My Mom Just...</title>

thanks! Copy/paste fail! Fixed it.

http://ihackernews.com - HackerNews for iPhone/Android/Mobile phones.

I love ihackernews.com, I just emailed you.

^^ Great idea. A proper iPhone/Android web interface for HN would be awesome.


Fair trade is an industry that places emphasis on the producers of goods, rather than the distributors of them. A group of people in Auckland, New Zealand, are donating their time and resources to try and convert Auckland to be a fair trade city. With a population of over 1M people, this would make a significant difference to the lives of many producers in developing areas.

I've been managing social media and IT for the group, but we've yet to find a good design for our branding. The website above is a temporary page with some basic information, however as you can see it's nothing flash.

The entire project is coming from community efforts, so this would fit us perfectly, and if we're successful in our goal, many people around the world will benefit.

Hey Sahil,

I'd very much like to take you up on your offer of doing design work but I would feel embarrassed to see you do it for free which means I can not enter in this round.

But if after you're done doing this really fantastically nice thing you feel you still have energy left over to do one more site and get paid for it then let me know, email in my profile.



http://www.staticbuzz.com/ - Implementation of Q&A site model, done in the Drupal cms. Bonus, if this is picked, I'll make your design into a theme and contribute it back to drupal.org where the ArrayShift install profile is still in need of a good default theme. (*Note: The is site is hardly used, but I've actually used it many times to showcase what Drupal can do)

http://mugasha.com We make it really easy to listen to long DJ sets. Best place for listening to electronic dance music.

I have used you guys before, pretty good site, well designed. It would be cool to see more social integration with your site. I like hypem.com (for listening to music) because of its integration with for instance, last.fm. Really spurs for discussion and brings me back to the site to listen to music.

Hey, Thanks! We are working on improving the social component of Mugasha right now. Should be live in the next 2 weeks.

Mugasha is an awesome way to browse and sift through sets!

cool post :)

we just redesigned http://www.easycalapp.com - a frustration-free booking calendar for solo entrepreneurs - but we need a sales page.

Quick thing to fix:

When the page loads in my browser (1366x768 resolution), it automatically scrolls me down the page a bit, enough so that I cannot see the EasyCal logo without scrolling back up.

This is because of the auto-focus on the email address text field under "Interested in using Easy Cal?". Maybe remove that and only apply it when "I want to try it!" is clicked?

good idea, i just fixed it, thanks :)

Kareem, I may not be the intended audience for your webapp but I couldn't figure out what the term 'booking' calendar meant. May be you could put up a few situations when someone would use your app to help understand your app better.

a booking calendar is something a hair stylist / massage therapist / esthetician / etc can use to let their customers book appointments online instead of phoning / emailing / texting them.

The blue is really strong, but other than that, I think it looks fine.

yeah i'm pretty happy with the homepage, but we're about to flip the switch on billing and need a sales page w/ a pricing matrix, etc.

http://remembersaurus.com - My recently launched webapp, and also my first attempt at making something look decent on the web.

Hey we're doing some really similar stuff at Quizlet.com (small startup but over 1 million registered users), let me know if you want to chat.


Very cool site. I can't remember the link, but I read a while back about a researcher who discovered that the optimum way to memorize using flash cards is if a learner who answers incorrectly is shown the correct answer and then asked again after a number of other questions just at the point where the correction is on the threshold of slipping out of his short term memory. This length of time has to be optimized for each learner by some sort of adaptive algorithm. Have you considered doing anything like that, or do you already?

You're talking about SRS (Spaced Repetition - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition_software). We don't technically do SRS (yet -- although we're thinking about it).

But our "Learn" mode does keep track of what you know and what you don't know, and keeps asking you the terms you have trouble with until you know them all.

Hit me up by email if you have any more feedback for me - would love to keep improving the product.

Neat idea!!

CityReporter - http://plus1lab.com/about-cityreporter

It's a service for state and local governments to improve their customer service relationship with their citizens. It implements the Open311 GeoReport v2 API, meaning the data is open and Free.

We could really use a nice theme for the web administration interface! I have no idea if that fits within your 5 allotted hours though.

I'm looking to produce a few banner ads for our new startup: http://www.happybuy.com/

Would be interested in an outsiders thoughts on the best creative to express the idea of the site and have banner-ad viewers turn into active users.

My initial thought would be to simply have different banner ads highlighting a product along with its price graph. It quickly shows the utility of the site and how you can save money by knowing the best time to buy. Turning product info such as:


into a mini-banner ad could provide some insight, more so than a simple brand focused ad.

http://peerlove.com - web based employee recognition

Hello Sahil,

Excellent offer, I hope you have fun creating and blogging about the process.

I would like to suggest creating a logo for the Gramps project [1] (a Genealogy Program) which I just found a few days ago and in a reply to me one the developers mentioned that they have "No real official logo."[2] and from the looks of the project they could use a new wiki template[3].

Please consider upvoting to help improve the project.

[1] - http://gramps-project.org/ [2] - http://goo.gl/JDN1 [3] - http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki

I should replace myself with a bot that does this, but here's the real URL of [2]: http://gramps.1791082.n4.nabble.com/Impressed-with-Gramps-an...


Please help! I'm always hard on my own designs but I dont think my current one is good at all. My product is a meeting management web app.

Startup Weekend Atlanta (Start Atlanta)! We are planning the 3rd annual startup weekend in Atlanta. We have a base Wordpress site up, and need some graphic design help. The more pressing need is for a logo. The event will be held at the Georgia Tech ATDC in January 2011. Our team of 6 has no graphic design expertise, and we will otherwise have to pay for the design work out of sponsorship dollars. The upside for you is getting your design in front of Atlanta's entrepreneurship community. Sound like a win-win?

http://www.getaquirk.com/ Ties your social network accounts (FB, Twitter, 4SQ) to a QR code. Scan to connect.

Main focus is on getting users past the home page to sign up for the service. What's there still doesn't do a good enough job convincing the users why they should sign up.

The next problem is getting users to actually connect through the service. Channeling users to download a scanner app and download their QR code is probably the next major step.

I'm building an HTML5 Video Player. I would be interested in a nice and custom carcass for it. (That is the buttons, progress bar, volume...)

I'm doing a project in which I live in a different neighborhood in New York City with different people every week. I guess I'd rather see this go to the Africa nutrition society but I'd love to improve the site and do some cool things with maps / linking to specific posts.

The site is on tumblr right now at http://thenycnomad.tumblr.com.


http://ripplepay.com/ - It's a monetary system that works in a peer-to-peer credit network rather than the hierarchical banking network. See http://ripple-project.org/.

It's been a project of mine for five years now, and I'm working on a rewrite and need a new design.

http://www.rhinoaccounting.com - Web based accounting software


It is a Facebook app that lets Realtors shows their listings. I have tried to make it presentable, but I usually end up doing tasks that are more fun and let the design suffer. Thanks!

http://broker.mapthatpad.com - looking for advice on making this look more professional. Would also like to pay you for your work if interested in taking on this project. Hit me up via email.

http://tambramsham.appspot.com/ A Geography Quiz app! The maps are from the CIA Factbook and there are some countries no one is ever heard of :)

I asked for some feedback here for my site: http://www.mcsquare.me , the main concern was about design and the ads, maybe you could take a look.

http://www.SpellingThing.com/ - Web based spelling practice app. I'm clearly not a designer and would love some help.

I'm writing a new todo application that runs and syncs on ALL platforms: Fin.


SafeB4Sorry - http://www.safeb4sorry.com

Any thoughts? We are a Life Insurance Agency!

http://www.ampnote.com/ - Guitars and Gear, Mostly Text

Http://Like.fm - you don't have to design it, just advice on how it can make it look better. Thanks!

I'm struggling to design a decent toolbar location for an RPG Maker type website.

Here's a snapshot: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Vtq6sCdzyKs/TMUub_v3L9I/AAAAAAAAAG...

I work in sustainable fashion. We have a designer, but he is busy with other projects. I would love an infographic to help me put the facts on the fashion industry and pollution/waste etc in an easy to read and visually interesting format for lay people.

Hi Klbarry,

there are a couple of option you might want to look at: 1) There are 2 books that have numerous stats like the one you probably looking for. One is "Travels of a t-shirt in the Global Economy" by Pietra Rivoli, the other is "Sustainable Fashion and Textiles" by Kate Fletcher.

2) I've written a blog post some time back for which I've researched data that you probably just could pop into a info graphic to make it visual. Here's the link: http://shirahime.ch/2010/03/wardrobe-undressed-why-the-fashi...

Under the same blog you'll find also book reviews of the two aforementioned books if you need a in more depth idea of what they offer.

Cheers, Pamela --- http://shirahime.ch


App is working fine. Need help in making it look good

Pick this one.

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