It's a brand new site, so no legacy issues - go wild.
The logo should communicate the site's purpose - to recommend gifts for different types of people.
Frontpage should contain:
1) a way of selecting the category of person,
2) some highlighted gifts from popular categories with a short text description of the gift with a 'Buy Now' button
3) a main 'highlighed gift'
Our target audience is people hunting for inspiration for people that they don't know that well. I would expect our audience to be slightly older than the average net user - try designing something that your parents would find easy to use!
How I run the contest:
Open to all, but I pm designers who's work I've liked in the past and invite them to join in.
I'm located in Asia (GMT+8 timezone), and will conduct two reviews every day, when I get up in the morning and once when I get back in the evening - I'll aim for midday/midnight GMT (you'll have to work out what time this is for your own timezone :-) )
I will also comment on every design so that you know that I've seen it, I'll rate it accordingly and eliminate promptly if you're on the wrong track.
I'll make general comments in public, but I'm happy to pm 'private feedback' to you so that other designers don't get an unfair advantage and 'borrow' your design elements- just let me know your preference in the comments if you want me to do this.
If you use stock images, please use iStockPhoto or similar and make a note of the image URL/number. I will acquire the licence myself, so no need for you to purchase it.
I tend to make a few recommendations and ask you to do a second revision - this gets us 80% of the way there. Then I tend to sit back and see what other designs turn up in the contest. That way I don't waste loads of your time making little tweaks when you're not the winner.
If you win, I usually ask for a final revison that takes us from 80% up to 100%
I'll also offer a runner up prize of USD$20 donated to a charity of your choice (or a tip jar of a site you like).
You submit that I fall in love with, it's sudden death! I'll close the contest early and payout quickly.
I'm also happy to answer additional questions on the site - it's quite fluid at the moment as everything is still on the drawing board :-) and I'm open to receive feedback on my feedback!
Even if you don't win this contest I am still interested in quality designers for future projects and will exchange contact information with 4 and 5 star entrants for the potential to work on future projects.
I hope you feel this contest offers sufficient challenge and that you choose to enter.
Best of luck!