Completed contest

Skin Redesign for new “Universal Desktop”

Sarah Levinson needed a new other design and created a contest on 99designs.

A winner was selected from 153 designs submitted by 31 freelance designers.


One of the designers who made it happen

Winner - GDT Design
To the next lucky website contest holder, Consider yourself fortunate if GDT Design chooses to participate in your design contest. I cannot say enough about GDT Design. He won an ultra competitive website challenge with SIX amazing and super creative finalists. I gave GDT copious, detailed notes, and he followed them to the letter, while continuing to produce elegant, crisp designs. He has no ego--meaning, he eagerly accepts feedback and corrections, and had no problem adapting his creative to fit my business needs. A desirable trait in such a talented person! I have very high standards, and GDT met or exceeded them all. GDT did a fantastic job of utilizing my logo elements and weaved them intricately throughout all the pages of my website design challenge. He also created a strong stylized aesthetic which really added character to my website. During the design process, it was clear that he did a good job reading the design brief and understood what was required of him; this meant that his initial designs were of high quality. After the job was done (he was already declared the winner of the contest), when he found out I could not afford one of the images he used, he gladly found and replaced the image with a more reasonable alternative. GDT is a nice guy, a talented artist, and a true design partner. I look forward to working with him in the future. Sincerely, Bernard Lee
- gamutind

How Sarah Levinson started their other graphic design journey


A Global Asset Management Company is looking to modernize the existing design for their new, branded “Universal Desktop”, which will be used across all functions in the company. The goal is to create a fresh, forward-thinking design that will serve as “eye-candy” for the user of the application.

Brand name

Universal Desktop

What inspires you and how do you envision the design for your business?

The Universal Desktop is a liquid desktop where all applications in a given workflow are available in a user-friendly, panel-based environment. The look and feel of standard applications such as Microsoft Word or Lotus Notes will be wrapped into the Universal Desktop’s container, or skin. Applications and tools will become workflow functions as part of the Universal Desktop, as opposed to individually branded, stand-alone applications.

Below is a link to the original design spec, which we are looking for you to update for 2009.…3935363568

For your reference, the liquid, universal desktop includes the following functionality (as you will see in the spec):

Main Work Area (Workspace)
- Buttons along the left side of the desktop show each different book of application clusters – these can be represented as books or buttons or whatever you see fit for your design.
- There should be a standard shell or wrapper for each application / workflow function.
- Tabs along the top of each shell will allow navigation to various clustered applications in a three-level hierarchy.
- Each tab includes navigation at upper right for “Forward”, “Back” and “Maximize/Minimize” buttons.
- The bottom of each tab includes navigation for seeing the user’s “history” and “road-map” and the ability to drop the active file in the workspace (currently the file folder icon but this image is flexible) to a toolbar along the bottom of the desktop– to email, fax, print the file, and so on.

- As stated above, at the bottom of the desktop there is functionality allowing the individual to email, fax, or print the active file in the Workspace, or add it to his or her calendar.
- Additional tools are available in the toolbar, including a favorites page, a calculator, a quote lookup function and the help tool.
- Icons are flexible based on your discretion.

Information Center
- The panels along the right side of the application are meant to show informational tools built directly into desktop that will run constantly in the background, no matter what applications the individual is using in the Workspace.
- In the “Alerts” panel in bottom right-hand corner, the application design includes highlighting which alert button is currently showing, and light up buttons to show new alerts in yellow and important alerts in red.

Our color scheme is usually varying shades of blue, but we are open to creating a new color combination specifically for this application. However, we would like to add our logo in the bottom left corner (included in the link above) so the colors should not clash with this.

The initial end user of this desktop will be internal operations professionals. Ultimately, we will expand usability to include our front office professionals such as portfolio managers and traders.

Once we have a contest winner, we will be taking the design still provided to us and creating a flash presentation to highlight the functionality in a dynamic way for our Management Team.


Our main design goal is to connote usability and cutting edge technology. We want to modernize this application and take it to the next level. We want users to feel as though they are working with something fluid and dynamic, and that they are a part of the next generation of Technology for the Finance world.
- Your submission should include an updated design for the original still we have provided. If you would like to submit additional views, this is welcome but not required.
- The application container should have some mass to it, but still be lightweight and easy to follow.
- Accepted formats for entries are .bmp, .gif, .tif or.jpg.
- There should be a corporate, professional feel to the design, but we also welcome outside the box ideas. Our goal is to have something cutting edge and professional.
- We ask that you provide only original design concepts, and we ask that they have usability.

Don't want

- Anything too overdesigned.
- Too much clutter.
- Stale, old or stereotypical technology design.

Custom package


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