Small Grants: Prop House design round for Nouns Center


Ξ10 to run a Prop House round for designers to reimagine Nouns Center.


Nouns Center has never had a designer work on the site, and while I think the design I made for the site is fine it can always be better. As you can see with the success of the Prop House redesign, having a real designer to collaborate with goes a long way. Nouns Center is an important tool that gets a ton of eyeballs and is also very dense with information so having someone to reimagine this layout will be extremely helpful as we scale the site. It also is now the official docs of the main site so it’s visibility will only grow and I want to make sure is as high-quality as possible. Another advantage being the voting members will have a real say in the creative direction that the site takes and the community’s voice in how this tool develops is an important one in my opinion. I want the Nouns community to take pride and ownership in Nouns Center.


I hope to attract best-in-class design talent to come talent to come make this tool even better. We’ve never run a purely design round so it will also be interesting to experiment in this space. The deliverable from the round won’t be an app or finished site, rather a fully-fleshed out Figma file & design system for Nouns Center that I’ll then take and implement, like I did on Prop House with our designer Hab.


Hoping to run this round as soon as possible to help steer the next months of development work for Nouns Center. Funds can be sent to Prop House multi-sig.


You wanna run a contest for designers to rebrand the prop house? Sounds neat AF but 10 ETH for prize or something? Isnt that a bit too much?

it’s to redesign Nouns Center not Prop House. and no it’s not too much for great talent, which i’m hoping to find from a round like this. there’s a ton of work that’s going to go into this work (~20 pages) plus a design system, and preparing the site to scale in the future.


Big fan of experimenting with prop house to do more design focused rounds. :clap:

Just to clarify this, is the expectation that each submitted prop would be a fully fleshed design system?

So no that’s just a small part of it. My thought was a fully fleshed out Figma with redesigns of every page as well as new homepage, nav, footer and across all breakpoints. Plus a design system with which we can follow for colors, buttons, drop-down menus, tables, modals, etc. Basically what we did for Prop House.

oh sorry @ripe uou asked about what each PROP would be. So no, i still have to think about that. That’s too big of an ask, but really there’s no minimum guidelines. Designers are free to put in however much work they want to IN their prop to try to help their chances but really, at a minimum probably just a redesign homepage is enough to get the point across of what your vision is.

This is an awesome idea @cdt.eth

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i think the core idea here of using prop house to improve the design of Nouns Center is a good one. but i have a few concerns about the approach.

  • i think we should avoid asking for spec work. it generally leads to lower quality end products and will likely turn off the top-tier talent we’re hoping to attract here.
  • this prop house round seems different from other mandated rounds that were much more open-ended. in those rounds, teams were creating something new and a design mockup may have helped to visualize a bigger idea. whereas this round is asking designers to all use their valuable skillsets to tackle the same problem with the hopes of winning eth.

couple of additional questions

  • “designers to reimagine Nouns Center” - what does this mean to you? is this a visual reskinning of the current structure and content or are you looking for something deeper?
  • how’d you land on 10 eth?

This is a great idea. I think it will be really important to nail down the “prompt”. Maybe you can provide a list of a few specific tasks that will give voters enough data to cast votes while also giving the designers a healthy balance of freedom / focused effort on a particular area. The expectation would be that the winner would apply the design from their samples to the whole site after the round. I am in favor of using prop house for these kinds of things.

Yea it’s an experiment, I’m happy to ask for funding and ask specific people if they’d redesign the site, but thought since NC is a community resource, it would be novel for the voters to decide what the creative direction/layout seems to suit their desires best.

So NC has nearly 20 pages, and like Prop House, i’m hoping for both a UI update as well as UX. NC is a very information-dense site and there’s plenty of ways to present all this info. Like i said “having someone to reimagine this layout” can include what the homepage looks like and how it funnels people to different parts of the site (top-level), how pages support users best and tie into other pages, and/or what needs to be added/removed or consolidated.

The number was reached from my experience working with designers in the past. I didn’t want to submit to the current Prop House ideas round as I felt 20E was high for what I’m asking.

Totally, again this is a post asking for funding of the round topic. The PH round description itself would include more detail about deliverables & expectations.

I would list out the pages by group as they are now since people need to get a sense of the scale of NC. I think it’ll be most interesting to see how designer can re-image the homepage since that is the first thing people see and sets the tone for how users engage with the site. This give designers a chance to show not only how they’d “reskin” the site (layout, fonts, colors etc), but also how they think about organizing information. With past mandate rounds, plenty of teams added mock-ups to what one screen could look like, with the expectation that this is roughly what they’re pitching but is not final. I would then work with the winning designer to flesh out the rest of the site. I don’t expect them to do all this up front.

Did i answer your question?

it would be novel for the voters to decide what the creative direction/layout seems to suit their desires best.

totally! and i’m in support of it. i’m just advocating for it to be done in a way that pays designers for their valuable work and leads to a great final product.

i had an idea of alternate approach: a two-step process

  • an initial prop house round that invites designers to submit proposals describing how they’d approach solving the problems laid out in the brief
    • voters choose 3 designers to move onto the next round.
    • the winners of this round each get say 5 eth and 2 weeks to design a homepage + X elements to illustrate their vision. this gives them time to really dig into the problem and explore multiple design solutions before submitting one.
  • a second prop house round where the three designers submit their design vision.
    • voters choose one design/designer to move forward
    • the winner then gets the full 10 eth to collaborate with you on the full design project and build out the design system.

an approach like this would give voters multiple designs to choose from. each done by designers who’ve been able to focus on this project and come up with good, considered directions, while being compensated for their work.

Feels like more friction. 2x-ing the ETH ask (3 ppl get 5E for first round and winner gets 5 more E). and a 2nd house where we have only the 3 finalists? also, we currently don’t have a way to enforce that only these 3 finalists submit to this second round. anyone could submit to it and it could get confusing.

Really with this a design round, you don’t have submit any visuals at all if you don’t want to. We have no way of enforcing your submission’s content. Just like with past mandates we had winners who never posted mockups or any visuals and won. They submitted no “spec work” but in my opinion it would behoove a designer to show something (like a mockup of the homepage) for a round that’s supposed to communicate a vision of their redesign.

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Feels like more friction.

it definitely is! what i described isn’t elegant. and i’m sure the prop house team could come up with a much better solution.

the main point being if we’re asking people to do and submit work that they’d normally get paid for, we should pay them for it.

2x-ing the ETH ask (3 ppl get 5E for first round and winner gets 5 more E). and a 2nd house where we have only the 3 finalists?

you’d also have three talented designers working on a design problem and being compensated for it. which would likely result in a better end product.

i don’t want to derail this thread anymore than i already have (:pray: @cdt.eth), so i’ll leave it here. just wanted to share my perspective as a designer in the space and my initial reaction to this proposal.