Before opening PhotoShop, GIMP or any other graphic editor, you should sit at a desk with a pen and a sheet paper, and think of the your shop's sitemap, making it as flexible as possible (not all shops have the same amount of categories, or of products per category).
A complete PrestaShop them requires at least 10 pages:
- Home page
- Category page
- Product page
- "My Account" and its inner pages
- "My Cart"
- Account creation
- Payment (check, bank transfer)
Please do take all these into account, so as to not forget any of them.
Once you feel good about your sitemap, make a few sketches of the interface, in order to get a feel of where the various elements will be placed: new products, promotions, pictures, text, etc.). Also, include the important details, such as the various mentions on the product's page: on sale, promotion, new product, stricken price...).
Of course, these are just general tips; some professional might prefer to do it all directly in PhotoShop, then jump right into PHP, HTML and CSS.
In order to ensure that you can easily share your creation with others (designer, integrators, client), we advise you to save them as a PhotoShop file (RGB, 75 dpi, non-flattened).
You should work with the 980px width resolution in mind.
You can use several methods, depending on your preferences:
- A folder for every text layers, so that integrators can easily access the design itself.
- A folder for each design block (New products, Best sales, etc.)
Do not use the CMYK color model, as it is only adapted to printing. Always use the RVB color model.
Do not use atypical fonts! Keep it readable at all times!
Standard text (title, sub-title, regular text) should be limited to the followed fonts, in order to insure that all visitors can see the same thing:
- Times News Roman
Keep the number of fonts to the bare minimum, for fear of making your website confusing and unreadable.
When designing for the Web, the basic unit of measurement is the pixel. Do not measure in picas, points or centimeters.
Always keep in mind that the user has the final say on the text say, as modern browser can expand or reduce it at will. As a matter of fact, you should test your website with various browser variations, see how easy it is break your design... and therefore rework your design in order to avoid such easy breakage.
That being said, you may start off with a handful of basic text sizes:
- 8px for smaller text
- 10 to 12px for regular text
- 14px for sub-titles
- 18px for titles
Transparent images do not work well with older browsers, particularly with Internet Explorer, so you should stay away from 24-bits PNG images. As for GIF images with transparency, use the over a plain background to ensure they work properly. Avoid 50% opacity by using the same matte color as the website's background color.
- Test your theme with all of PrestaShop's options activated, so as to see how the theme reacts.
- Edit a product in order to see how the various options influence your design... if does at all.
- Make sure to have an homogeneous style for your shop.