I have decided to resurrect an old topic, because it is so important to drawing immediate attention to your directory. Style Customization! Having a unique look and feel to the directory can help separate you from the competition. One of the most important things to supply to the design team when beginning a style customization to the eDirectory is a quality mockup. A mockup is a layout model of what you would like the final look of the site; it provides a visual presentation of the website structure.
When beginning to create a mockup or when you are searching the internet for a premade template it is important to consider the following list of questions:
- What is your business area? (Look for a mockup that fits well in your industry)
- Which basic modules do you want customized?
- Describe the content you want in the following area: Left Column, Right Column, Middle Column
- What are the items you want in the top and bottom navigation bar.
- What are your color preferences?
When providing a mockup for the application of a design to the eDirectory we look for the following file types:
- Photoshop (PSD)
- PNG Files
- Zip Files containing the .html / .css files
It is best to include a mockup of the Homepage of the Directory; Front, Results and Detail pages for each module you wish to have customized, as well as pages illustrating the layout of the Advertise with Us page and the Contact Us page. To accompany the specified files, it can help to have a detailed word document further outlining what is in the files.
If you are unsure of the final design of your site there are many reference areas you can use to help you come to a conclusion regarding your design. You can do the following:
- Create several rough drafts and compile them into a final solution
- Review current websites to help you gather ideas for your own
- Review and purchase pre-made templates from sites such as Template Monster, Dream Template, or Theme Forest.
- Consult a website designer to discuss your needs and design a completely custom template
Designing the look and feel of your site can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of beginning a new online business and directory because it allows your inner creativity to come out. It also helps you to create a look and feel that you think will draw visitors to your site and take you ahead of the competition.