My name is Pierre-Alain Leboucher, or Peha on the forum. I’m a freelance graphic designer.
I create PrestaShop themes tailored to a variety of projects (such as for music shops, interior decoration, sewing shop, etc.).
Often, I try to create a complete visual identity (the logo, the graphic chart, print variations, a classic site, etc.).
How long have you work with PrestaShop, and what do you do?
I signed up on the forum in January 2009 and started helping a few merchants personalize their stores in order to familiarize myself with PrestaShop. After version 1.2.5, I took the leap and started proposing solutions to my clients.
What do you like about PrestaShop?
- The simplicity of the Back Office
- The very gradual learning curve,
- And of course it doesn’t hurt that the community is very nice.
What tools do you work with the integrate themes into PrestaShop?
- A pencil to do something thinking long before starting my project.
- Photoshop and Illustrator, a scanner, my camera to create a mock-up.
- KomodoEdit for integration.
What skills do you need to begin integrating themes into PrestaShop?
Theoretically, a knowledge of HTML and CSS is enough. I also advise you to look into web standards and accessibility to adopt good practices. If you want to go further and really get away from the PrestaShop base theme, then you need to work a bit with PHP and jQuery. Finally, a good theme is comes from a creative creation. The technical aspect could be very simple…
What advice do you have for integrators who want to work with PrestaShop?
- Start with a blank page and go for what’s essential. Eliminate any elements that aren’t vital to the project. The point is above all to propose the most fluid path possible, and thus to avoid anything that could disturb the buying process.
- Next, lean on what’s so special about this project, and bring the touch of originality necessary for setting yourself apart from the competitors. If the store or the brand already has a visual identity, always be respectful of it.
What guarantees a good integration for a PrestaShop theme?
- Visual coherence
- Respecting standards
What tricks or good advice or practices do you have to facilitate integration?
I recently discovered the tool lessCss, which allows you to introduce variables and just a little bit of programming in CSS. I’m looking forward to a module that can integrate it into PrestaShop!
Otherwise, I would also obviously advise all users to use and abuse Firebug. This Firefox extension is quite simply indispensable.
As for good practices, Alsacreation’s tutorials are a good approach for learning and conforming to standards (W3C WAI).
For everything else, search the forum, or ask Atch