Website is run on a proprietary CMS offering a high level of layout flexibility though the current positioning of content elements is preferred.
This site is about the care and education of 18 month to 5 year old children. Design needs to be COLORFUL, vibrant, energizing, modern and PLAYFUL. A prospective parent should be placed into the world and frame of reference of their child and should be eager to explore the rest of the information the site provides.
The daycare system director has given the following feedback for all designs:
# No cartoon characters
# More diverse children
# Welcome should read: Welcome to Flowers Family Day Care Center (FFDC) "Where Children Grow," An Early Learning Center
We'd like to experiment with "glass/glossy" menus and other design elements, as well as less gimmicky but still fun and contemporary designs.
The proof of concept site should be used for layout inspiration but the look and feel is totally flexible.
Original proof of concept site is available at: http://test001.agapesystems.net/
*** Update based on submission feedback ***
The page context menu on the proof of concept is static and doesn't change when clicking menu links to other pages. On the actual website, the header color and text and the menu items appearing on the page context menu will change to reflect the currently selected top navigation menu item and its related sub-sections and pages. Its something like a table of contents or site map for the selected website section. Feel free to play around with the design of the page context menu as well.
Space for website content is very important. Below the page context menu a calendar widget will be displayed. This calendar widget will look much like the Google Calendar widget as it appears from within GMail. It will have a calendar on top with a list of upcoming events appearing immediately below it. I've attached a screen capture of the Google widget. The calendar widget should be designed to be the same width as the page context menu and given similar if not the same styling.
We'd really like it if the page context menu and calendar portion of the calendar widget could be seen without scrolling when viewed in a maximized browser on a screen with a resolution of 1024x768. The event list does not have to be visible within the 1024x768 resolution.
For dates having events, rather than having only bold numbering like the Google widget, we'd like to see either numbering of various colors for different types of events or maybe a color coded dot to the left or above the number to allow for indicating that events of multiple types may be occurring on a specific date. I've attached another screen capture of a calendar widget with color coding similar to what I've described.
In the screen capture, the calendar has color coded lines indicating different events as well as their approximate start times and duration. We're not interested in indicating time or duration, just that something is occurring on a given day so a simple dot or square is sufficient. Maybe the dots could be stacked vertically or horizontally when multiple events occur on the same day.
For the home page, we'd also like to see 2-5 blog post previews or newsletter previews appearing below the introductory text. Something simple. Maybe 200-400 characters in length per preview and the website visitor would click on the blog post or newsletter's title to view the full content on another page or expanded within the current one.
Please feel free to ask as many questions as necessary!