With each passing day, business owners are getting more precise and accurate for the website they are looking for. This is, somehow, making the entire process of web development a bit more complicated. It has become even more crucial to make sure that the web design is not only unswerving but also optimized to fulfill business goals and provide a satisfactory experience to users.
Since today it requires more than one person to develop a professional website, it is essential to ensure that the people working on a site are on the same page while designing different website parts. In such a scenario, a web design style guide included in some of the best UI Kits come to the rescue.
Most of the times, the only relying source for a development team is the website guide. With these, they understand the hierarchy, structure, and complex interface interactions. Come what may, these guides play the role of a trustworthy anchor that keep the translations and interpretations of creative design precisely intended.
If you are unsure of how you can create these guides to sail through a website development project with your team, here are some tips and tricks that will help you be up-to-date in this aspect. However, before jumping to ‘How’, let’s understand the ‘What’ aspect.
What Is A Style Guide?
Just with the name, you might get an idea of what they are about, isn’t it? They might simply be a guide to style the website perfectly. However, these guides are much more than that. It is an assortment of pre-designed graphics, elements, colors, padding, typography, and rules that developers and designers must follow to ensure consistency throughout the development process.
To sum it up in least, these guides are straightforward documents for developers and frontend designers.
However, they can even help developers, designers, and clients understand how the website will be putting up together visually. With the help of these guides, you can upsurge understanding among the team, increase cooperation, and encourage maintainability.
Why Is the Website Design Guide Important?
Such style guides are everything but old. They have been around for so long, yet, a majority of people are unaware of it. However, lately, these guides are accumulating a lot of attention in the online world.
So, when it comes to gauging its importance, you will surely find out a lot of reasons. When a large team of designers is working on a particular project, it is important to ensure that no one goes out of track or alter the style merely because of their personal penchant.
Therefore, having predefined elements in front, while designing a website, turns out easier for them to develop the site accordingly. Furthermore, they will even get to know how to kickstart the project and what elements they should be coding.
And then, to make it easier for developers, it becomes the designer’s responsibility to add every interaction possible in the guide, such as click, hover, buttons, visit, titles, links, and more.
How to Create A Web Design Style Guide?
Now comes the integral part. Since you know what precisely the style guides are and how important they are, here are essential tips that will help you design them accurately.
Understand & Study the Brand:
To begin the process, you must have a thorough study of the brand to understand its message and what it is standing for. Try to find out the history of the brand and know its story. Perceive the team number that the brand has. Check out its mission, vision, and values.
It is essential to dive into the brand as much as you can. It will help you represent the visual and emotional aspects of the brand in the guide that you will be creating. If you don’t know to code, you can even create the guide in Photoshop. Generate a document, add a title along with a brief description of about the document and the purpose of it.
However, if you are well-versed with coding, it will be better to generate an HTML document along with pre-coded properties so that the designers can reuse them later.
Some people pay keen attention to the type of the website design. Therefore, you must devote ample time to make this aspect of your guide accurate. If you believe the experts, they will tell you how 95% of the web design revolves around typography.
Since typography is one of the essential tools of communication between the website and visitors, you cannot get it wrong. Set a pecking order and outline it. Begin from the types of the headline and go toward the body copy, italic and bold variations, etc. You may even ponder upon the custom copy that will be utilized for intro texts, smaller links, and more.
There are other significant areas as well that should be taken into consideration, such as:
- Font families
- Font sizes
- Font weight
- Line height
- Vertical Rhythm
It is quite amazing how humans carry the tendency to perceive colors relate descriptions with renowned brands. Just try thinking of McDonald’s, and for sure, you will imagine the combination of yellow and red. Didn’t you?
That’s what you should be doing with your UI style guide. You must set primary colors that will be dominating the website. But, make sure that these colors should not comprise anything more than three shades.
Make sure that you are outlining your user interface as well, even if it means illustrating secondary or tertiary colors. If you want, you can also add neutral colors that will make the brand stand out, such as grey, white, black, etc.
Once you are done with defining the color palette, then comes the time to guide your developers in applying these colors to the design. Specify background colors, font colors, anchor element, and everything else that should have a consistent color.
Make the Voice Different:
The voice that is being referred here is the copy. In the beginning, you would have studied the brand profoundly. So, based on that study and analysis, you can define the voice of the copy, if it hasn’t been done already.
It mainly revolves around how you treat the visitors and how you are keeping them hooked, even if they are on the wrong page. Therefore, the voice should be a bit amusing as well as professional.
For example: Let’s take up the instance of a 404 error. Instead of just mentioning “404 error”, you can give a new and creative look to the entire page.
But, make sure you are not doing it for a brand that carries a corporate voice. These examples might suit up with brands that have a mixture of casual and professional tone.
Buttons & Icons:
Regardless of the trend that you are following, or the button style you are going to use, you must, in either case, set up some designing rules. If you think the website is going to stand out way different than its competitors, you can try and use customized buttons, specifically meant for that business.
And then, just like fonts, even icons and buttons require guidelines of usage. You should be adding a precise graphic discrepancy between the prime and subordinate buttons. When it comes to icons, they should be defined as per their rules, including the pixel guidelines enumerated either inside or beside an image of example.
Furthermore, the color and any other style of your icons should be based on the color palette that and the voice of the brand. This will keep the consistency game higher.
Importance of Space:
If you were all buckled up to ignore this aspect, then wait, it’s time you rethink the matter. Anything that comes with excessive or too little space is a major turn-off, isn’t it? It is crucial for a website to have enough breathing space.
Therefore, while figuring out the top margin, bottom margin, as well as padding, you must pay attention to the vertical rhythm appropriately. You must specify the amount of space every element should be having.
If not done in a precise way, the entire website design can turn out to be unprofessional and messy. Hence, provide deliberate and consistent space along with mentioning everything briefly in the guide.
Not just a cartoon character or two hanging at the sides of the website, but, in reality, transition feature or animation has become quite common on sites these days. And, seriously, they look attractive as well, if used correctly.
So, if you are thinking to put animations on the website, avoid placing some eye-candy pop-ups but go for essential characters that would give practical value to the user. And then, if you are adding in the website, you should mention into your style guide as well. Specify the guide by adding which part will be used where.
In a way, this information should be enough to get you kick-started with creating a style guide, isn’t it? Whether you have a small project or a big one, give it a try. Use such tools that would suit your requirements, as there are plenty of them out there.
In the end, don’t forget, these design guides are treasured and allow excellent communication between clients, designers, and developers. So, next time, give it a shot.