Creating responsive websites is getting more and more difficult these days. It is important to ensure that the web design is constant and is improving to meet business objectives, leaving pleasant experience for consumers. Upholding a consistent style across several web pages can make things even more difficult. And it is particularly true right after the launch of a site when there are different platforms working on it.
One of the ways to ensure that the team is on the same page is to create design documentation or a web design style guide. In order to create a consistent experience among different pages, it is useful to have a style guide. Moreover, it helps to ensure that the future development or third-party production will follow brand guidelines, making a consistent brand style with advancements.
Why create a style guideline?
By creating a style guideline, you will have an easy guide to refer to when handing over the project. This also helps in making your website look professional. When someone commits awful thing during brand establishment, you can always refer to the document as it will help in maintaining a persistent design.
Style design and its importance
A web design style guide specifies the design of each element of a website to ensure a consistent website theme. When multiple designers are working on a big website, it is extremely important to ensure that they don’t interpret too much, and don’t adjust styles which are based on personal preferences. Additionally, it can make it easier for them to know what elements they have to code and it provides an easy to look from the start.
Study the brand
The first step is to study the brand so that you can understand what it stands for. It is very important to dig deeper into the brand as it will help you create a style guide that can visually and expressively represent the organization. If you are a designer who can code, then create an HTML document with pre-coded assets so it can easily be used again. And if you are a designer who can’t code, simply open Photoshop, give your document a title, add a short description of the document, and list down the purposes.
For many people, the style is the most important aspect of a website design so never underestimate the importance of typography.You must get typography right because it is the most important communication tool between the customer and your website. You should give a fair amount of time to get this part of the style guide right.
Always include color palettes and list down the colors that are going to be used for web design. You must define all the main colors you will be using (primary, secondary, tertiary and accents) as well as a light and dark shades. Once you have defined your color palette, you need to provide guidance on how to apply them to the web design. Moreover, you will need to specify font colors, background colors, anchor elements, and any other thing that you want consistent across your design.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Describing guidelines for your images can be a little more difficult than identifying fonts and colors. Include imagery in guidelines that describe the style and direction of the pictures a website should use.
Defining size and spacing and where to use icons is another great way to promote consistency. Use icons in your projects to give an instant idea to your visitors about what is going on and what will happen next. Picking the right icons will give more context than color palette, copy or graphics. Make sure to think about the target audience, religion, history, so you can avoid misconceptions and misunderstanding when using an icon.
When choosing fonts for your website, try to stick to no more than three font types in your design. First, choose your primary font, then secondary and then (maybe) a tertiary font. In other words, pick what font will host the main content, the font for your headings and the font for all those smaller areas which are not covered. On your website, the size of different typographic elements has a huge impact on the overall feel of the website as well as its readability. By not setting clear guidelines can result in a website that looks unreliable and unprofessional.Do not forget to list down what sizes of each font can be maxed out to and the smallest it is allowed to be.
It is extremely important to indicate the spacing. It can be in the form of the grid used for a layout. It can be spacing defined between buttons, headlines, images, forms and other important elements. Right spacing is significant as it gives more breathing room to your element and constant use of it makes your work look more organized and specialized.
Now you have the tools to go and produce your own web design style guide. Put these tips into training as it will make sure that your future web projects look great by having a stable style, no matter how many people are working on the project. By understanding how to produce and apply a style guide can not only improve your workflow but also your design confidence.
Monica Leeis a freelance Canadian web designer who is continuously coming up with innovative ideas for web design SG. She also loves fine arts and interior designing. She has published two books on web design with more coming. She runs a boutique style digital media company called yellow and pink media. You can follow Monica on twitter and google.