Creating websites is getting more and more complex and is usually not a one person job. It is important to ensure that design is consistent and optimized to meet business objectives and create enjoyable experiences for users.
One of the ways to ensure that team is on the same page when designing separate parts of the website or saving designs from developers is to create design documentation or a web design style guide.
It is beneficial to have a style guide in order to create a cohesive experience among different pages. Also it helps to ensure that future development or third-party production will follow brand guidelines and will be perceived as part of the overall brand.
It is extremely important when multiple designers are working on a big website or web app to ensure that they don’t interpret too much and don’t alter or adjust styles based on personal preference. In development, having defined elements of the website makes it easy for developers to reuse these elements. Moreover, it can make it easier because they will get what elements they have to code and will see exactly how they need to look from the start.
First, you need to study the brand so that you understand what it stands for. Get to know the story behind the brand, observe the team and figure out the vision, mission and values of the company. It is important to dig deeper into the brand so the style guide you produce will visually and emotionally represent the organization.
If you’re a designer who can’t code, simply open Photoshop and give your document a title and a short description of what the document is and what it is for.
If you can code, it is better to create an html document with pre-coded assets so they can be easily reused.
You must get typography right because it is one of the most important communication tools between visitors and your website.
Set hierarchy and identify it. There are headline types: h1,h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6. Then body copy, bold and italic variations. Think about custom copy that will be used for smaller links, intro text and so on. Provide font family, weight and color.
It is incredible how humans perceive color and associate hues with known brands. Think of Coca-Cola, I bet you see that red now.
Begin by setting primary colors for your style guide that will dominate your website, dominant colors should include no more than three shades. In some cases, however, you will need secondary and even tertiary colors to illustrate your user interface, make sure you define them too. Also include neutral colors like white, grey and black for the primary brand colors to stand out.