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The Importance of a Style Guide in Website Design

When building a website for your brand there are a range of things to consider. You’ll know about researching your target market, deciding on your brand’s tone of voice and the importance of optimising your website for mobile, but what about the design?

You may wonder how to maintain the same style throughout, especially when lots of people are editing the site. That’s where a style guide becomes very useful. From recording your key colours to documenting your brand’s preferred grid style, a style guide will ensure your business’ website follows the same design throughout, to give a polished and professional finish. Let’s explore the importance of a style guide and how to create one.

What is a style guide?

A style guide is designed to ensure all aspects of a website follow a set design so all pieces added to the site are consistent. It’s made up of pre-planned graphics and principles which are used to guide the web designers or engineers as they create or amend the website.

Why is it important?

A style guide is essential for ensuring branding across a company’s website is consistent and doesn’t differ from page to page. This helps maintain the brand’s identity, which is crucial for marketers to evolve their products, communicate clear messages and drive customer loyalty.

Using a style guide can ensure you keep a record of the standards and goals for your user interface (UI). You can document everything from colours, headings, image style, typography, and anything else which needs to remain consistent throughout your website.

Keeping an up-to-date style guide can be extremely helpful in the future, as when your website grows and evolves, the information in your guide will assist the web developers in deciding which direction to take your web design next.

How is it created?

The first step to building a style guide is to assess the company, its existing and potential customers, the products or services offered and its vision. It is particularly crucial to consider the clients or potential customers who will be browsing the website as their user experience must be prioritised. Use analytics to determine the expected routines and desires of your target audience, then assess how you can optimise your website for the right customer experience for these people.

Once you’ve considered the customer journey, you’ll need to determine which primary and secondary colours to use on your site, the appropriate typography for the design, a grid for your content and also for any photos or graphics, the style and position of icons and the style and colour of photos. Once you’re happy with your brand’s style guide, you can share it with your web developer or designers who have the knowledge to support your development needs.

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