As designers, we often have to convince our clients of our choices. It’s part of the job. What seems obvious or necessary to us, is not always apparent to the people who hire us. We are the experts, and we need to explain why we spend part of our budget on this or that.

Dear client, You need a Style Guide now. Why? Because a Style Guide is a living document which details all the elements and modules of your site or app. As such, it will help you:

Ensure consistency and coherence across your platform

Your designers will thank you for having your site’s visual language (typography, colours, and components) all in one place. This will help them ensure your whole platform has a coherent look and feel. Furthermore, it will help your developers standardise code, keep it small, and quick to load.

Speed up your team’s workflow, saving you time and money

Your team will be able to build a high fidelity mock-up in minutes using existing patterns. No one will ever spend time creating a component that already exists. Moreover, it will be much easier to test performance and accessibility across different browsers and devices.

Make communication clearer

The entire product team will have a shared vocabulary for code and UI elements. This common lexicon will serve both as a learning tool and a compass to correct your course when building new things. Making your design elements freely accessible will also educate colleagues, stakeholders, and third parties on how things are built. Additionally, a Style Guide will help you see your user interface as several components rather than one block or a series of pages. This new outlook will prove useful when you re-work your site or app.

Lay a future-friendly foundation for your organisation to change, expand, and evolve over time

A Style Guide is not set in stone. It’s a living organism that reacts to today’s concerns and anticipates tomorrow’s needs so as to build valuable products that will last. It’s a tested tool that has helped web teams over and over again. You could even widen its scope to include brand assets, voice and tone, and writing to ensure consistency and start a broader conversation.

If you want to dig deeper into the subject, styleguides.io is the ultimate guide.

We know it’s not easy to make a Style Guide an integral part of your development flow. It is often a cultural challenge and a technological one. But hey, that’s why we’re here to help!


This article was first published on Medium for Central.