Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Style guides, part of UX Foundations: Content Strategy.
- [Voiceover] Style guides are a part of content strategy that overlaps closely with user experience and design, as well as voice and tone. The overall look and feel of a content has a significant impact on how the content is perceived, and when matched with voice and tone, we get a coherent experience that feels natural to the intended audience. In the context of content strategy, a style guide goes beyond color swatches and font examples to include text, image, audio and video samples that provide a detailed blueprint for how content should be written and presented.
It is, for all intents and purposes, the manual for content creation and ensures every price of content created matches the overall look, feel and experience of the project. Style guides are as unique as the companies and organizations they belong to, and the best way to get familiar with the concept is to check out several guides on how they're built. A great place to start is the website styleguides.io and its examples library that links to hundreds of public style guides from organizations like Apple and Microsoft to Starbucks, MailChimp, and the US Government.
Some style guides, like the one developed by MailChimp, are mainly focused on writing, while others, like the US Government Standards or the Starbucks style guide are more focused on user interfaces, visual consistency and creating a standardized code base. As you browse various style guides, you'll find that while they can often seem like superficial documents talking about design decisions, they're actually manuals that help create content that fits the overall brand. And that's their entire purpose, to create consistent content that looks and feels like it came from the same person, not a varied group of individual contributors.
Just as importantly, they make it possible for future coworkers to pick up where you've let off without needing extensive training. The actual creation of style guides has evolved as the importance of these guides has become more apparent. Today we have a myriad of tools, including frameworks, prototyping environments, Brad Frost's popular Pattern Lab atomic design application, and automated tools like LivingCSS. To find the right tool for your process and project, try out some of the ones already available or build your own.
Learn the four elements of constructing meaningful content, from identifying your audience and structuring and wireframing content to developing content guidelines and measuring the success of your efforts. Author Morten Rand-Hendriksen also shows you how to develop persona spectrums to better understand your users and evaluate the needs of important stakeholders and influencers.
- What is content?
- The components of content strategy
- Identifying stakeholders and audience
- Developing user persona spectrums
- Auditing your content
- Building guides, templates, and workflows
- Creating the content
- Measuring success