Today, numerous businesses depend on digital platforms. And that means it’s critical for applications to adapt to user needs over time. A live style guide can optimize this process. Let’s take a look at how.
What is a Style Guide?
The main purpose of a style guide is to assure consistency in the branding of applications and serve as a guide to their implementation.
So, it is a set of standards, principles, and rules that every designer or developer should follow to improve the digital experience. Basing interfaces on predefined rules assures quality and visual consistency. These rules have an impact on user experience, development, and maintenance.
Whether it is SaaS, websites or any other type of application, a document with these visual rules for your interface should be part of the development methodology. This is essential so that any development and future changes do not negatively affect quality.
Here are examples of the rules defined in style guide documentation.
Margins and Padding
Style guide documentation saves developers time and trouble because they have guidelines and rules to follow; however, they still have to build the code elements. And that’s still a challenge. What makes things even easier is if the elements are already developed and all they have to do is use them. That’s where a live style guide comes in.
What Is a Live Style Guide?
Similar to a normal style guide, a live style guide offers a set of rules for the creation of applications. What makes it different is that, in addition to the visual rules, it includes code elements that were created based on those rules. As a result, your development team doesn’t have to code them and can focus on building apps that follow your business rules and logic.
Live style guides contain interface design patterns. These recurring and reusable solutions solve common design problems; they represent standard reference points for the experienced user interface (UI) designer. They can also resolve issues between UI design and development.
The pattern methodology focuses on the identification of patterns between different elements. As a result, it is possible to work directly on the components (patterns), rather than working on the screens.
As a result, development teams can focus more on aligning their projects with business strategy because using previously identified and developed patterns for screens significantly reduces time and effort.
Why Use a Live Style Guide
First and foremost, a live style guide provides your development team with “living” elements that follow the visual rules of a style guide. So, not only do they not have to do that work themselves, but they also can update and redesign interfaces with ease. And, because it is methodical and component-based, it speeds up their workflow and saves your organization time and money. Other benefits of a live style guide are:
- Better visual quality
- Improved user experience
- Less need for front-end and expert skills
- Design consistency
- A future-friendly foundation that your organization can change, expand and evolve over time
- Elimination of most gaps between designers and developers
Who Uses Live Style Guides
The following companies have adopted live style guides because of the wealth of benefits they provide:
A Live Style Guide Pack
Hi INTERACTIVE has a team of experts fully dedicated to the development of front-ends for OutSystems. We were partners with the OutSystems team that developed the Silk UI Framework, which accelerates front-end development, solves UI issues and enables organizations to deliver beautiful experiences that are popular with users.
With the knowledge we have acquired through our close partnership with OutSystems, we have developed a Live Style Guide that supports the development of new projects. With this live style guide, it’s possible to deliver an OutSystems application with 80% of the assets needed to develop the different screens in the application.
In the first phase, we analyze the application’s objectives and its framework of needs. The goal is to assess the best way to integrate the live style guide into the application architecture in its initial context and any future iterations.
In this phase, our user experience team uses its knowledge of the Silk UI Framework and the OutSystems development environment to devise and create the necessary screens for the business process and with the best possible experience for the users.User Interface Design
Like our UX team, our UI team is fully familiarized with the development methods and processes in the OutSystems environment. Their work always follows that of the UX team. After receiving the wireframes (screen design) from the UX phase, the UI team will design a theme focused on the application’s branding with all the Silk UI Framework patterns, along with any other screens and patterns devised during the UX phase, providing a high-quality visual identity to the applications.Development
In this phase, the development team creates the theme designed during the previous phase, develops patterns devised during the UX phase, and customizes all the Silk UI Framework patterns with the branding of this same theme.Delivery
During the delivery phase, a presentation is made of the work developed, serving as a workshop on how the live style guide can be and should be used in your project. The assets are delivered in an OutSystems application ready to install and use in the project server. After that application has been installed, the server will recognize the theme and it will be possible to select it during the creation of a new application.
Great UX and UI by Design
Live style guides apply the principles of low-code to UI and UX. The reusable elements, or patterns, they provide accelerate the development process. Hi INTERACTIVE is dedicated to helping businesses around the world enjoy the freedom and ROI a live style gives them. Why build front-ends from scratch when you don’t have to?