Your website design is everything. It affects how people perceive your brand and how they engage with you. A beautiful, functional website can turn visitors into customers. Whereas, an ugly and chaotic website can have people clicking away before you can even blink.
Designing a website doesn’t have to be complicated.
However, if you go it alone, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details. That’s why so many businesses choose to outsource. But even if you’re getting a designer to take on the challenge, there’s one thing you need to be certain they use. Every amazing website needs a style guide.
What is a website style guide?
Your style guide is a document that details all of the elements of your brand. It encompasses everything from your logo and the types of imagery you use, right down to key colors and fonts. It also reflects the type of language and tone you want to convey. Some businesses choose to define their brand even further by adding elements like target audience, their brand values, or the company manifesto.
When creating a style guide for a business website, remember that it will likely be used for other purposes too. It’s a great idea to get input from others. Ask them if this font, or that image, evokes the right image of your brand.
Your team can provide useful feedback in these initial stages to help you get firm on your online aesthetic.
Your style guide is likely to change and evolve over time, but at its core, it will remain the foundation of your website design.
Why do you need a website style guide?
Designers and web developers need a website style guide to make it simple to do their job. It’s how they’ll know what the critical elements of your site should be and what sort of visualization you’re looking for. Everything, from the typography to the grid lines, should be worked through to achieve a coherent website.
Then there are the visuals.
Whether we realize it or not, the visuals of our website create a specific tone and atmosphere to our brand. It’s vital to make sure your website is sending out the signals you intend. With tight and memorable branding, your business will stick in people’s mind.
Think about how the visuals can reflect the unique story of your business. Who is it aimed at and what emotions are you trying to evoke? The images on your website can either inspire the right emotions or feel jarring, so pick wisely. A clear style guide will make this easier since you will have laid out your brand values already.