Effective Web Style Guides
May 17, 2004 at 8:51 AM
Rarely do I link to some of the great articles Gerry McGovern has authored. It's not because I have a personal bias against his work, it's often because the articles are so short that they don't lead to a conclusive understanding of the topic at hand. Well, today he has published an article I think is worth linking, as short as it may be, called "Learn how to implement an effective web style guide." Pretty handy if you find yourself heading down the long road of Web Style Guide creation. I could have used this article about 2 years ago. So what great Web Style Guide articles have you found online? The comments are open.
I haven't read any great Style Guide tutorials online yet. I will be sure to check this one out as soon as I get the chance. As it happens, I am about to write my first 'real' style guide now. The goals of the guide are to basically let other people know how to update the content of the site, without messing up the site. I am just not too sure how to do it yet, without offending any of the content providers that fancy themselves as
Kelly's book is great, I would also like to recommend Yale's Web Style Guide book (also see their site... though this isn't a 'how to create a web style guide' book, it is a style guide within itself.
Thanks Nick! Sometimes the best way to learn is by example. I appreciate that.
You know, McGovern's articles seem to get less helpful as time goes on. He also seems to recycle quite a bit. I do think this one is pretty good. It's funny because I was thinking about writing something like this myself. We make pretty extenisve use of Style Guides at my work and I've lots of experience in the past creating them. Not the most fun thing in the world, but they can be very useful.
This is a very timely article for us as we are currently in the process of developing a Web Standards and Guidelines resource for our many developers and content providers. One of the best resources I have found online is the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Web site. This resource covers everything from Process and Approval to Graphic and Coding Standards to Templates and Maintenance procedures.
Well, if we are talking Web Style Guides that don't really cover graphic design on the Web, here is a great style guide that Zeldman created some time ago: NYPL Online Style Guide. But to me, a style guide must also include things like branding, web GUI design, and such.