Website design guidelines ensure consistency, enhance branding and boost user engagement.

A document containing principles and provisions to be abided are referred to as guidelines. Related documents include a “policy”, which focuses on high-level management objectives, and a “manual” which is used to provide a very detailed overview of operational steps or task completion process. A set of guidelines, which have an intermediate presence between the two, are a document that has wide practical application.

Our Design Guideline service, seeks to document inherent provisions related to your site's particular web content design and its implementation. Design Guidelines, are an indispensable shared communication tool for all those involved in website operation and to ensure the execution of positive PDCA cycles.

A website consists of combinations and repetitions of various UI components (modules). We define the requirements of modules in the design guidelines; therefore, for example, when adding new content, it is possible to efficiently locate the necessary modules to develop the page. Furthermore, management is simple even when changing the layout of defined modules. The above is an example of how design guidelines enhance efficiency.

Service Outline

Prevent a Drop in Website Quality Caused by Arbitrary Operation

If, for example, either a new site is constructed or an existing site renewed, the content, navigation, and visual design will all be built to standards that promote consistency to ensure attractiveness and good usability. However, if operation is carried out on an arbitrary basis, over time consistency will decline, quality will deteriorate and the website will become more difficult to use.

To prevent such a deterioration, it is necessary to define provisions that guarantee website quality - these would then be shared with all stakeholders involved in site operation. We formulate website design guidelines to ensure smoother operational flows and maintain quality.

From “Defensive” to “Offensive” Site Management and Operation

Design guidelines are not only for "defensive" roles such as maintaining the quality of the website. Following the provisions defined in the design guidelines ensures consistency in website usability, style and design. This then leads to an “offensive” strengthening of branding and engagement.

Additionally, with clearly defined provisions for the numerous dimensions of website operation, it is anticipated that management becomes more efficient. As a result, the savings made with regard to both time and cost, could, for example, be allocated to further enhancing quality content. Through the use of design guidelines, it is possible to convert a “defensive” style to one of “offence”.

Service Features

Definition of Requirements based on Interviews and Surveys

To what extent should we produce design guidelines, and, after delivery, how we can ensure that they are abided and do not end up “pie in the sky”? Provisions are established based on the level of quality that must be maintained on the website. The provisions for which compliance is necessary and for which compliance is advised should be carefully determined based on a profound understanding of operational frameworks and workflows.

Therefore, design guidelines need to be formulated taking into consideration the systems and cultural background of each organization that performs website operation.

To gain that understanding, we interview all stakeholders (where face-to-face interviews are not possible, we ask stakeholders to complete a survey) involved in the management and operation of the website to obtain an in-depth understanding of operational practices - thus allowing us provide the optimum design guidelines.

New workflow design, carried out analogous to improvement planning

When producing design guidelines, consideration of the rules to be incorporated and feasible compliance processes is important. Therefore, when drawing-up design guidelines we simultaneously plan website operation workflows. For already existing websites and workflows, we draft new guidelines based on after a review of current practices together with improvement measure recommendations where necessary.

Audit to Test Compliance with Guidelines (Optional)

To ensure that the created guidelines do not remain pie in the sky and are robustly adhered to, performing audits of compliance to the guidelines at fixed intervals is an extremely important process. Apart from the frequency and level of granularity of the audit, it is also necessary to consider incorporating an audit of compliance to one part of the workflow.

For clients who may not have the capacity to perform a compliance audit whilst simultaneously working on routine tasks or for those who seek an objective audit from outside the operation structure, we offer a guideline compliance audit as an optional service. As well as providing an audit report, we offer support for any required content updates or amendments based on the findings.

Design Guideline Maintenance Support (Optional)

Along with users and web technology, the environment around websites will continue to change. When responding to these changes, if modifications are made to a website then the design guideline entry pertaining to the amended content should be simultaneously updated. Otherwise, the design guidelines will be distanced from the actual condition of the website, thus rendering the guidelines obsolete. To prevent such issues arising, we offer an optional Design Guideline Maintenance service.

Service Flow

  1. Understanding Present Conditions
    • Understanding management structures, workflows, and, if any, existing guidelines
    • Conduct interviews/surveys to all those related to the operation of the website
  2. Definition of Requirements
    • Define design guideline use
    • Define workflow/ Design workflow improvement measures
  3. Formulate Design Guidelines / Workflows
  4. Pilot Operation
    • Through a trial, partial adoption of the design guidelines / workflow
    • Based on the outcome of the pilot operation, where necessary improve design guidelines and workflows
  5. Formal Operation
    • Maximize the scope, begin full-fledged website operation based on the design guidelines / workflow
    • Briefings and training sessions oriented toward stakeholders involved in the website’s operation (optional)
    • Perform Audits to gauge compliance with design guidelines (optional)
    • Perform design guideline updates and maintenance (optional)

For more information on our services, timeframes and estimates, as well as examples of our work, please feel free to be in touch.