We work with lots of organisations of all shapes and sizes and one of common trends we have seen repeated is that most have printed or pdf brand guidelines documents, but none of these pay much attention to how this translates through to web, in particular the brands user interface and accompanying assets.
To give an example, we’re currently working with National Express, the UK’s largest coach travel operator. When we were approached to re-design a better customer experience and interface for their website, we were surprised at the lack of existing digital guides there were. I think, if I remember rightly we had a red, white and blue colour palette and that was it. There were no styles for web typography, buttons, tables, CTA’s etc which lead to a very messy, inconstant experience.
These were just some of the inconsistencies we found:
Whilst we’ve been re-designing National Express’s website we made it part of the goal to create a set of global digital design standards that could be rolled out across the entire organisation. From the website, digital tickets, emails, ticket kiosks — we wanted to work to one unified style for the brand.
The result is not a printed book or a PDF that will get lost on a internal server at some point, but a hosted guide with visual elements and code snippets, meaning that content & product teams can easily grab the styles they need to create the correct visual architecture.
Upon completing this element of the project, we had some pretty postive comments from one of our partners at National Express:
Our brief called for a team of specialist designers to spot inconsistencies & develop a consistent visual language. What adaptable actually delivered for us is a new look & feel that is flexible enough to be used across every one of our digital channels. As a digital content manager, this is absolutely amazing & makes my life so much easier
Simon Partington, Senior Content & Social Manager