I’ve already had a couple of times the chance to work on a common style guide for our enterprise-wide web applications. It really is tough. Not only in coming up with a standard that meet the need of most of our apps, but especially in documenting, maintaining and letting evolve it over time.
The people from Salesforce seem to have done a really really nice job: Lightning Design System
- have a living style guide
- design system of patterns, CSS + markup samples, icons, custom fonts, color swatches etc…
- resources used equally by internal devs as well as external partners (huge 👍 )
- 4 design principles: clarity, efficiency, consistency, beauty
- prefer verbose class names for the sake of saving bits
- adopted BEM naming.
- living example, you can interact with (i.e.) the button, hover it, click it..
- audit & collect components in your different web apps and standardize them
- align styles: common borders, font sizes,…
- build inventory of components
- start from smallest component -> aggregate to build larger ones
- account for special needs: enterprise apps might have unique traits
- interesting decision: make all headings same size to avoid scenarios where devs take a lower/higher heading just for the purpose of having a larger/smaller font. Use semantic classes instead
- design tokens: basic atoms of the design system, common variables like fonts, colors,… (can be done with SASS, Less)
- play well with others -> prefix styles
- SVG icons -> with sprites
- width controlled by parent container
- How to make decisions
- Open Source:
Questions? Thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter