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10 Digital Style Guide Examples from Famous Companies such as Apple, Google & Starbucks

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10 Digital Style Guide Examples from Famous Companies such as Apple, Google & Starbucks

If you’ve ever wondered how designers at Apple defined every little element in iOS as they were building it, then you’re in the right place.

As technology is constantly evolving, web design continues to become more formalized. Web designers and developers need to create code that can translate seamlessly from PC to mobile devices, make easy to understand site navigation, and innovate other site capabilities — these are all elements that companies standardize in digital style guides.

Digital style guides have become more useful to a brand’s overall image and memorability on the web because they set the expectations and standards for company web display. They’re especially important for websites and products that need to produce top-notch user experiences.

In this post, we’ll dive into what digital style guides are in detail and show you some impressive examples from famous companies that have done them well.

This type of style guide is to be treated as a manual that sets design standards for a company’s digital presence. Its key purpose is to create a universal design style for the brand and ensure consistency across all channels and mediums, where you establish your logo, color palette, typography, imagery guidelines, and so on.

Unlike brand style guides that encapsulate a company’s logo, mission statement, buyer personas and tone of voice, web design style guides are centered on digital presentation like UX/UI.

But, as a UX designer myself, I’ve always been curious, what can you find in the digital style guides of influential companies like Apple, Google, and Starbucks?

Believe it or not, a lot of companies make this information publicly available — they just don’t make it very easy to find. So, every time that I stumble across one, I bookmark it. Here are some of the best ones that I’ve found so far.

Examples of Awesome Digital Style Guides

1. Apple iOS

Apple’s style guide is especially interesting because it details how to design an entire operating system. Monterey, one of the latest versions of Apple’s OS X, has a more simplified user interface than its predecessor, Yosemite. Apple demonstrates this subtle-yet-palpable distinction with really nice graphical comparisons and then goes on to talk about the rationale behind every single aspect of the operating system’s design. It gives you a window into the minds of the designers.

web style guide examples: Apple iOS

2. Google: Material Design

Google pioneered a design style called Material Design, which exists as a hybrid between Skeuomorphic Design (gradients, textures, light elements) and Flat Design (simple, colorful, geometrical.) In doing this, they combined the benefits associated with each design style, while avoiding the drawbacks.

Because Google has been practicing Material Design for a few years now, you’ve probably already interacted with it on a daily basis — Google Calendar app, anyone? This style guide details exactly what Material Design is and how Google uses it. And I have to say that it is, by far, one of the best style guides that I’ve ever come across.

web style guide examples: Google Material Design

3. Starbucks

This is one of the most minimalistic style guides that I’ve seen — and yet, it houses a ton of useful information. It places a heavy emphasis on code and you can tell that it was built by developers, for developers. It lacks brand-related elements, so it walks the line between a website style guide and code library.

web style guide examples: starbucks

4. Atlassian

The product suite that Atlassian designs for is gigantic — so, naturally, they have a gigantic style guide. From foundational elements (like color palette and typography) to components (like tables and tooltips) to a full-blown pattern library, this guide has just about everything that you would expect from a product of this size.

Perhaps best of all, the rationale behind the entire style guide is summed up in three deceptively simple terms on the home page.

web style guide examples: atlassian

5. Mozilla

This digital style guide is primarily concerned with branding and communications. But with Mozilla taking a “privacy and open web” approach lately, it’s cool to see how they reflect this in their design.

Mozilla’s homepage also does a great job of outlining how its UX/UI is supposed to be accessible to people with visual impairments or disabilities — something inclusive and necessary as technology becomes more innovative.

web style guide examples: mozilla

6. Buffer

Buffer’s style guide is small and concise, going from grid through modals all in one place. It’s a friendly reminder that your digital style guide doesn’t have to be flashy if it communicates all the right points. Companies looking for somewhere to begin can take notes from Buffer’s simplistic style guide components and build their own from there.

web style guide examples: buffer

7. Yelp

If you’re looking for a solid example of a website style guide, Yelp’s got that covered. Not only is it thorough, but it explains its Atomic Design system as a cookbook, and divides site elements as ingredients contributing to a dish.

This thing has it all: typography, layout, forms, containers, navigation, and code snippets for each piece. They do a great job of explaining what each element is, where it should be used, and how it should be implemented.

web style guide examples: yelp

8. GOV.UK

England’s government services website has been widely heralded as a prime example of high-quality UX. Why? Because it boasts a simple and easy-to-use design that accommodates excessive amounts of information.

If you’re interested in what makes up a truly clean and effective design (hint: it usually starts with strong color usage, typography, and spacing), then GOV.UK’s style guide is worth taking a close look at. Much like the site, it’s very simple but very informative.

web style guide examples: gov.uk

9. DeviantArt

The new DeviantArt style guide is unique because it’s more than just a guide — it’s an experience. It tells a story and leverages bold, full-width visuals to immerse the user in the emotional experience of the DeviantArt brand. That being said, it’s strictly a branding style guide, so only items like color and typography are covered.

web style guide examples: DeviantArt

10. Disqus

Color, icons, typography, and logo … Disqus keeps it short and sweet with this guide. But it’s all presented in a very nice, organized manner. This guide could be used as a great example for “where to start” when creating a style guide of your own, as it hits all of the fundamentals.

web style guide examples: disqus

Feeling Inspired to Make Your Own Guide?

Now it’s your turn. By leveraging a digital style guide in your company, you can communicate your brand’s design language to internal designers, agencies, advertising partners, and even customers.

Start with the basic foundational elements (color, typography, logo, imagery), add some usage guidelines (“do and don’t”), and even incorporate some web components if you need to (modules, templates, code snippets. Use examples from other companies to learn from the best. Your team will be cranking out consistent designs in no time.

examples of brilliant homepage, blog, and landing page design


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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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