Creating the Style Guide

Back in February I was looking to move on from my position as Manager of Front-End Development at TWC. Through a previous co-worker, I was connected to and had the chance to interview with GLG. During the phone screen I got asked one of those great interview questions; “What are you passionate about?”

I paused, collected my thoughts, and began talking about style guides and pattern libraries. As a designer and developer, I have a true affinity for the math and art that goes behind great web development - out of this comes my love for patterns.

As we wrapped up, I got asked to come to Austin to meet the team and do a round-table type interview, the catch was that I had to bring a project, code and all, to share with them. Nothing I had done for money, but what I did for ME!

For about a year or so previously, I had been collecting a number of different compartmentalized snippets, best practices, and modular components. I decided to use this opportunity to create a collective style guide. This interview project became Scaffold, my boilerplate/starter kit.

Since then, every site I have built has been built on Scaffold. I have improved it along the way and made the process simpler to spin up new sites using Bower (more on this in a future post).

As it has improved and become something that I wanted to show-off, I have become more and more critical of things that are included or, possibly more important, not included.

About a week ago, my personal site style guide got a shout-out from Una Kravets in her article about Style Guides and Pattern Libraries.

This is the first-time I had ever had anyone write about my work other than me - kinda cool really! and I’m super-grateful to Una for the mention.

Just a few days later I read a twitter thread started by Cameron Wardzala that germinated into an idea to create a solid style guide resource.

Anna Debenham, Brendon Falkowski, and Brad Frost have spearheaded this awesome project of collecting resources and examples of style guides.

Fortunately for me, Anna included the ability for the community to contribute. I offered up my style guide as an example and it was graciously accepted - again, very cool!!

Since she published the site I have had the chance to read all of the other resources and be inspired by the other examples. This newfound collective intelligence is probably gonna prompt me to improve mine even more. Stay tuned.

…and buy Anna’s book Front-End Style Guides.