UI Guidelines Title

Why Do You Need User Interface Design Guidelines?

What Are UI Design Guidelines?

While working on UI design, a few principles and guidelines are required to follow that help you design a standard and consistent experience throughout your products.

UI design guidelines explain the best practices of UI components and their behavior by giving real examples.

These guidelines are usually defined at an organization level and equally helpful for all team members including designers, developers, and testers.

A guideline is a visual language communicating the design goals to the team, it is important to make sure that everyone can understand it and to enforce its usage.” — Yuki Gu

Few popular organizations who are very concerned about user experience have published their guidelines online.

This is helpful for companies as well as individuals who create apps and plug-ins for them. Also, anyone can customize and use these guidelines as per their requirements.

Why UI Guidelines Are Important?

“User interface is easy to make a mess out of. You can start a project with one style and end with another. It doesn’t matter if you are a guru or just dabbling, inconsistencies in the design will most probably arise. Don’t Worry! There is an easy solution: UI guidelines. — Yuki Gu

Principles and guidelines are required to define and follow in the UX design process for several reasons.

  • They enforce consistent experience throughout your products.
  • In addition to specs of UI components, guidelines also describe best practices. It makes it easier for a reader to decide about the right choice.
  • They make learning easier. New members are trained in standards and behaviors with a little effort.
  • Designers don’t have to create specs each time they design a feature.
  • Developers don’t have to wait for specs and they can refer to guidelines and build interfaces.
  • It is convenient to update guidelines based on new standards and trends and update your designs accordingly.

Hence, if you want to design a cohesive and consistent experience among your products, then you must have a set of guidelines with you.

Types of UI Guidelines

Based on their usage, UI guidelines can be categorized as follows.


Style guidelines define the visual expression of an organization that it presents to the world. Every organization has its style guide which they use to build logos, colors, icons, and typography.


Layout guidelines define the overall structure of the interface. UI can be designed using a grid layout or list layout.

This section of guidelines also contains the behavior of responsive design.

UI Components

These guidelines provide specs and usage of UI components that display on the interface and a user interacts with them.

UI components include standard controls like input controls, windows, dialogs, panels, menus, views, scrollbars, buttons, and many other similar items.


Textual guidelines cover the tone and style of text to be used on UI. The text should be understandable for different cultures and audiences.

Text specs like font size, color, and style are part of these guidelines. Text displays on the UI as fields, labels, messages, and information for users.

Interaction And Behavior

Types of interaction (click, gesture, voice) that a user performs with a design, and system response in return to these interactions are part of these guidelines.


Platforms are changing rapidly and websites and apps are being developed for mobile, wearable, and auto car devices in addition to conventional desktop systems.

The UI guidelines of an organization cover details of all types of supported platforms and resolutions.


Designing an accessible system requires a specific set of guidelines for different types of disabled users so that they can access the design like a normal user.


Reusable design patterns are included in UI guidelines. These patterns define behavior for certain controls.

A few examples are navigation, search, forms, data formats, states, and pagination.


Guidelines have a collection of resources that can be used while designing a system.

These resources contain layout templates for multiple devices, icon sets, font libraries, UI components, and color palettes.

How To Create UI Guidelines?

There are two approaches to creating UI guidelines.

1. Using Your Existing Products

If your organization has a detailed product, review it, extract guidelines from its design, and document them.

Add any required improvements in product behavior in the guidelines. Later, existing products can be updated.

2. Customizing Available Guidelines

Use existing guidelines of an organization like Google or Microsoft, and customize them as per your design requirements.

Collection of UI Guidelines

Below is a collection of UI guidelines from a few popular organizations that help in making amazing interfaces. 


Microsoft provides innovative experiences to its users worldwide. It has published design guidelines for its various types of applications.

  • Desktop design guidelines are helpful if you want to design beautiful and user-friendly desktop applications to be used on the Windows operating system.
  • For a fluent design system, Microsoft provides UWP Apps design guidelines that are used in designing beautiful UWP apps.


Apple emphasizes user experience over other things and provides very innovative designs. Apple has published its design guidelines for all types of products on its website.


Google delivers a visual language for its users that defines the principles of innovative design.

Final Thoughts…

UI guidelines are common design concepts that are used to build engaging and unique user experiences. Following these guidelines helps you to enhance the usability and beauty of your products.

For more detailed rules of UX guidelines, refer to User Interface Design Guidelines: 10 Rules of Thumb. Would love to hear your experience with UI guidelines while you work on your designs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are UI design guidelines, and why are they essential for a design team?
UI design guidelines are a set of principles and best practices that define the visual expression, layout, components, text, interactions, and behaviors of a user interface. They are essential to ensure a consistent and cohesive experience across products, facilitating better communication among team members.
2. How do UI guidelines contribute to a consistent user experience?
UI guidelines enforce a consistent experience by providing standards for design elements, layouts, and interactions. This consistency helps users navigate interfaces more intuitively, creating a unified and recognizable brand identity.
3. Why are UI guidelines important for both designers and developers?
UI guidelines serve as a reference for designers by providing specifications for UI components and behaviors, reducing the need to recreate specifications for each design. Developers benefit by having a reliable source to build interfaces without waiting for specific design specifications.
4. How can organizations create their own UI guidelines, as suggested in the article?
Organizations can create UI guidelines by reviewing existing products, extracting design principles, and documenting them. Alternatively, they can customize existing guidelines from organizations like Google or Microsoft to meet their specific design requirements.
5. How often should UI guidelines be updated, and why is it important?
UI guidelines should be updated periodically to align with new standards, trends, and design principles. Regular updates ensure that the design remains current, adhering to the latest industry best practices.

Thanks for reading.

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