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6 Important Elements to Put in Your Design Guide Right Now

6 Important Elements to Put in Your Design Guide Right Now

In order to produce a good design team output and for ensuring a consistent brand identity, a web designer should create smart design guides. This is because a good design guide is such a work of art that has practical application in everyday design work. With design guide, you can showcase what your project is and aspire to be. It should include elements of design, voice and even code in a way that’s manageable, usable and easy to understand.

Above all, you need to know the six design guide elements that should be included in your documentation. Here they are.

  1. Brand Identity Examples

A good design guide should emphasize your brand identity in a visual format that represents your design material look. In other words, it should show than tell. However, the best example should display real-case uses that look exactly the same as the design standard and what you want to portray. Furthermore, discover when the design is at its best, whether it is on your website homepage, mobile homepage, app or any other place, then screen shoot to capture the image.

By using real images, you don’t need to create extra work to showcase visual elements, since you already have them in hand. Then, with visual proof, the team members can easily understand the actual practice of the written guideline work.

  1. Design Guidelines

Don’t forget to outline the use of design elements clearly; everything from color swatches to typography palettes and shapes, since explaining these things can help users apply the design style more accurately and consistently across medium. Furthermore, it is a good idea to include elements that might be different from print branding counterparts and how they relate when it comes to website design. So, if this is a part of your design strategy, you need to know which typefaces is substitution.

Remember to be specific when outlining design guidelines, for example H1 tags are always 88 points or thumbnail images are always 200 by 200 pixels, but be careful with too over-communicating unnecessary details, since it may make your team members get confused to find something in a sea of specifications.

  1. Voice and Personality

Believe it or not, but a descriptive writing style for copy can also impact the visuals type of imagery you choose, for example, the type of imagery you choose to use and even elements such as colour and type. All of these elements will produce an overall personality for your brand. Other factor, such as a strong voice and personality can also become a part of the visual identity.

  1. SEO Keywords

In search engine optimization, you will need to use keywords in your content, in fact, you need to involve keywords in the way you speak about the brand, in descriptive language about the design and put a list of the top keywords in the design guide itself.

With a keyword list, you can bring the words you want to say to top of mind, every time you see them. In other words, SEO keyword list attempt to make the words get stuck in reader’s head. Therefore, a good website design should be able to correlate to these keywords at all time to the content.

  1. Pattern and Element Styles

Make sure to have guides for all possible uses, such as on your still and animated versions of logos, colour palettes, patterns and even design elements such as form fields and navigation. If you want to give extra convenient to your team, you can create a pattern and element style guide in an online location so that users can just copy and paste elements for quick usage.

  1. Code Snippets

Web design and code are two things that you need to know in every website design guide since you will find codes from buttons to small animations to slider effects. Of course, these codes might consume your hours to your daily workflow as it eliminates the need to manually enter specs with every new element.

With Firefox, you can include design component information in its design guide for the recently revised branding and logo usage. All you need is to remember to include some base information such as where to use H1 through H4 on pages within the website design and how to style buttons and images, even if you don’t provide a full library of code snippets.

All the points above show that a design guide doesn’t always have to be a static document. In fact, you can present it in a way that can leverage your brand and visual identity. You can also use online versions of a design guide so that you can quickly and easily make changes, such as grabbing code and colour snippets.

All About WordPress’ Protection: How Secure is WordPress?


As one of the most used websites in the world, WordPress has mostly been trusted by people for many purposes; however, many web developers are still wondering about whether or not WordPress is secure, since it surely has its flaws too. It is definitely not only the WordPress team’s responsibility to protect the underlying core of WordPress, but the responsibility also ultimately falls on your shoulders too.

Since WordPress is generally discussed online, consequently, the weaknesses of the platform are widely known. This is why hackers can easily target WordPress websites. Therefore, it is important to learn about how secure a WordPress is. Let’s figure out the explanation below.

What You Need to Know About the WordPress Project and Security

Below are things that you may need to know, regarding the WordPress Project and what they are doing to maintain the security of the core.

The WordPress Security Team

The WordPress security team is responsible for identifying security risks in the core. Aside from that, they are also good at reviewing potential issues with the third-party-submitted themes or plugins and then making recommendations on how they can harden their tools or patch known breaches. They also work on their own to identify and resolve issues, even though they may need some other experts in the field sometimes.

How WordPress identifies Security Risks

There are several ways that are used by the security risks to identify and resolute process work.

  • An issue can be identified by anyone. It can be someone from the security team or from outside of the team. For non-project members, you can communicate these detected issues by emailing security @wordpress.org.
  • A report is logged and the security team acknowledges receipt of it.
  • To verify that the threat is valid, team members need to work together on a walled-off and private server.
  • Then, they can track, test, and repair any security flaws detected.
  • After that, the security patch then gets added to the next minor WordPress release.
  • If you have a mild problem, WordPress will notify you within the WordPress dashboard whenever an automatic release occurs.
  • On the other hand, the release will go out immediately and WordPress.org will announce it on the News page of the website in more urgent issues.

Even though WordPress doesn’t always announce these security patches immediately, they will always take immediate action to resolve problems.

A Note about Automatic Updates

WordPress is able to push minor updates automatically to all websites, since version 3.7. In this way, the WordPress security team can get urgent patches out as timely as possible without having to wait for users to accept and make the update on each of their websites.

However, as a WordPress user, you can opt out of these automatic core updates. In fact, if this happens to you, please keep in mind that this may put your site at additional risk, especially when you don’t have time to monitor all your sites all the time for the latest and greatest update.

WordPress Plugins and Themes Security

Even though it may sound impossible to manage the  tens of thousands of plugins and themes out there, at least WordPress can keep a close eye on them to ensure nothing seriously insecure slips through the cracks.

When a security issue is detected, the WordPress Project is the team, responsible for working with developers. However, before that, there is a team of volunteers assigned to review each and every theme or plugin submitted to WordPress. This team is specially formed to work with developers and ensure that best practices are followed.

Nevertheless, there will always be security vulnerabilities found and that’s why we need security team to step in to:

  • Provide documentation for WordPress developers on plugin and theme development and security best practices.
  • Monitor plugins and themes for potential security flaws. Any issues detected will then be brought to the attention of the developer.
  • Remove harmful plugins or themes from the directory if the developers are unresponsive or uncooperative.

Later, when those security patches are available, WordPress will then notify its users via the WordPress admin.

OWASP’s Top 10

With the purpose of protecting organizations from software and programs that could potentially do harm, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Foundation was created back in 2001. What you may be surprised to learn is that the WordPress Project aims to abide by OWASP’s Top at all times.

Below are the top 10 list comprised by the OWASP of known and very serious security risks. By using the list, the WordPress security team uses those trends to define their own top 10 list of ways to defend the core. Basically, their goal is to protect the core from the following risks:

  1. User account management abuse
  2. Unauthenticated access requests to the WordPress admin
  3. Unwanted or unauthorized redirects
  4. Exposing users’ private data
  5. Requests for access to direct object reference
  6. Server misconfiguration
  7. Unauthorized code injection
  8. Cross-site scripting from unauthorized users
  9. Cross-site request forgeries whereby hackers misuse WordPress nonces
  10. Corrupted third-party plugins, themes, frameworks, libraries, etc.


Knowing that there is a dedicated team working that keeps the WordPress core secure at all times will surely let WordPress users feel at ease. Still, we have to do what we can do to secure it from every angle, since no matter how good the WordPress Project is at monitoring and securing the platform, hackers will find a way in.

Why is Whitespace So Important in Web Design?


Many web designers still consider whitespace with negative space while the fact is whitespace is an important element of design for good reason. In fact, if used well and correctly, it can provide many advantages to your website and transform a design. What are the advantages of using whitespace? Read the points below.

  1. Increased Content Legibility

It is important to give a clear description to users about where they should be going and reasons to keep reading. For instance, by applying whitespace between paragraphs and around blocks of text and images, one can help people understand what they are reading and as a result, it can produce a better user experience.

  1. More Interaction

If you wish to increase visitors’ interaction, you can apply a good amount of whitespace that can prevent distractions that can slow the visitor down. Besides, a slight padding around objects will help draw attention to a specific area on your site. In fact, according to research conducted by Human Factors International, whitespace increases comprehension by almost 20%.

  1. Ability to Highlight Call to Actions (CTAs)

In order to highlight something, usually designers will make things bigger. However, you can also try other tricks, such as surrounding the item with whitespace which works effectively to highlight things.

  1. A Tidy Site Equals an Impressive Site

People say that first impression matters a lot and it’s true. You can apply great solid layouts, good color schemes to add the impression, but whitespace is important as it indicates finesse and ingenuity. Some people think that whitespace will make your website look bare and minimalistic. However, with the right usage, you can add a sense of elegance and superiority to your website.

  1. Creating Balance

Knowing how to apply the right amount of whitespace is absolute, since having too little whitespace causes confusion, disorganization and unreliability qualities, which you surely don’t want to associate with your site’s brand. Oppositely, using too much whitespace could highlight a lack of content and a lack of user guidance. Hence, balancing your whitespace design is the best solution for an easy accessibility and improved user experience.

  1. Acts as a Separator

Another benefit that is offered by whitespace is that it separates unrelated elements in a design. It can be used to separate images/graphics from each other and improve your overall visual layout. However, above all, whitespace helps to produce clearer communication or ideas and effective designs.

Things to Consider when Using Whitespace

After knowing the benefits that whitespace may provide you with, now you have to learn on how to apply it the best way. Sometimes, whitespace can often be crowded out of a design, so to prevent this thing from happening; you need to know how to resolve it. Take a look at some ways below:

  1. Designer vs. Developer

Designers and developers often work together in a project. Usually, the layout is passed on to the developer who hands it back to the designer. After that, the layout looks will totally be different compared with the first design. Therefore, to avoid making lots of change, it will be better for designer and developer to collaborate and discuss layout concepts/wireframes, highlight and emphasize padding, as well as plan out margins and line heights and all the other design details of your site to avoid any misunderstandings and confusion.

  1. The Fold

Not many designers know how to maximize the usage of whitespace, in fact they insist on squeezing as much content as possible high on the page, which, as a result, takes too many spaces on the page. It is important to remember that we do not know the point where users have to start scrolling. Since it is impossible to know the fold lies on viewer‘s screen, it is not worth worrying about.

  1. Explaining Your Design

The last stage is to discuss with your client and explain your motive and principle. In this case, make sure you use easily understandable words or conversations rather than make fluffy generalizations. Moreover, it is important to back up the choices and stay clear of vague arguments that may make little sense to others.

From the explanation above, we can see that whitespace has lot of advantages and functions more than we might know. It doesn’t only create harmony, balance, and help to brand a design, but it is also used to take a reader from one element to another. Furthermore, nothing can beat whitespace in terms of producing simple and uncluttered look that delivers better information that your readers will surely enjoy and appreciate.