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Design Guidelines

Design guidelines capture high-level decisions and the thinking behind them. Aimed at maintaining design intention over time, the primary audience of design guidelines is design teams, though design-savvy developers might also find them useful. Design guidelines should not get into executional details and specifications of detailed documentation, but should instead focus on arming designers and product owners with the information they need to make decisions around the product or service.

In a documentation-heavy process, the design guidelines can aggregate other artifacts such as experience principles and conceptual models and can guide readers to other documents such as flow diagrams and detailed documentation. Because of their central role in the creation of a consistent product or service, design guidelines should be diligently maintained throughout the life and various iterations of an experience.

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Ambience Mirror

This excerpt from Ambience Mirror’s design guidelines shows how each scene is constructed via layers of elements and then how those elements are composed of just a handful of simple ingredients.