Designers of these systems will need to move beyond designs that don’t change once they’re handed over. Articles are made of many elements with different visual treatments: headlines, ledes, body text, photos, pull quotes—instead of providing a specific template, designers could supply ranges and options for different elements, along with guidelines on using them.
Like the different adjustments tailors can make to a shirt, guidelines can serve different purposes:
- Adjust for fit. To bring in a shirt’s torso for a closer fit, a tailor adds darts to the back. Likewise, a layout designer can specify a range of font sizes, to tighten up a particular long title treatment.
- Replace broken pieces. When shirt collars or cuffs get too frayed, a tailor can replace them. A layout designer may allow for elements like the sidebar to be removed in special cases, such as for a feature article with full-bleed images.
- Extend or add new features. Tailors can also add unusual elements, like the English Cut, which is a loop within the sleeve that holds a flower. Some of these elements may be silly, but others can be useful in situations like pairing a fixed interactive element with a scrolling timeline.
As an example, here’s what a complete set of guidelines could look like, along with examples of tailored articles.
The right tailors
Be a right tailor, and make customer satisfaction via the online tailoring script, these script made the websites user friendly for the customer need.
Publishers must hire or designate skilled tailors within the organization. They should be design-minded, able to understand and apply the guidelines to the articles they’re working on in ways that complement each piece of content. They should also be familiar with the web, able to add markup and CSS styling for each piece. As such, people from either the in-house design side or the production side might step into this role. Because they already have a framework to work from, and because they have both design and production smarts, fitting the design for most articles should be straightforward, and scalable to high-volume production schedules. Consider them your spotters, always scanning and ready to pounce on particular places where design can elevate the content.
Design is about establishing a set of relationships between elements. By codifying these relationships as a set of principles instead of a single, stand-alone template, we make it possible for other designers to extend our work (per article) while remaining faithful to its core ideas. This is not to argue that we shouldn’t present complete-looking mockups anymore, of course, but instead of one unchanging design, mockups would demonstrate the design principles at work—and show the expressive potential of the system. Many of us already provide usage guidelines when creating a brand identity, so that future use does not compromise the initial design system—tailoring simply extends this practice to the level of the template.See more…