Pattern Libraries and Style Guides are two most important web design resources. A style guide is a set of design guidelines for websites. It includes information about the design procedures, color ideas, typography uses etc. A style guide may consist of all suggested brand guidelines and places them together.
On the other hand, Pattern library (also know as a component library or UI Toolkit) is a collection of reusable design components employed in website design. Pattern libraries represent everything that is utilized in building a website. This can be a layout design, structure and everything else contained within them.
For an example, a business website can have had a navigation design, product page design, CTA, Interactive forms, buttons etc. All these are the components of the website the collection of which is known as Pattern library.
In a web design project, style guide and pattern library have an important role to play. Both of these assets are incorporated together that often leads to a lot of confusion among designers.
Style guides are used for the purpose of branding while pattern libraries apply to layouts and structure.
Consider an example, the style guide for Oodles Studio would dictate the website using green with the minimalist design approach throughout, but the pattern library defines how we portray our long-term design expertise that can be noticed on the service page layouts.
The objective of style guide and pattern library is to impart consistency in the overall design. Needless to say, that achieving a consistent design is the prime goal of every web and graphic design project. Everyone, either the user or the designers have the love for uniform layouts.
If your style guide provides branding guidelines, every component can be verified to ensure that it looks great.
Reusable components help create better design system.
Provides easy learning of websites and helps enhance future design work through the reference for what already exists.
Developers need to write less code when they are provided with the pattern library and are aware of Style Guides.
They work independently without the need to rely on other co-workers of the website.
Enhanced browser testing to ensure browser support in every type of browser.