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At ISL we have no shortage of desire to make our lives easier by leveraging technology. I can’t count the number of meetings I’ve been in where we’ve talked about automating X or using machine learning for Y, or using AI to power Z.

I also can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked out of those meetings completely excited, but so overwhelmed with where to start. Do I make a neural net of my React TensorFlow Spark sensor? Yes that is a series of relatively unrelated things in a sentence, so welcome to my brain.

Enter the internal request for a Style Guide template…

Here was the ask:

  • Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey Make a reusable Style Guide – or an easily accessible, well designed online repository for brand marks, color palettes, fonts, photography, etc –  template that can easily be reconfigured and deployed for any client and
  • Enable our non-developers (designers, project managers) to configure and deploy the project with virtually no development effort.

Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey I immediately descended into the rabbit hole, contemplating a barrage of solutions thatmight best suit the project requirements.

My initial thoughts:

Wohhh there… You can probably feel the options mounting.

While normally we recognize that there is tremendous value in being really methodical in choosing how we do things, there were a few rallying concepts we knew would be true for this very small project:

  1. Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey We wanted a reusable style guide with the following components:
    – A base block
    – Components that live in blocks (arbitrary text, font examples, color swatches, downloads)
    – Contextual Nav
  2. With all likelihood we’d use React

Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey With that in hand we made a decision: make the reusable components and we can add any necessary abstractions in the future (like a dynamic backend, one click deployments, etc.). We have the developer resources internally to iterate as needed in the future if we see value in doing so.


Gatsby felt like the perfect choice for what we were trying to do. Here’s why:

  1. It’s a static site, so it’s extremely cost effective to host.
  2. It’s extensible and easily configured into something more dynamic or CMS-y in the future (if needed).
  3. Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey It’s React-driven so we get the normal tools and APIs we like working with.

As Gatsby has such a simple drop-in page system we created simple page templates that can be copy pasted into the pages directory and BOOM – new page created.

From there we created a components directory that shows our top level “Block” that houses any of the other components. This met the requirement that the visual display be consistent and highly reusable.

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Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey <Layout title="Test Page">
<SEO title="Test Page" keywords={[`styleguide`, `design`, `base`]} />
{/* Put all blocks here
Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey Those that are shown below are merely examples and are intended to be deleted as needed
*/Shirt Bryant A It Dez Was Catch}
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<Block title="Colors">
<ColorSwatchDescription>A test descriptionColorSwatchDescription>
rgb="18, 24, 32"
cmyk="81, 71, 58, 75"
pms="PMS Black 6 U"
<ColorSwatch title="Gray" hex="#8b8b8b" />
<ColorSwatch />
<Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey ColorSwatch />
<ColorSwatch />
{/* TEXT */Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey }
<Block title="Placeholder for guidelineKansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey ">
This is an example of using text
<Image imgsrc="random-wide-image.png" />
And having text continue after an image
BlockColts Jersey Peyton Manning Broncos>
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{Panthers Jersey Blue Blue Jersey Panthers PanthersKansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey /* Other components not shown for brevity */}
view raw example.jsx hosted with by GitHub
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We chose to hide a ton of logic behind the component, like the contextual nav, header, and footer because there was no requirement to have those be massively composable. Components like the header, footer, etc. aren’t shown in our “Components” directory. That’s because they are stashed away in a utils directory with a bunch of other non-user facing logic.

Kansas City Kansas Chiefs City Chiefs Jersey We usedHombre Ropa Accesorios Universidad amp; Chaqueta es Y - Para Ness Mitchell Amazon to make our components loosely “typed” so there are reasonable defaults and useful errors should the correct props or children not be used when building the blocks. All of this in an effort to make the code hyper-easy to extend in the future! We can easily imagine a future where we connect these front end blocks to be generated off of an Airtable backend or even a more robust “true” CMS.

Are we happy with how it turned out?

Time will tell!

Like most internal experiments, there is a non-trivial chance this may end up on the cutting room floor – but because we chose to go the fastest route possible for a functional v1, there is little wasted in terms of personnel or financial costs.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach me at [email protected] or on Twitter @alexbarbato4.

PS: I may or may not have been super diligent about appropriately attributing the fonts and images we are using as placeholders in the project so it’s closed source for the moment . If you’d like to see it open sourced please let us know and we will get back to you!

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