For a long-term project, I'm working on part of the ux- and design guidelines for a corporate application. Till last year they use a 'static' pdf on a fileserver where it gets outdated and nobody is using it, because of that. Does anyone here has experience with existing (and not time consuming) platforms to publish guidelines on and have them updated regularly? I like the format where Apple and MS publish there guidelines in, but it seems very time consuming.
I dont think this is specific to UX. This is actually a question of knowledge management. There is a whole ecosystem of people/products/services for this kind of thing.
Software like Wikis like Confluence, SharePoint, MadCap Flare, Salesforce Sites, Google Docs all are viable options. It depends on your security (and other) requirements.
Google: Knowledge Management stackexchange and you get interesting hits.
I agree with Aviva Rosenstein that you have to design your deliverables just like you design your projects, by asking questions like:
Who's the target audience? What are their needs? What needs to be communicated? What are their goals?
That also means that you can develop browser-based UX unit test cases using tools like Selenium to ensure that you're guidelines are being met. If you include this type of test in the build process, then they get checked every time the code base changes, and developers (and you) can be notified automatically and instantly when something isn't up to spec.
Working on a styleguide now. It's in HTML, running on a local server. There are several reasons for rendering it on the web: 1. It's very easy to share, navigate and search. 2. You can see interactions and behaviors as they will appear to users. 3. Code snippets -- a styleguide isn't much use to developers, unless you provide the .css, .js and .htm files they need and demonstrate usage. 4. Ease of updating. OK, updating a sitelet isn't as easy as changing a Word file, but the enhanced utility makes it worth the effort.
When I worked as part of a dev team at Oracle we had a policy that all docs including UX guidelines had to be in html... so that they could be easily shared and edited.
I usually use Axure to create UX related documents. It allows you to generate a website very easily and you can also show interactivity of the UI to demonstrate a certain interaction pattern. Everyone can easily access the website and you can also provide a link to a specific page on the site if you want to communicate some specific area. Having an interactive guide where you can try an example showing a UX guideline is also probably more fun for the readers of the guides.