A UI Inventory consists of listing out and categorizing all of the visual elements currently deployed on a client’s existing website. Often, after years of reskinning, patching, expanding, and extending a legacy website, clients have let their library of styles balloon out of control. This is often the main culprit in a website or product that lacks a consistent look and feel from page to page, or feature to feature. Beyond that, we often find that site performance is also improved by pruning out a massive amount of repetitive or defunct content.
We use a great web service, called CSS Stats. This is a great tool which parses the CSS of any website by simply entering its URL. The service returns a list of all of the color declarations so we can see how brand colors are being used (or misused) across the site. We also comb through the site, taking note of the different UI element styles used. How many different button types? How about link styles? Are they consistent? The goal is pruning the excess and defining the right properties for the future product.