Do you value consistency, scalability, efficiency and collaboration in your organisation?
If so, a design system could be what you’re looking for.
Today we’re discussing what a design system is and how it can transform the way you work on anything to do with your business. And, we’ve also thrown in some great examples of design systems for you to take a peek at – lucky you!
So, what is a design system?
In its most basic form, a design system is a collection of components for your team to reuse; anything from typography and brand colours to patterns for common tasks.
It should be able to be used by designers, developers and anyone who touches your digital design, user experience and interface, as well as front-end development.
A design system collects all this information in one place so that everything can be found with ease.
It can and has been called many things, including design language, pattern library, UI library or component design.
A design system goes beyond simple brand or UX style guides as it paints a bigger picture to create engaging and consistent user interfaces.
“A unified design language shouldn’t be just a set of static rules and individual atoms; it should be an evolving ecosystem.” – Airbnb.
Why do I need a design language for my business?
If you’re planning to expand your business or product, a design system is a handy thing to have from day one.
This is especially important if your product is an app or website and is set to grow in size with multiple pages and actions. A design system can help everything stay consistent and efficient whatever pace you develop at.
Ensuring all your materials and products have the same look, feel and experience is essential when building your brand. It creates a sense of familiarity for your users, which in turn encourages brand loyalty and keeps your customers coming back.
Think of Apple and Starbucks.
A design language enables you to make sure everyone in your business is on the same page, whether they are a designer, developer or administrative staff.
If brand consistency isn’t important to you, the practicalities of creating and sticking to a design system are sure to change your mind.
When everything is in one place, no one is starting a job completely from scratch, hunting down the right logos, fonts or components. Instead, everything is easily accessible, which saves time and money.
A design system cuts out the need for members of your team to pass around and share files. Instead, it’s all stored and explained in one place.
Moreover, it means that a brand new designer could join your team and pretty much know the brand inside out by the end of their first day.
Examples of design systems.
So, what should your design system look like? We’ve rounded up a few from well-known organisations.