What is a Design System and why should you have one?

If you are planning to expand your scope and enter a larger market with more products and services one of the needs for achieving that goal is having a design system. It is something that seamlessly integrates all your products, apps, webpages, and other content to be on the same page. Let’s have a detailed look into what a design system actually is and why do you need to have one.


What is a Design System?

On a simpler level, a design system can be defined to be an amalgamation of design standards, reusable graphical content, and style guides which, when combined, constitute a common visual language for product teams. Design systems improve the design process and make it more efficient by bridging the gap between the teams that build the final product by setting standards that make it easy to assemble websites from components. In other words, a design system is a rulebook for development and graphical teams that has the following hierarchy:

  • Design System

It is the complete set of standards for designing including the principles, code components and other guidelines needed to achieve the final look of any product

  • Pattern Library

It is a subdivision of a design system that defines the recommended design patterns

  • Style Guide

This is a subclass of the design system that shows how products should look consisting of cases for UI Patterns, typography and other components of design

Why is it important to have a design system?

Design systems are imperative in developing well-coordinated products. They provide you a level of consistency across all your products and give your products a way of visual identification. Design systems don’t only make things easy for the product and design teams but also make your products easy to use for your end-user.

The people who benefit from design systems include

  • Designer

Designers can break their work down into smaller parts that are easier to work on, manage, and edit than having to rebuild a whole page from scratch.

  • Developer

The developers can have a clear vision of how to build the needed components so that a single unified theme is followed across products and services.

  • Manager

The mangers or product owners can get changes applied to the products on a smaller scale while using the component-based model. The changes can be applied to any specific part of a product or page instead of having to build a new one.

  • End-User

Users get used to your design language and styling. If they use multiple products from you, it would be easier for them to adapt and shift to more products as they feel comfortable with your design language.

You might have heard of the Material Design system being used by Google, other companies that use design systems, and have made them public include IBM, Audi, and Atlassian.

The bottom line

It is the age of sync and smoothness of multiplatform working. A design system simplifies and unifies the processes involved in developing systems that are seamlessly in sync with one another and the end-users are satisfied to have a uniform experience over the range of all your products and services.

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