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Design System: What is it and How to Build One

The Purpose of a Design System

Have you come across websites with unclear information hierarchy and inconsistent colors and design elements? How cool is it to have a set of predefined design components which we can reuse at any given moment? A company creates a design system to improve its brand identity and increase consistency. It also helps to speed up the efficiency during product development.

what is a deisgn system
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When do you need a Design System?

Are you someone;

  • Owning a product that has significant growth?
  • Looking for a consistent design throughout your product? In terms of branding, look and feel and, user experience?
  • Trying to increase the efficiency of your product design team?
  • Encouraging teammates to collaborate and solve problems together?

If your answer is ‘Yes’ to the above questions then creating a design system for your brand might be the best option for you!

Key Components in a Design System

🖌️ Style Guide

The style guide focuses on the brand identity such as colors, typography, and other graphic styles. It also includes guidelines and design principles to consider when creating user interfaces or other design deliverables.

🪄 Component/ Design Library

This includes visual designs of functional UI components with a clear description of their usage. Further, it includes the different states of the components and adjustments which can change depending on the user’s needs. Additionally, it provides code snippets of the design elements. This makes it easier for the developers to implement the components.

🗂️ Pattern Library

A pattern library provides the visual design of how we place the content structures, layouts, or templates by grouping individual UI elements together.

How to build a Design System?

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Steps to build a design system
  1. Research and collaborate as a team to identify the purpose. Evaluate your existing UI inventory and have a clear set of shared goals. If you are creating a new brand, determine the choices that best fit the brand.
  2. Plan a timeline on what needs to be done and who should be assigned to get certain tasks done. Build a team with the right skill sets to implement and manage the design system.
  3. Create a style guide including a color palette, typography, and other graphic elements. Don’t forget to consider the accessibility guidelines when creating the style guide. It improves the overall user experience of the product.
  4. Run sprint retrospectives regularly with the product teams. This helps to analyze the progress and make necessary improvements.
  5. Communicate with your engineers, product managers, and other stakeholders to implement the design system. Here you will need to build new UI components and replace the existing old components.

Some of the most popular design systems

  1. Google Material Design System
  2. Apple Human Interface Guidelines
  3. Microsoft Fluent Design System
  4. Atlassian Design System
  5. Shopify Design System

If you are someone interested in UX Designing check out my article on how to get started with the UX Design Process. 😊✨

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