Consistent design is reflective of a strong digital product. Yet once you enter a new stage of growth, you need to design faster, introduce new team members and create a portfolio of solutions at once. A design system stops the chaos from creeping in and keeps your brand strong as ever. It allows you to move fast with your design, swiftly onboard new employees and strengthen team communication.
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What is a design system?
Design system is composed of clear parameters and instructions on how to design and talk about a product. It contains not only design components and pattern library, but also developer instructions, naming conventions, tone of voice, company purpose, shared values, and brand identity. Its aim is to create consistency that leads to a uniformed user experience, no matter what digital product users interact with.
Do I need a design system?
Design system can improve your product at every stage of growth, especially when you face one of the situations below.
Growing a complex solution
Working on a fast-growing product means that you need faster output. With a design system in place, you can scale design without confusing the people who use the product.
Creating a product ecosystem
Managing multiple brands or products at the same time weakens communication between teams; a thoughtful design system nurtures understanding across the company and defines standards for a great user experience.
I have only brand manual
Brand manual is a basic document that describes your brand. Expanding it by adding design system allows you to create an integrated experience through design instructions for the whole team.
My design team is growing quickly
Staying consistent while adding people to the team (teaming up with external contractors or hiring employees) is challenging. Design system is an effective north star for everyone that’s on board.
What is the process?
We learn about your users and why they use your product. We go through the entire customer journey on every device and/or every product to measure consistency and standards of your UI, the interaction between components and tone of voice.
Creating visual inventory
We audit your current design by collecting assets and any replicable components and putting it in one place. We make note of your colour palette, typography and spacing, but also buttons, text areas, imagery and see how they interact with each other.
Designing key screens
We design the most important screens to bring logic and structure to UI. Those screens contain all the elements and possible interactions that will be described in the design system we’re going to prepare.
Creating pattern library and style guide
Pattern library and style guide let us put scalable UI language and visual attributes together by creating a unified document with all of the elements that will be reused for future designs.
Describing elements use cases
We document what each component is and specify how to use it within the design. Plus, we will work out the unified tone of voice and the way of communication to match your business goals and company values.
Adding clear guidelines
Our aim is to create a maintainable, scalable system. We deliver you a website, PDF file, or a Sketch library with the full design system, so that you can share it with your team or whenever you outsource product development.
What do I get?
You get a comprehensive design system. Even the people who have never designed for you or interacted with your product will know what your brand is about, and how different elements work together just by reading your design system. Ultimately, a design system will save you time and money that will have been spent on design and development.
Frequently asked questions?
When to use a design system?
Anytime you do a new screen for your product or add a new product to your portfolio consult your design system. It will promote consistency and streamlines day-to-day decision-making.
Does it limit our design creativity?
A design system contains foundational elements of design with instructions on how to use them. It is here to ease your work and reduce time for design and development. It liberates your team from designing the same elements over and over again but it does not curb your creativity.
How to keep a design system up to date?
Use it every time you design, with no exception. With time, you will realize that you want to add something to your design system. After all it’s not set in stone – it’s a living element. So, it may need a small update when you develop new contexts for design, such as a mobile app, etc. Or change it completely, when going through a redesign.