9 benefits of having a design system: How to implement a design system

Design systems are becoming more and more important in the world of web design. In fact, without a proper design system, you cannot scale up your creativity and innovation in terms of user experience.

Nov 20, 2023
9 benefits of having a design system: How to implement a design system
Design systems are becoming more and more important in the world of web design. Why? Because they allow you to structure your design workflow, communicate design decisions with other members of your team, and create components that are consistent and reusable. In this post, we'll explore why you should build a design system, and provide some tips on how to go about it. Ready to get started? Let's go!

What Is a Design System?

A design system is a system of design principles, patterns, and conventions that help you create consistent, high-quality user interfaces. The goal of a design system is to make it easy for you to create user interfaces that look good and feel consistent across different applications, platforms, and devices.
A design system can be applied to any type of interface - from websites and apps to product designs and illustrations. The benefits of using a design system are manifold - not only does it make your designs look better and more consistent, but it also makes it easier for you to maintain and update your designs.
A good way to start building a design system is by identifying the key components of your interface. Once you have a basic understanding of these components, you can start creating patterns and standards for them. In the end, using a design system will not only help you create better user interfaces, but it will also make your work easier and faster overall.

The benefits of having a design system

Having a design system can be a great way to streamline your workflow and make design processes more consistent. It can also help you to standardize your designs across different projects, which can save you time and money. Here are some of the benefits of having a design system:

Promotes consistency

A design system can help to promote consistency across your user interfaces. This is because it provides a set of standards and patterns that you can use to create designs that look similar and feel consistent. As a result, users will be less likely to notice inconsistencies between different applications or platforms.

Reduces the need for manual adjustments

A design system will often include standard patterns and conventions for elements such as typography, layout, color schemes, etc. These standards are designed to reduce the need for manual adjustments when creating designs. This means you'll save time by not having to make these changes constantly throughout your projects.

Helps to speed up the design process

A well-designed system will typically save you time when it comes to creating and updating user interfaces. This is because you'll be able to rely on a set of established conventions that make things easier for you. In addition, using patterns can help reduce the amount of research required when designing new elements or features.

Scalability

A well- designed system can be easily adapted to different projects and scales well for larger teams. This is because it uses established patterns and conventions that are easy to follow. As a result, you'll be able to create designs faster and with fewer errors, which will save you time and money.

Gets everyone on the same page

A design system will help to ensure that everyone involved in a project is working from the same set of standards. This ensures consistency and eliminates any potential conflicts or disagreements. As a result, your team will be able to work more efficiently and effectively together.

Helps to improve user experience

A well- designed system will focus on creating designs that are easy to understand and use. This means users can navigate your interfaces with ease and find what they're looking for quickly. Additionally, it helps minimizes the amount of time required for users to learn how your applications work. In short, design systems make your users happy!

Reduced building time

Since a design system uses established conventions, it can reduce the amount of time you spend building user interfaces. This is because you won't have to research new elements or features each time you create a new UI. Additionally, using patterns will save you time when it comes to creating and testing layout designs.

Reduced development costs

A well- designed system will help to standardize your processes and practices across projects. As a result, this will reduce the cost of developing and maintaining your applications. In particular, using common patterns will help to reduce the amount of code needed for specific tasks. Moreover , a well- designed system will also help to reduce the amount of rework that's required when changes are made to existing applications.

Allows room for innovation

A design system allows you to experiment and develop new features without fear of causing confusion or conflict. This is because the system will provide you with a set of standards that all users will adhere to. Additionally, using conventions throughout your project can help to reduce the amount of trial-and-error required when developing new features.

How to implement a design system

The steps involved in building a design system will vary depending on the specific needs of your business. However, here are some general tips that may be helpful:
1. Define the problem you're trying to solve - Once you know what you're looking for, it's important to figure out what the problem is. This can be done by understanding customer needs and goals, and then designing solutions that address those needs.
2. Build a prototype - A good way to test whether your design solutions are actually solving the problem is by building a prototype. This can be done through user research or by creating a low-fidelity prototype that can be used to test various solutions.
3. Refine and adjust - As you continue to use your design system and test it against real-world scenarios, you'll likely find that it needs refinement and adjustment. This is where testing again with users or prototypes comes in handy - you can quickly determine if your solutions are meeting customer needs or not.
4. Make it sustainable - Once you've developed a design system that works well in the short term, it's important to make sure it's sustainable over the long term. This means ensuring that your design system remains up-to-date and applicable as your business evolves and changes.

Why build a design system?

There are a few main reasons why building a design system is beneficial for any business. First, using standards throughout your project can help to reduce the amount of trial-and-error required when developing new features. Second, using conventions throughout your project can also make it easier for others - such as developers or other designers - to work on projects with you. Finally, creating and maintaining a design system can be especially helpful in times of change, as it will help to ensure that your existing user base isn't left stranded while you make changes elsewhere in the site or app.
Conclusion

Common challenges when building a design system

There are a few common challenges that can crop up when building a design system. Here are a few of the most common ones:
1. Keeping your design system consistent across different platforms and devices - As your design system grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the consistency and coherence of your designs. This can become especially challenging when you need to make changes or additions to your designs on different platforms or devices.
2. Ensuring that all required files are included in your design system - Design systems can often require a wide range of files, from PSDs to source files to style sheets. It can be difficult to keep track of which files are required and where they should be included in your design system.
3. Maintaining an overview of your design system - As the size and complexity of your design system increases, it becomes more and more difficult to keep track of everything at once. This can lead to inconsistencies and problems with how your designs look and work.
If you're experiencing any of these challenges, don't worry - there are plenty of strategies you can employ to overcome them. For example, you can use tools like version control or documentation to help manage and track changes, make the system easier to use by consolidating related concepts into reusable modules, or provide built-in feedback mechanisms so designers can quickly evaluate and adjust their work.
In addition, always be open to trying new approaches - if something seems to be working well for someone else, it's likely worth considering for your own project.

Conclusion

From the following points mentioned above, it is clear why a design system matters. In fact, without a proper design system, you cannot scale up your creativity and innovation in terms of user experience.
By implementing a design system at work, you can make sure that users will get an enhanced user experience as compared to what they were used to previously. Not only that, but the employees at your company will also thrive in their work environment with such an amazing platform for collaboration and creativity! So do keep in mind that when working on building better products or designing new experiences for your customers – it’s always good to build a design system!