March 17, 2022

What Is A Design System?

Design System

Get to know how design systems can help improve your UX design.

​​A design System is a collection of assets and patterns that can be used to create consistent, high-quality user interfaces. 

This kind of system has been around for decades, but they’ve only recently become popular in the web design world. They’re now being adopted by companies like Google, Facebook, Airbnb, and Netflix as well as startups like Slack.

Design system

A design system is a living document that contains all the components needed to build an interface or experience on any device - desktop or mobile. It includes things like colors, fonts, spacing guidelines and more. The best part? You don't need to start from scratch every time you want to make a change!

Are you a designer or a business owner who is interested to learn more about design systems and how it can help your career or company? Read this article to know more about design systems, the importance of using it, and how to create your own!

Design System Defined

If you’re interested to learn more about design systems, it’s important to know what it really is. So before we go to other details related to it, let us first give a more concrete definition of it.

A design system is a collection of design components, patterns and rules that help to create a consistent user experience. They can be used in web design, app design, or any other design project.

Using it can be a great way to improve the quality of your design projects. Through your design system, you can be sure that your designs will look clean and consistent, no matter what device or browser they are viewed on. You don’t have to worry about mismatched fonts or colors, or about designs that look different on different devices. Design systems are a great way to keep your design projects look consistent and organized.

There are a number of different design system frameworks available, such as Foundation, Bootstrap and Material Design. These frameworks provide you with everything you need to get started, including templates, components and fonts. You can also find design system resources online, such as this collection on GitHub .

Creating a design system is not a quick or easy process, but it is worth the effort. If you are working on a large design project, or if you need to create designs that look consistent across different devices and platforms, then a design system is the solution for you. 

Elements of a Design System

If you’re new to design systems, it is also important to know the main pillars or elements of it. There are four main elements of a design system: design components, design patterns, design rules, and design templates.

Design system

1. Design Components

Design components are the basic building blocks of a design system. They include fonts, colors, and icons, as well as any other design elements you might need. By using design components, you can create clean and consistent designs that look great on different devices.

Design components are also reusable. Once you have created a design component, you can use it in multiple projects. This saves time and energy, and helps to keep your designs consistent.

2. Design Patterns

Design patterns are reusable design templates that can be used for common interface elements such as buttons, headers, and forms. They make it easy to create uniform designs across different devices and platforms.

Design patterns also help to simplify the design process. By using a design pattern, you don’t have to start from scratch every time – you can simply adapt the template to meet your needs. This saves time and energy, and helps to keep your designs consistent.

3. Design Rules

Design rules define how your design system works. They include things like font sizes, spacing between elements, and so on. By defining the rules in advance, you can be sure that all your design elements will work together well.

4. Design Templates

Design templates are used to create design prototypes. They allow you to quickly and easily create designs that look like they belong in the same system. This is a great way to test out new design ideas and see how they might look in practice.

Design templates are a great way to quickly and easily create designs that look like they belong in the same design system. They allow you to test out new design ideas and see how they might look in practice.

Characteristic of a Well-Functioning Design System

1. Consistency

A design system ensures that all your design elements work together well and look consistent across different devices and platforms. This makes it easy for your users to navigate your designs and understand what they are supposed to do.

2. Efficiency

A design system makes it easy to create new designs quickly and efficiently. You don’t have to spend time choosing fonts and colors, or worrying about how different elements will look on different devices. All your design elements are already defined and ready to use.

3. Organization

Design systems help you to keep your design projects organized and under control. By using a design system, you can be sure that all your design elements will work well together, and that your designs will look consistent across different devices and platforms.

4. Flexibility

A design system is flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of your project. If you need to change something, you can easily update your design system to reflect the new requirements.

5. Scalability

Design systems are scalable, which means they can be used for projects of any size. Whether you are working on a small website or a large corporate branding project, a design system will help you to keep things organized and under control.

Benefits of Using a Design System

Creating and using a design system is not a quick or easy process, but it is worth the effort. As they say, the first step is always the hardest, but as soon as you get the hang of it, you can definitely say that it is a big help for your design career or your business.

If you are still struggling and are having a hard time using a design system, read on to know some of the reasons why you should consider using one for your next project.

1. A well-designed and implemented design system can help improve communication and collaboration between team members.

Because everyone will be using the same system, it will be easier for team members to share ideas and work together. Your team  will be well coordinated and on track when creating new designs. By having a set of standardized design elements, everyone on your team will be working towards the same goal, which can lead to a more efficient and cohesive design process. 

2. Design systems can be used to create a consistent user experience across different platforms and devices.

By using the same fonts, colors, and other design elements across all platforms, you can create a more cohesive experience for your users. This is especially important if your product is available on multiple devices and platforms (e.g. website, app, etc).

3. A well-defined design system can make it easier for you to prototype and test new designs and features.

Your design system will provide you with a set of reusable components and patterns that you can use to create new designs. In addition, a well-defined design system can also help you track changes and updates to your products more easily. This will make it easier for you to test new designs and features without having to worry about affecting the overall look and feel of your products.

4. Your design system can make it easier for you to find and reuse existing design assets.

A well-organized design system allows you to reuse existing design assets because it will make it easier for you to find the right files and components when you need them. Moreover, a well-organized design system can also help you keep track of changes to your files and components more easily.

By using ready-made components, you can save time and energy when creating new designs. And if you need to make any updates, you can do so quickly and easily, without having to redesign everything from scratch. 

5. The design system makes it easier to troubleshoot and fix design problems.

This is because you already have a set of rules and guidelines to follow. If something isn't working the way it should, it can be difficult to track down the source of the problem. But with a well-designed design system, you'll have all the information you need to troubleshoot and fix any issues.

6 Examples of Design System

1. Google's Material Design

Design system
Google's Material Design

Google's Material Design is one of the most popular design systems out there. It was first introduced in 2014, and it has since been used in products like Android, Chrome, and Gmail.

Material Design is based on the principle of "digital paper". This means that all elements are designed to look like they're made from paper, and they adhere to the principles of light, shadow, and movement. Google has released a number of resources to help designers use

Material Design, including a style guide, animation guidelines, and a library of components.

2. Apple's iOS Human Interface Guidelines

Design System
Apple's iOS Human Interface Guidelines

Apple's iOS Human Interface Guidelines are another popular design system. They were first introduced in 2007, and they've been used in products like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

iOS Human Interface Guidelines are based on the principle of "simplicity". This means that all elements are designed to be simple and easy to use. The guidelines place a strong emphasis on typography and user feedback, and they discourage designers from using too many animations or textures.

3. The Windows Design System

Design System
Windows Design System

Microsoft's Fluent Design System is a new design system that was first introduced in 2017. It's currently being used in products like Windows 10, Xbox One, and Office 365.

The Fluent Design System is based on the principle of "light, depth, motion, material, and scale". This means that all elements are designed to be visually appealing and easy to use. The system uses principles like motion and depth to create a more immersive experience for users.

One of the key features of the Fluent Design System is its use of "scale". This means that all elements are designed to look great on any device, no matter how small or large it is. The system also uses principles like motion and depth to create a more immersive experience for users.

4. Samsung's One UI

Design System
Samsung's One UI

Samsung's One UI is a new design system that was first introduced in 2018. It's currently being used in products like the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy Note 9.

One UI is based on the principle of "simplicity and clarity". This means that all elements are designed to be simple and easy to use. The guidelines place a strong emphasis on typography and user feedback, and they discourage designers from using too many animations or textures.

5. Spotify Design System 

Design System
Spotify Design System

It is a popular design system that was first introduced in 2014. It's currently being used in products like the Spotify music player and the Spotify website.

One of the key features of the Spotify Design System is its use of "modules". These are reusable components that can be used in different contexts. This helps designers create cohesive designs faster and easier.

6. The Twitter Bootstrap Framework

Design System
Twitter Bootstrap Framework

Twitter Bootstrap Framework is a popular design system that was first introduced in 2011. It's currently being used in products like the Twitter website and the Twitter mobile app.

One of the key features of the Twitter Bootstrap Framework is its use of "layouts". These are grid-based templates that help designers create uniform layouts across different devices.

Takeaway

There are many benefits to design systems, and using it is definitely worth the effort. Design system makes the design process efficient by saving you time, organizing your projects in advance, creating designs that work well across different devices and platforms. All these design principles will make your design project look clean and consistent while giving them a professional touch.

If this article has intrigued you about how design systems can help improve your UX design, it is time to try using it for your personal learning or for your business. So, what are you waiting for? Start building your design system today!

If you enjoyed this article, we invite you to try Design Stripe. It offers comprehensive and easy to use features, and their team is friendly and helpful. What’s great about it is that it offers a free trial so you can try it out. If you’re looking for a design system that’s simple to use and covers everything from fonts to colors to spacing, then DesignStripe is a great option for you.