Whether a startup, a small company, or an enterprise organization, a design system can be a game-changer for any business. Built to manage digital products, it enables design and development teams to deliver excellent experiences at speed. More than a brand book or a set of guidelines, a design system works like a living organism that serves as a single source of rules, allowing your teams to design, manage, and deliver at scale any applications, products, or services.
While styleguides or pattern libraries are great foundations, they are not the only components of design systems. Like a big box of UI Lego, also known as design tokens, it can be assembled in near-infinite ways, creating user experiences across different touchpoints, and reaching over multiple channels and platforms.
To understand how it can make an impact on your business, we have listed three benefits you can get by adopting a design system:
1. A Single Source of Truth
As the number of devices, browsers, and platforms continues to increase at a staggering rate, the need to create consistent, deliberate interface design systems is becoming more apparent than ever. Also, documentation is what separates a pattern library from a true system that can set the rules for each component, such as color, typography, sizing and space, and when to use them properly. Finally, as a product that serves other products, a design system is a one-stop-shop to manage brand and UX components, coded elements, detailed documentation, and more so teams can stay in sync.
But it doesn’t end in just a pile of jibber-jabber technical specifications. If configured correctly, tools like Figma or Sketch can connect to multiple tools which will orchestrate your whole production pipeline, from design straight to development without much friction with the help of design tokens.
2. Save Time & Money
Design systems are not only desired by development teams, they have a financial impact as well as enable UX/UI designers to speed up their workflow, directing more resources to innovation. By adopting a design system, an estimated 25% of the time is saved for a typical, large task of product development. If design time is improved by just 20%, the estimated annual savings per developer could be anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000. In larger corporations, development teams can number in the hundreds!
As your company grows, so do your product development and branding. Style updates will propagate consistently through an entire project or suite of products when using modular components like tokens for design and implementation. It can also do a visual audit of your current plan, whether that’s the design of an app, a website, or some other digital application. Taking inventory of the components you are using can help you evaluate with precision how much of an undertaking a new project might be.
Having a design system whatever your project size is very beneficial for the long run. For designers and developers alike, having something semantic to rely on will avoid a lot of mistakes, while speeding up your deliverables. There is a ton of great material out there to learn what a good design system is, and how to manage it. If you are looking for any help with your project, you can get in touch with us to see if we are a good fit. Have fun building your next product!