Integrating a design system into your business can help you improve your user experience and strengthen your digital brand.
In today’s digital age, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to maintain a strong online presence. This requires creating user experiences that are both engaging and consistent across multiple platforms. However, with so many applications under one brand or umbrella, ensuring consistency and efficiency can be a challenging task. This is where design systems come in.
In this article, we will explore what design systems are, the benefits of using them, and how they can help businesses achieve scalability and maintain brand consistency across platforms.
What Is a Design System?
A design system is a set of standards built to manage design at scale by reducing redundancy while creating a shared language and visual consistency across different pages, channels, and digital experiences. It usually encompasses a collection of design elements, including typography, color palettes, iconography, button styles and more.
Design systems are similar to style guides, but you build the components within a design application like Figma, Sketch and Adobe XD. In these applications, the components become building blocks to help centralize design decisions.
5 Benefits of a Well-Documented Design Systems
By using a design system, companies gain a single source of truth for their designers and developers as they create new webpages and applications. But what are some of the other benefits of implementing one? Here are five:
1. Reduce costs and quickly scale.
Creating a design system allows you to build out and update your sites and products faster without exponentially increasing your team or effort. This step works by centralizing design and user interface (UI) components. Plus, companies no longer have to go back to the drawing board for each new launch of a site or a product, reducing costs as their designers and engineers no longer spend time coming up with new concepts and developing new components for better user experience (UX).
2. Keep your brand consistent.
A design system will improve speed and consistency in the long run. Having a centralized repository of design elements makes maintaining and iterating on products much easier. With this system in place, you can make changes and improvements to all things UX and UI much easier. These updates will instantly propagate to all products.
3. Increase your design and development teams’ efficiency.
Design systems can help designers and developers work more efficiently. When a design system is in place, designers can quickly access pre-designed components, such as buttons, forms and icons, and customize them to fit their needs. This can save designers time and effort by reducing the need to create new design elements from scratch.
4. Prioritize the quality of your design and system architecture.
Having a design and development team that works closely together using one design system is paramount to the overall success of launching a new or updated product. We have seen that disconnects between design and engineering teams can lead to major delays and issues. In fact, in a study in 2018, 44 percent of designers surveyed stated that collaboration with developers was their top challenge.
When designers and developers can work in sync with each other, they can more effectively collaborate, iterate, evaluate, and eventually execute their jobs much more easily. A design system serves as common ground for both teams to express their ideas and provide the best product possible across all brands.
5. Become dependable in the eyes of your customers.
Many companies are looking to implement refreshed designs to their existing sites, and using consistent design methodology (UX) and visual components (UI) will provide a better experience for the user.
A design system replicated across multiple brands provides a sense of cohesion and professionalism. Brand identity goes a long way in securing the trust of a customer. Studies indicate that a consistent brand increases revenue by 10 to 20 percent. You can display your brand identity with high quality-custom assets deployed across all of your pages and sites. A positive user experience, created in part with the help of a cohesive design system, fosters the perception of a safe and trustworthy website.
Ultimately, a well-documented design system can provide a better user experience; increase revenue, productivity and efficiency; and help businesses become more consistent in the eyes of their teams, customers and stakeholders. As the importance of maintaining a strong digital brand continues to grow, implementing a design system is increasingly crucial for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve.