4 Tips For Managing Design Systems Effectively

Maintaining a consistent interface and user experience across various applications in a product can be challenging. However, system design helps in streamlining the process, enhancing consistency, and improving collaboration. You can either use a design system software to quickly create your design or build your design system.

What is A Design System?

A design system is a centralized spring of design knowledge that offers flexibility and allows room for updates. It’s a cluster of standards, limitations, and rules in design and code.

While it may sound like a style guide, the design system does more. It addresses the tone of the design, style, and the brand’s voice with collaboration, documents, and use cases.

Key Steps: Design System Development Life Cycle

The components to include in your design system depends on your product and purpose. However, the development process can be broken into the following steps.

  • Visual Audit

Examine the primary tasks and goals, and check what your team has already. Some components to pay attention to in this step include CSS attributes, styles, documentations, interface elements, etc.

If the product you’re creating its design system already exists, begin by assembling and categorizing the design elements according to types, function, and purpose. That will give you a clue into what you can change, add or remove.

  • Visual design language system

This component defines your product’s overall visual design and includes elements like color, typography, sizing, and spacing. All these elements form a critical part of the design system. As a result, you need to keep them well-versed and elaborate as much as possible.

  • Graphics

Explain the dos and don’ts of using graphics and the right proportions and sizes of images to use in the design. Also, talk about cases and the message each picture conveys.

  • Create Library

After sorting every piece of your design system, gather all the elements you’ve created into a single library. Remember to cut off any repetitive and unnecessary details to make the library more effective in your design.

4 Tips For Managing Design Systems Effectively

  • Encourage Adoption of the Design System

A design system changes the organization’s direction, and they’ll only adopt it depending on how it interacts with the people and if it’s valuable. Some of the ways you can encourage the team to adopt your design system include creating a vision statement, establishing guiding principles, and promoting the design system.

  • Notify developers about any changes to the library

The design system’s library is the only source of truth to your developers and the entire team. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your team up-to-date with any alterations and updates to the system lest they make mistakes.

  • Convert elements into code

Doing this will help speed up the design process and make your work easier during further developments.

  • Support design system

Creating a detailed description of the systems’ elements helps keep the team up-to-date and makes your work easier when new members join the project.

A design system is a great product development tool if you want to achieve consistency and boost your designs’ quality.

Interesting Related Article: “Design Systems 101