Design Systems 101

Are you struggling to figure out how to structure your design system? Maybe you don’t know exactly what to put into one. Design systems are important for a business to build websites and digital experiences with intention.

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Having a streamlined process to know what needs to be built, why it needs to be built, and a consistent theme, style, and feel for each component is important to creating superior UX designs.

Why is a design system important?

Having design systems in place acts as the go-between for the designers and the UX developers and UI engineers. Especially when you work on multiple projects, you don’t want to have to implement these things multiple times. Design systems save time.

What are the pros and cons of a design system?

Perhaps one of the biggest pros is that you will save a lot of time because everything is straightforward. This system will simplify things and make them easier to understand. In terms of cons, it doesn’t encourage exploration, and many times, it lowers the creativity of the designer.

How can a company benefit from a design system?

You have two key ways that it will benefit you. First, a design system will save you on time, and second, a design system will help you to save on money. This will help you to improve your project workflow to make it more effective.


Through the system, you can use colors as a way to help your application stand out, and you can use this to make it more intuitive to navigate. Through using the right colors, you can also ensure that your users don’t get distracted.

Some of the most common colors that they include in design systems include one to three primary colors. This will help you to represent your brand. You should understand how you have a wide range of tints, and you might mix it with different colors to get more options for the designers.


This comes down to visuals of your site, and in any one of the design systems, it will always have importance. If you want to succeed with the imagery in your system, you should create a plan and stick to it all the way through.

This can also help you with branding because people will learn to associate you with a certain type of thing. You might, for example, set up certain guidelines for the different icons and the illustrations, and after you have had this setup, you stick with it.

When you choose interesting images, it can also help to make the content more interesting as well so that people like it more. Don’t underestimate the value of good images.


You should pay special attention to the typography because of how poor typography can distract the customers from the site itself, which will have an impact on your profit picture.

With the vast majority of design systems, they will usually only use between one to two fonts because this keeps the customers from getting distracted. You will use one font for both the heading and the copy.

Sizing and Spacing

The 4-based scale has been growing in popularity because of how they have made it the standard for both the iOS and Android. Where does a lot of internet traffic come from nowadays? It comes from mobile devices. That’s why you might be wise to pay attention to this yourself.


Patterns have become the building blocks of your user interface, and these functional patterns exist as a way of helping to make your site more intuitive and navigable. You will merge and remove what isn’t needed. As Einstein once said, “Things need to be simple, not simpler.”


When speaking about components, it means the UI element designed for being used across many of the components. The key benefit here becomes that you don’t have to worry about the functionality of it or the core design. Some of the components that you might include are:

  • Links
  • Buttons
  • Forms
  • Modals
  • Input fields

Code Implementation for Design

Many times, the developers will refer to the artifacts as a system of guidance when they implement the design code. This will make it easier for future developers to implement designs quickly and without issue.

Design Systems are Good for Business

Hopefully, this helps you to understand how you might structure a design system to achieve the most favorable results. The Adobe XD Ideas content hub is another great resource for learning about design systems and how they support business workflows during the design process. As with all designs, keep adapting, and refining your approach to improve it with time.

Interesting Related Article: “Business Website Design Must-Dos