Benefits of a Design System
The benefits of a design system can be broken down into 2 main elements:
1. Consistency and Functionality
Having a toolkit of assets means (in theory) anyone can design for your brand while keeping the look and feel the same no matter the medium. Consistency is vital in brand identity, and having a design system library makes the design process quicker and easier. That being said, when launching a new campaign design like Defending the Rubies from Patagonia we’d recommend reaching out to professional campaign designers.
2. Improves User Experience and Interface
From a designer’s perspective, having pre-made user interface elements makes their job much easier. It becomes a case of selecting what they need from the pattern library and assembling them into the end product. Scalable design systems mean you can grow your digital products when needed with much less effort.
But this also helps user experiences. Ideally, a client shouldn’t notice your company’s design system assets because this means you’re using them correctly. Style guides help here – they allow you to create consistent elements that lead to positive user experiences.
How to Create Your Own Design System
To create a design system that can be scaled, you’ll need to round up all of your brand assets and create a document that encompasses it all.
First, review your company’s visual elements and build a catalog of UI components and design elements to form the foundation of your design system. You can also identify inconsistencies that have emerged like colors outside of your palette or even improper use of your logo. *gasp*
Second, set up clear principles on how you think about your product and create a set of guidelines for how you'll bring them to life. Design principles lay out the branding vision for your product, including how you want customers to feel while using it. Do you want customers to feel calm? Excited? Curious? Do you want your brand to feel friendly? Quirky? Cerebral? Your design system should outline how you can make customers feel the way you want with your design.
Third, take the catalog of visual elements from step one and the principles from step two and compile them into one handy resource and distribute it to your team.
Be sure to document what to do if someone finds an inconsistency in your design system and the process to follow to update your design library.
In theory, once you’ve gathered all this information, you’ll have the basic elements of a design system. From there, it’s simply a case of collecting and organizing the assets so they’re helpful for future designers.
Final Thoughts on Design Systems
Scalable design systems are the backbone of a company’s branding and user experience. While you can build your own from existing elements, it makes sense to get a dedicated design team on board.
So, if you’d like to create a design system for your business and need some help, contact us at Commence Studio. We help purpose-driven brands get ahead of the competition, and an effective design system is the first step on this journey.