In order to create a digital platform, development and design are two key components. Even though they are distinct tasks carried out by different teams, they all contribute to the same end result: a positive user experience. Therefore, ideas that enhance developer and designer cooperation and enable effective teamwork have a number of advantages. One such idea that is popular now is design systems.
Design systems aren’t exclusively for web designers, despite what their name would imply. They are intended for all team members, including developers, project managers, and copywriters.
In this post, I’ll discuss how using design systems may streamline developers’ workflows and speed up development. We will take a look at what a design system is, its purpose, and its benefits for developers.
A Design System: What Is It?
In its simplest form, a design system is a set of universally used design and coding decisions. Similar to a style guide, but with resources for design and coding as components (such buttons or cards). It is a system of interconnected building components with centralised design choices.
Although it may be compared by developers to a component library, design systems go beyond that. Documentation, design concepts, style manuals, and patterns are examples of the physical and intangible components that make up a design system.
Design systems keep track of design components including fonts, colours, photos, icons, and other elements in a manner similar to how a component library keeps track of all the UI’s building blocks. But a design system goes one step further and documents their details, usage context, and other related information.
Benefits of Design Systems
Developers can benefit greatly from design systems. Let’s examine the seven most significant ones.
A Single Source for Design Tokens
The design tokens, which include spacings, borders, shadows, and other elements, make up the smallest portion of a design system. To construct components, designers and developers employ design tokens.
Design systems provide the tokens a single point of truth, facilitating improved communication between designers and developers. Additionally, it is simple to update and reflect design modifications when any changes are made to the tokens. As a result, design systems make it simple to create consistent components and manage them.
Improvements in Productivity, Speed, and Cost
In the long term, a design system will always increase efficiency, consistency, and quality. This is the key justification given by many teams I spoke with for putting in place a design system. Most likely because it has a significant influence on your company’s stats. The image of your product and the user experience are significantly influenced by consistency and quality. Customers may pick your goods over a rival if you make a good first impression. Fewer workers can do more with speedier development, or products may be delivered more quickly. The bottom line of your business is significantly impacted by this. particularly at scale.
Fewer individuals can construct more in the same amount of time thanks to increased productivity. This lowers costs and makes it possible for you to provide new features more rapidly. Design systems are a big productivity shortcut for your team.
Minimum Code Maintenance
Upgrading the production assets takes a lot of effort, even for relatively straightforward design modifications like a colour change. Here, a lot of the engineers’ important time and work is wasted.
A design system makes it simple to build and maintain products. It provides a collaborative environment where parts may be created, improved, and individually tested for various scenarios. Thus, with design systems, code maintenance is quick and easy.
Easier Knowledge Sharing
Brand materials and brand guidelines are provided through design kits inside the design system. Design kits might be used to map the design systems on the developer and designer sides. This makes the designer-developer handoff easier and makes it easier to resolve any handoff problems.
Because the design system has an updated list of all design components, developers may always access the most recent design versions through it.
Better Design Consistency
Developers load and change components directly from this single repository when a design system is established. This guarantees that there are no design inconsistencies and consistency among the production components. Better design consistency results from the system’s recording of all design tokens, elements, and patterns. Overall design quality is raised as a result.