What is a Design System and Why You Need One?

Last Updated May 06, 2023

Table of Content: 

What exactly is a Design System?
Benefits of using and maintaining a Design System
Design System Examples
What Are the Advantages of Design Systems for Designers?


Have you been having trouble with your design-development workflow recently? Do you have a handoff issue that is causing poor product decisions? Looking for ways to make it significantly better?

You'll need a Design System. It will enable you to work more efficiently and effectively as part of a team.

But, exactly, what is a Design System?

A Design System, on the other hand, is a relatively new concept in the digital transformation landscape. But one that has recently sparked a lot of emotion and interest. 

The idea behind a full stack design system, also known as Atomic Design Methodology, Component Design, and Design Language, is to create a series of design components that you and your team can reuse.

Airbnb and Uber have fundamentally altered the digital landscape.

The benefits of a component-based design system were that these companies could drastically change the pace of innovation and production within their teams.

What exactly is a Design System?

When a design team has too many people working on the same project and facing the same challenges, each person finding a unique way to solve the problem can lead to an incoherent experience for the user when they use the product. A Design System's fundamentals are to manage design at scale.

If you ask me to define the Design System, I would say it is a collection of elements that can be combined and reused on a product by the entire team. Colors, designs, components, and character styles are all included. These are the series System of Design

Consistency and predictability have always been important in product design. With a unified Design System UX, you can build better, faster products that provide a consistent user experience.

A Design Systems guide assists businesses in providing exceptional UX and strengthening their brand.

The Handoff Issue

Designers and developers previously faced numerous challenges.

By focusing on commonly used components, designers and developers have been able to collaborate more effectively, and previously siloed teams are now operating under the same mental model. Observing an existing design system

The component-based design model is an excellent first step. It has reduced the need for handoff significantly.

A Design System is a methodical approach to product development that includes guidelines, principles, philosophies, and code. A design systems guide is an ideal tool for scaling the design practice, eliminating the need for hand-off, and promoting greater collaboration.

essential elements

A Design System has numerous advantages. It enables the entire company to deliver better and more consistent design solutions in a more efficient manner. A Design System makes it easier to create delightful experiences for end users.

1. Promotes Consistency

Creating a Design System begins with categorizing all of a product's visual components. This assists in highlighting the most significant inconsistencies within the product and assists the team in determining the product's relevant and most frequently used elements and components. The most important Design Principle is consistency.

2. Improved communication

Open-source Design Systems are frequently referred to as the single source of truth for product development teams. It assists the team in planning, developing, and maintaining product quality.

The concept of a single source of truth (SSOT) is used by organizations as part of their information architecture to ensure that everyone uses the same data when making business decisions.

Because the Design System is the only source of truth, This implies that the vocabulary that may be used in the project is also included. Gone are the days when a developer would refer to a button as the red one. This improves discussions between developers and designers by allowing them to use the same naming convention.

3. Developer Clarity

 With a design system in place, developers have a clear vision of how to build the necessary design system components while adhering to the unified styles.

4. Iterate More Rapidly 

By implementing a Design System, teams can iterate much more quickly. You can release new designs in small chunks with fewer resources and shorter feedback loops. It keeps you organized and up to date on all of your team's design changes.

5. Improved Customer Experience

 Because design systems create consistent experiences, cognitive load is reduced when switching from a mobile app experience to a desktop browser experience. A better experience for people who use your products can be created by developing a consistent language that both internal and external users can understand.

6. Leveraging One Another's Work

 Because Design Systems can be shared by multiple teams, efficiencies can be extended across teams and products. It is now simple to leverage other people's work and use each other's innovation without having to reinvent the wheel.

Benefits of using and maintaining a Design System

The main benefits of using and maintaining a Design System are operating at scale and improving efficiency and consistency. Because you are reusing components in a Design System, you will save time and effort.

A Design System is frequently used interchangeably with a Style Guide or a Component Library. These, however, are sub-components of a Design System.

A pattern library is a repository of reusable components and user interface design elements. It is a sub-component of the Design System. A pattern library is essentially a collection of design elements that appear multiple times on a website.

Style Guide- A Style Guide is another sub-component of the Design System that emphasizes visual presentation and determines how products should look. Colors, fonts, brand attributes, and logos are all part of it.


Design System Examples

With the staggering increase in the number of devices, environments, and browsers, there is a growing need to create thoughtful interface design systems.

Design Systems are widely used in the industry. Not only do they promote the best team collaboration and keep your project organized, but they also provide design guidance, which is especially important in the construction industry.

1. Design of Materials

The Material Design System is well-known for its ease of use. It is a design language created by Google in 2014 to ensure consistency across all Android designs and devices, and it is widely used by Android and Web App developers.

2. Atlassian

Atlassian Design System is quite comprehensive and widely used to create simple and beautiful experiences.

3. Polaris

Polaris from Shopify is well-known for streamlining the designer-developer workflow.

4. carbon

Carbon Design System is IBM's open-source design system for products and experiences that are built on the IBM design language.

5. Guidelines for Human Interface

Human Interface Guidelines is an Apple Design System that provides in-depth UI resources and practical information for all of their platforms.

6. Grommet

Grommet, developed by Hewlett-Packard, is a design system that can assist you in embracing atomic design methods and building a library that meets your requirements.

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp's design system emphasizes bold and creative designs while also focusing on providing a consistent structure to the design language.

8. Telepathy in the Digital Age

Digital Telepathy is a web design firm. They have refined a results-driven design methodology over the years to iteratively improve the customer experience.

9. Sushi

Because the initial design system tools were not scalable, Zomato recently introduced Sushi, a new design system. The Zomato app offers its users a new and improved experience.

10. fluent

A Design System is far more sophisticated than simple style guides. Everything from colors to documentation is included. A Design System essentially defines a common visual language for product teams.

It expedites the design process. A System Design bridges the gap between the teams involved in creating a final product with consistent graphics standards, making it extremely simple to build websites from components. It functions as a rulebook for the design and development teams and is divided into the following sections:

Design System – The entire set of design standards, including principles, patterns, and guidelines

Microsoft created the Fluent Design System, which includes guidelines for the designs and interactions used in software designed for all Windows 10 devices and platforms.

What Are the Advantages of Design Systems for Designers?

Now that you understand what a design system is in UX and UX review, as well as the numerous benefits of having one, a design system benefits designers and simplifies their tasks. As a leading mobile app design company, we noticed that it has become easier for designers to break down the UI into small parts rather than viewing the entire webpage as one entity. You can think of a page as a collection of components and quickly locate and apply the appropriate component, pattern, or style option (color, icons, fonts, etc.).


Rather than rethinking the foundation of each new experience for your products, a Design System keeps designers, developers, product managers, and multiple stakeholders aligned with the company's design vision and allows the team to easily focus on pixel-perfect development.

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