For Scaleups , User — 10.27.2020

How Design Systems Enable Product Teams

Sara Croft, Principal, Growth Marketing

Good ideas spawn successful products, but digital products can only be successful if they provide a positive user experience (UX). This is why product design is so important. User-friendly and effective products attract, engage and retain customers.

While product design research and planning is a significant undertaking, it’s vital in developing design systems that, once in place, are easy for internal product teams to use and will be referenced time and time again.

What Is a Design System?

A design system combines components of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. As a result, all design systems consist of both visual and non-visual components with corresponding processes that guide how each can be changed. 

The UI component is similar to brand guidelines, including the design elements you see—logos, colors, fonts, buttons, visual assets and more. The UX component includes the information working behind the scenes—code snippets, documentation, tone, page layouts and processes. 

When these components are included in a design system, designers work from a standard playbook that ensures brand consistency, saves time and keeps all stakeholders on the same page.

Playbooks Help You Scale Faster

It may seem like a design system doesn’t leave much room for creative leeway, and that’s true in a sense (and also a key point of them). 

The system is created from information gathered through extensive market research and user surveys. The resulting design system keeps this information—what users and buyers value—in one place, which speeds up and simplifies the designer’s work. With a design system, designers can focus on scalability and innovating in other ways, as all actions are made with the user in mind.

Design Systems Lead to Cost Savings

Design systems are incredibly robust. They include information that takes the guesswork out of choosing the right design components. For engineers, design systems eliminate the need to do the same work over and over again. The systems speed up collaboration with designers. The entire team can avoid redundancies, resulting in time and cost savings. 

Creating a design system can greatly benefit your team. A system ensures everyone, from designers to developers, is on the same page. Systems guarantee visual consistency for users at every touchpoint, simplify processes and keep brand uniformity top of mind. 

Building a design system is worthwhile for any digital product leader who cares about producing and standardizing the best user experience.

See how to accelerate your growth by building your design system with Innovatemap.