A design system can help product owners develop a stronger and more consistent user experiences quickly and efficiently while strengthening their brand.
In recent years, design systems have come into focus with the release of systems like Google Material Design and the Apple HIG, these are comprehensive design systems that are used across large platforms and operating systems.
With user touch-points reaching multiple channels and platforms, consistent user experience can be assisted by leveraging a central design language.
In simple terms, a design system is a set of UI standards, styles and patterns brought together as a library of reusable components that can be output as code snippets. It allows organisations to quickly and efficiently build out any number of applications while ensuring quality and consistency in a rapid design and development workflow.
A design system does not have to be a huge undertaking, it can be as large or small as a business requires and can be built upon over time using an iterative or agile approach.
We would begin creating a design system by looking at the existing software requirements, brand guidelines, existing interfaces as well as taking a holistic look at possible future requirements. We would identify the key UI components required such as buttons, form elements, font styles, margins, spacing and colour palettes.
A library of consistent UI elements centred around best practice UX design would be created and integrated as modular elements in design and prototyping applications such as Adobe XD, Sketch and Axure for fast design and prototyping. Code snippets and graphic elements can be added to a component repository like Zeplin or Figma for use in development sprints.
- Research and requirement gathering
- Evaluate current UI inventory
- Color palette
- Typographic guide
- Create assets
- Pattern library
- Application guides and examples
- Usability testing
- Component and code snippet creation
“Here’s the simple truth: you can’t innovate on products without first innovating the way you build them.”
Alex Schleifer, Airbnb
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