Design Systems in 2022

Reasons why you (and your organization) should utilize a Design System for your following digital product
Roman Jarmukhametov
Roman Jarmukhametov
Senior Web Designer
Design Systems in 2022

Web apps are now becoming an essential component of our daily life. There is an app for everything: banking, shopping, bureaucracy, medical services, etc. The internet's use has evolved over the previous few decades, as have web apps.

The UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are now critical components of online sites (User Experience). It does imply that businesses are increasingly concerned with how their website seems and how users engage with it.

Before the internet got so widespread, the UI and UX of websites were not as crucial as they are now. Companies were more concerned with how a site functioned than how it appeared.

However, when the internet became more widely available, corporations began to build increasingly complex apps at the UI and UX levels, and consumers gradually gained accustomed to it. As a result, more and more businesses began to adopt this trend to stay up with the demand. Users are no longer interested in apps with poor user interfaces since they are accustomed to apps with clear, understandable interfaces.

Following that, businesses devised various "strategies" to simplify and enhance web application development.

The introduction of the Design System was a significant milestone.

An example of button variants in a Design System
An example of button variants in a Design System

What exactly is a Design System?

A Design System can be defined in a variety of ways. The one I like most is: A design system is a set of reusable components that are defined by explicit rules and may be used to create a wide range of applications.

Design systems also include color palettes, icon libraries, and font styles.

This enables a developer to mix components in various ways, making the creation of consistent apps practically straightforward.

Remote work, in particular, has increased substantially in recent years, both for Covid-19 and the dissemination of partnerships between teams located in various locations or nations.

So, when communication between teams is restricted, the Design System comes in handy because adhering to the same standards rules and utilizing the same components eliminates the need to communicate with the rest of the team often.

Additionally, developers should use reusable components rather than creating new ones for one fundamental reason: to minimize coding time.

It all began with the Atomic Model.

Design System is a progression, or rather a derivate and expanded side-effect, of the Atomic Model-based UI design.

This paradigm's basic idea is to split interfaces into simple fragments like organisms, molecules, and atoms.

There are five levels of an atomic design:

  • atoms: the fundamental building components of matter, such as buttons, labels, and input fields
  • molecules: a collection of atoms. For instance, consider the input form (a combination of two atoms: a button and an input)
  • organisms: a group of molecules that together constitute a piece of an interface, such as the top bar
  • templates: collections of organisms that constitute pages
  • pages
the Atomic Model
the Atomic Model

So you may design a web application by starting with simple and reusable components and then combining them to create more complicated ones. This makes the procedure easier and faster.

Well-known Design Systems

Since the introduction of the notion of Design System, several of the most well-known firms have created their Design System. Following are some examples:

  • Fluent UI is a set of UX frameworks developed by Microsoft for designing programs for various platforms such as macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android.
  • In 2014, Google released Material Design, their Design System for Android. It enables developers to create applications for Android, iOS, and the web.
  • Carbon, an open-source Design System containing design tools and materials, was created by IBM. Its objective is to aid in the development of complicated Design Systems. Carbon may be used with React, Svelte, Vue.js, and Web Components.

The primary benefits of Design Systems

It adds structure to your product:

Design systems improve the consistency of your product. Employing reusable components is advantageous since it eliminates the need to rewrite component code each time it is used. As a result, you eliminate errors and inconsistencies caused by diverse coding styles. Every piece will have a consistent style, resulting in a product with an excellent User Interface.

It allows you to develop quicker while maintaining quality:

You'll save time coding since you won't have to develop the same components repeatedly. All you have to do is combine pre-existing components with building your pages. This also implies that developers may concentrate on more sophisticated challenges, avoiding chaos and faults caused by hurried development.

It boosts corporate value:

According to a McKinsey & Company analysis, there is a link between design and commercial value. According to this study, design-led organizations generate more than 50% more revenue and a 32% better Total Shareholder Return (TSR) than other companies.

Excellent documentation:

The Design System ensures that the product is well documented. This is crucial, for example, because it helps new engineers on the team understand the system more quickly.

It keeps the brand's personality:

Brands that do not adhere to acceptable style guidelines while designing several applications have uneven offerings. Apps are distinct, and buyers may not identify them with the same brand. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other significant corporations create their apps similarly. Without any clear reference to the brand, you can readily identify two applications to the same firm just by glancing at the style. Furthermore, a new app from one of these firms would be simple for its clients to use because users already know what an icon represents, how pages are arranged, where the settings may be, etc.

Following style standards is crucial because it makes it easier for users to navigate through an app that is similar to one they currently use. It also allows them to determine whether or not various applications belong to the same brand.

More and more businesses are focused on the UI and UX of their goods, and Design Systems are an excellent alternative for achieving high outcomes while conserving resources.

Using tools like Figma or Sketch and Storybook, you may develop your library and standards. Building a new Design System may appear challenging. Still, with unified ideas, excellent domain expertise, and understanding of what the client wants, you can create a product that reflects the company's identity and what it wants to express.

Otherwise, if you are new to design, using Design Systems from other firms (Carbon, Material Design, etc...) might help you explore and understand how it works, allowing you to generate ideas about how you want your product to appear.

Take a cue, but make it your own

There are several low-level libraries available to assist you in developing your Design System. Rather than altering pre-built Design Systems, you may find it quicker or easier to begin almost from scratch by using libraries that assist you with low-level components.

I hope you found this post useful and that it helped you understand the benefits of a Design System.

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