What is a Design System

What is a Design System

Think of everything to configure product layouts, sound, tone, grids, typography, color, coding conventions, etc.

It is possible to merge all the independent parts that are interconnected in other areas. For example, a button can be placed in a page layout, form, overlay, etc. It's all about how these components integrate, coordinate, and work together, the rules that guide them. 

What is a Design System

First, we'll explain some different terms so that we can understand how these components work together:

  1. Styleguide: Document visual elements that include all the things you think the designer would use: typography, icons, color, illustrations, etc...
  2. Visual Language: a comprehensive guide to the look of the brand (this is achieved against the guide to style).
  3. Pattern library: Also called "component library". It includes images, navigation, overlays, forms, form elements, etc.
  4. Brand Guidelines: Non-aesthetic parts of a design. Includes principles, tone, voice, grammar, etc. This shows users and companies who you are and what your identity, vision, and story are.
  5. CSS Framework: To build a product, developers use front-end codes.

A design system is ALL of these things!

Co Podcast. She explained that it is usually possible to see all the different welds working on the different parts. And if you can remove the seams, it appears to be one cohesive effort.

You can really tell who's working on what as you move from one experience to the next. However, all things considered, it should be a smooth and consistent journey. So a design system is glue to remove the spaces between products so everything feels wholistic. 

The diagram shows the different parts that make up the design system. principles grammar tone guidance voice.

design system principles grammar tone guidance voice

What physical parts are usually found in a design system

  1. User Interface Collection or Style Library.
  2. the brand guidelines and principles.
  3. the code or framework.
  4. guidance for the components.

All design systems aren't alike, and they don't have to be because every company is different and has different needs, but these are the usual stuff that's included. So it's not just one graphic file - in this case, you're missing all the references!

It’s a Product

Many people and companies treat their design systems as a product that serves their main product. The goal behind implementing the design system is to continue using it as a product.

Why Use a Design System

“Think of it a little like trying to build a house out of Lego, but instead of bricks, you’re given a single block of plastic, perfectly carved into the shape of a pre-built house. Great! Job done. But if you want a different house? You’re going to need a whole new house-shaped block. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have bricks that can be detached and reassembled as required?”

No Hand-Holding Required

The goals achieved by design systems are to help everyone easily and effectively understand the decisions they make, and to know the main source of truth. Assuming you build one accurately, you should have the option to send the programming without direction and without anyone's mind - you shouldn't pass it on, but that's what an effective program would look like.

Improve the Workflow

When you don't need to design every component from scratch every time, it speeds up the process tremendously. Arguably, it seems logical not to repeat a problem that has already been solved without fail.


If your products are not coordinated it creates a bad feeling for users. This creates a brand that does not look uniform and may give the wrong impression to your audience.


If you don't have a single source of truth, design systems reduce misunderstood characteristics. It is not only bad for your internal team, but it is also bad for your audience. When you work for a company, things can get complicated very quickly. 

Make all of your items crystal clear, with consistent naming conventions and reusable styles. As you start introducing conventions, the processes start to flow simpler between groups. There is no room for deviation when everything is unambiguously marked.


When people look for work, they appreciate companies that value design. When designers get more attention, they will need to share more and improve.

Focus on other things

The faster you have a system that lets you work, it helps designers finish projects faster, and it helps them work on things they wouldn't be able to work on otherwise. It might be making illustrations, educational apps, animation, or any kind of ingenuity and creativity to take your product to a higher level.

Save money

If you don't rework the same items every time, you save time and therefore money. And if you are self-employed and you pay your clients for time, you can alternatively pay them for other work.

Increase Bus Count

If only one person has knowledge of what and why certain designs were chosen, it's a huge risk because they could leave the company at any time and leave you to start from scratch.

 Estimating the means of transportation does not depend on their number, but rather on the risks resulting from the collision! Disseminate information to reduce risks.

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