Design System: Promoting Consistency and Scalability in Design

Rebecca Adisa
4 min readMar 17, 2023
Photo by Balázs Kétyi on Unsplash

Design systems have become an integral part of modern product development, providing teams with the tools and guidelines they need to create consistent and cohesive user experiences without having to reinvent the wheel every time they release a new feature or update a UI.

Design system provides solutions to common design problems, like;

  • The look and function of a button
  • What fonts and colors to use
  • How accessible each screen is to all users.

Design systems vary from company to company depending on the size of the team and the needs of the company or team. In this article, we will discuss how the use of design systems promotes consistency and scalability in design.

What is a design system?

A design system is a set or a collection of reusable components that guides a team to achieve scalability and consistency across all interfaces and touch points. According to Alla Kholmatova:

“A design system is a set of interconnected patterns and shared practices coherently organized to achieve the purpose of digital products.”

These days, design system has been confused with a style guide. While a style guide is a brand representation of your brand from a graphic and logical perspective (it provides guidelines to UI components such as colors, typography, trademarks, logos, and print media), a design system is made up of a style guide, a component library, and a pattern library.

As much as a design system is used to create a user-friendly interface for users, it also allows for collaboration and the creation of a shared language between teams.

Benefits of a Design System

There are quite a number of benefits that come with using a design system. Some of these benefits include:

  • Scalability
  • Consistency
  • Collaboration
  • Productivity
  • Reduced design and development debt
  • Allows room for innovation
  • Helps to speed up the design process
  • Helps to improve user experience

Consistency

Design systems play an important role in ensuring consistency across all platforms. It creates a common language for the product that helps ensure consistency across all platforms. This visual language includes typography, color palettes, iconography, and other design elements used throughout the project. Making your product consistent makes things easier for your user, thereby, reducing the length of the thinking process and eliminating confusion.

Design that is consistent and adheres to established standards is essential for creating a positive user experience. When designers limit the number of ways actions and operations are represented, it reduces the need for users to learn new ways to complete tasks, making it easier for them to navigate and use the product. By following design norms and platform conventions, designers ensure that users can quickly adapt to new tasks without having to master a whole new set of tools.

It may sound like common sense, but there are many examples of designs that need more consistency and make it easier for users to complete even the simplest of tasks. As designers, we must prioritize creating a seamless user experience by implementing design standards that are easy to understand and follow. By doing so, we can help users feel more comfortable and confident in using our products.

Scalability

Creating a design that looks great and functions well on all devices can be challenging, but it’s essential for providing a positive user experience. A design system can help achieve this by providing guidelines that ensure consistency in layout, typography, and visual elements across all devices.

One of the most important aspects of a design system is its ability to create a responsive layout that adjusts to different screen sizes. This ensures that the design looks good and is easy to use, whether you’re using it on a small mobile phone or a large monitor.

Typography is also critical for making a design work well on all devices. Choosing fonts that are easy to read and adjusting the size of the text to suit each screen size can help ensure readability and accessibility.

Finally, visual elements like colors, shapes, and imagery should be consistent and work well on all screen sizes. Design systems provide clear guidelines for using these elements to ensure that they look great and function well on all devices.

In conclusion, design systems are an essential tool for designers looking to create high-quality, user-friendly designs. By following guidelines and principles, designers can ensure that their designs are consistent, scalable, and accessible, resulting in a better experience for users and a more successful product overall.

Contact me:

You can contact me via Behance, email, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.

--

--

Rebecca Adisa

A product designer who is enthusiastic about designing user-friendly products through strategic research