Design systems help large industries to standardize the design process and increase predictability. Companies put in a lot of effort while designing these systems but quite often their energies go down the drain.
Over the course of this article we will discuss the design systems and considerations before building a design system.
What is a design system?
Simply put, this term is usually misunderstood by the designers and that it will only benefit them. But in reality, a design system isn’t just that instead it’s a complete flow about how an entire organization’s products are built.
Successful design processes usually depend on cross-functional collaboration between team involved in product’s creation. And a design system is about building a shared language that motivates teams to collaborate more effectively. It is complete set of rules along with its standards toolkit required to achieve those principles.
How to create a design system?
- Sell the idea: It is imperative that you must sell the idea before creating a design system. The idea can be sold to stake holders because a design won’t be possible if people funding it won’t approve it. It solves many business problems. Identification of key features and showing how it can save the will help your sale pitch as well. A presentation is recommended.
- Get support from your users: You will need to keep your users on the same page while designing identity your target audience and convey them its benefits. Your users will be the support you will require while design creation and its imperative that they have your back in the whole process.
- Complete a pilot project based on this design: It is important to validate your design system after you have created its basic design. It will give a working representation of your idea and will assist you in capturing more audience. The pilot you choose must have a potential for common components and patterns along with marketing potential because your efforts will go in vain if project is not a market attraction. Finally it must be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
- Build and design: You should adopt modular approach so that the components can be as reusable as possible, further they must be composable and customizable. This will impart a sense of control to the user and will be easy to use for them. Ideally the design should be universal as every time a new component is introduced, they need to consider how will it work on various platforms.
- Launch and maintain: Use influencers and a supporter community to pitch and sell your ideas about design system with a goal of raising awareness that system exists and educate people how to use it.
- Introduce updates: Nobody likes waiting therefore you should create a mechanism to update your design periodically and regularly so that interest of people is maintained in your product.
- Analyze: There where the design systems rise and fall, you should analyze how your design system is used by conducting the series of interviews with users, by doing so you pin down the common issues users face in your product. This will improve your system over time and make it more reliable.
- Test your design: It is more important than ever. You need to validate your decisions because you don’t know how well they fare with the users. Therefore always uses testing techniques such as usability testing, Regression tests to help you catch unintentional visual changes and manual and automated accessibility testing which ensures the availability of components.