What Is a Design System & Why Use Them

Magnus Lundström
5 min readOct 4, 2022

Design systems are becoming more critical, and designers need to use them in their designs if they want to attract customers and succeed. If you don’t know anything about design systems, we are here to help. This article will discuss design systems, why you need to use them, and more.

Photo by UX Store on Unsplash
Photo by UX Store on Unsplash

What Is A Design System?

A design system includes many UI design elements and compounds held together by design principles and a UX strategy. A design guideline tells designers how each UI design element is used within the design and how they relate. This helps to create consistent designs that improve the user experience.

Different teams can use design systems without there being any problems or confusion. This will speed up the design process and help create designs that people will like and want to interact with.

Design systems include typography, color palette, style, images, icons, etc. This is to help designers know what the design should consist of and what it should look like. Design companies will use a design system to ensure their designs are consistent to improve their branding and increase brand recognition when people see their designs being used.

Photo by Christina Rumpf on Unsplash
Photo by Christina Rumpf on Unsplash

Why You Need To Use Design Systems

Creating an excellent design system will help you create successful designs that your customers will want to look at. It won’t be easy to create a perfect design system, and you will need to understand who your customers are and what they want before you can create a successful design system. Once you have done this, then you will experience many benefits.

You can create new designs much faster and replicate them more quickly as well

A design system will let design companies create new designs faster and replicate them using the collection of user interface design elements and components. This will speed up the design process as taking reusable UI elements will remove inconsistencies and not require designers to find the correct design elements.

Create consistent designs that will increase your brand recognition

If you want your brand to succeed, you need to increase brand recognition. It would help if you created consistent designs so people can associate those designs with your brand. You need to change your design strategy if you aren’t doing this.

Hire a design consultancy company if you need help with this, as it’s essential, and doing this right will help your brand become more successful. A design system will allow you to do this as designers will know what UI components and design elements they need to use and what type of style you are planning.

If you hire another company to help you design, you can show them your design system. Making it easier for everyone to work together and not cause problems and inconsistencies in the design.

When Not To Use A Design System

There are situations when using a design system is not the best choice. Knowing what these situations are will help you make better decisions that will speed up the design process and help you deliver work within the deadline that you have been given.

Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash
Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash

If you don’t have the time to learn about the design system and start using it

Creating a design system and learning it takes time. You need to make sure everyone understands it. Otherwise, it will cause mistakes during the design process that need to be fixed, slowing down the design work.

If you don’t have the time to use the design system correctly, you shouldn’t use one as this will waste more time and lead to lower quality design work being delivered to the customer. If you need help creating and learning a design system, you should find and hire a design consultancy agency.

All designs will not follow one design system

Not all design work can follow one design system. You cannot use a single design system if you are working on different designs and all need their UI design elements. Creating a design system will not be required if you work on other designs regularly. It will just use the time you could have spent working on the design process.

How You Can Use A Design System

There are different ways to start using a design system. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and knowing what they are will help you make the right choice.

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Creating Your Design System

This option will take the most time and money. You need to make sure this is the right choice for your company if you decide to use the option. Using the help of a design consultancy company is recommended if you want to choose this option. If open-source design systems are not enough for your company’s specific needs, then this is what you need to choose. Before using this option, ensure you understand your company’s design needs.

Using An Existing Design System

This is the fastest and easiest option to use. You might need to replace some or all of the UI elements and design components you are using, but it will be much faster than creating them from nothing. You will then be able to use this new design system to make your designs and ensure they are consistent with the branding you want.

If you haven’t used a design system before and need help, you should find design companies to help you make the right decision before you start doing anything. This will help you avoid mistakes that could slow down your design work.

Thanks for reading!