Design systems can be found everywhere and in almost everything. They're in your smartphone's operating system, your work's laptop, and even on the websites you visit.
Big brands and design agencies aren't the only ones who use design systems. A design system can help you improve the quality of your work, designs, and products whether you're a freelance designer or a small business.
But what exactly is a design system? What goes into the creation of a design system? Why would you want to use them?
👉 In this blog, we'll answer these questions and explain why we use Figma at Nightborn
In general, it’s mainly a framework for creating standard guidelines for a particular project or product. However, design systems are not just about style guides, UI kits, and component libraries. They are a mix of these and more.
It includes code snippets and development resources, documentation, page screenshots, image examples, design guidelines, relevant tools, documents and articles, style guides, reusable components, and all other digital assets useful for the overall web design workflow.
A design system can be thought of as a large data library that serves as a valuable document with essential instructions and examples.
We can divide it into two main categories: the foundation and the assets.
The foundation is a library containing all the main appearances of your application: In this group, we can find the colors, typography, grids, spacings, and visuals such as icons, illustrations, and logos. With some additional rules such as borders, rounded corners, shadows, textures, elevations, and depths.
At Nightborn, this part of the design system is set in Figma's Styles, where a library of all these rules is created.
The assets are the building blocks useful for our design. This becomes the UI library, or pattern library, where we create new reusable components that help create and manage consistent designs across projects. We can divide them into:
The word “design” in the design system refers to the overall process that goes into graphic and web designs, but also refers to product design and user experience design. A design system can be applied in a variety of ways. They may be used to create consistent user experiences, branded products, scalable apps, and much more.
As a result, you’ll come across a few different types of design systems. We'll go over the three most common design systems in use today.
💡 Want to read more about cross-platform development? 👉How cross-platform development improves client satisfaction
It’s important to note that having a pattern library or a collection of codes and UI elements only shouldn’t be treated as a finished design system. There’s a lot more to a comprehensive design system in terms of design fundamentals, building your own design system as well as overall implementation.
Step 1: Conduct a design audit: Browse through all your current designs that have been made, whether it's the design of an app, a website, or some other digital product. Then group them into different categories such as navigation, drop-downs, headers, etc.
Step 2: Define a list of basic design elements: If you lack consistency in structure, colors, spaces, patterns, icons, etc. Because the visual design language is the core of a design system and is made up of four main categories, and you should consider the role that each of these design elements plays in every component on the screen.
Step 3: Define design components: Unlike the visual audit you’ve already conducted, this step in the process looks at the actual components of your UI.
It consists of functional pieces of a user interface created from the basic tokens that come together in various ways to form a composition. Once you have created new components, you simply add them to your design system and define when and how to use them. The better you can explain the component, the fewer questions you have to solve later.
Step 4: Define pages: Once you’ve defined the components of your product, you can combine them to create pages.
Step 5: Run a sprint retrospective: Analyze progress and make necessary improvements. Sprints can be a great way to ensure quick learning across the entire team.
Figma is a design tool built and thought precisely for designers – UI and UX.
It has many features for the design system:
💡 Want to learn more about how design can benefit your business? We covered it in one of our previous blogs. Check it out here 👉Using design improves your business performance
A design system is not something that you create and forget about. It needs to be constantly improved alongside your product development. Every designer, every agency, and every company should have their design systems. It’s an investment you make that keeps you in control and maintains quality.
Many companies are turning to design systems for the benefits of code reusability, design efficiency, and UI/UX consistency.
Get in touch.
Get in touch
Maxime : + 32 494 90 36 65
David : + 32 468 10 07 97
Rue Notre-Seigneur 11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium