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Design system - what is it and how to create it?

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Design System is becoming more and more popular from year to year. It is used by graphic designers, UX/UI designers, product owners, programmers, business analysts and content writers. What is the role of Systems Design in the design process? What is their impact on the creation of digital products?

Design system — what is it?

Sistema de diseño set of policies, tools, and componentsthat enable the creation of digital projects in the enterprise. It helps you organize your content presentation method and visual styles to ensure consistency in every project you use. Sistema de diseño combination of visual areas and finished componentswhich can be used many times in corporate projects. This makes the brand consistent, and the new tasks — simplified — thanks to the possibility of using pre-prepared elements.

The basic components of System Design are:

  • logotypes,
  • color scheme, which includes shades, gradients,
  • graphic elements,
  • navigation,
  • templates for screens, subpages and pages,
  • rules for creating interfaces, menus, as well as forms,
  • typography (fonts and their use in various text elements).

These components play an important role in projects — they eliminate conflicts related to personal preferences, facilitate the process of introducing new crew members and clarify project objectives.

Formation of System Design

How is the Design System built? Here are its individual stages:

Creating an inventory of product elements

To create the right Design System, you need to start with an inventory of the product that has already been prepared. It can be both a website, a mobile application and any other digital product. Creating an inventory of visual elements and CSS styles will help determine the size of the DS build process.

Visual Design — Language

To build a Design System, a visual design language is essential. These are four significant categories that play an important role in the design: colors, typography, sizes and distances, and photos. The visual design language is intended to support the creation of digital product components and development.

Design Pattern Library

Visual inventory allows you to control the visual elements of a project, while the design pattern library refers to user interface elements. Each of its components, such as navigation, buttons, pop-ups or forms, are collected and then sorted. Unnecessary variants and components are removed.


This is the stage that contains the necessary information regarding the use of the components included in the Design System. Thanks to her the risk of misapplication is minimized, and the usability level of the digital product becomes high. The documentation also helps distinguish the Design System from the design library.

To create a complete Design System you need to put a lot of precision into it and remember to make regular updates. The construction of the system design requires continuous verification and work on its completeness. You must not forget to use the appropriate nomenclature and give definitions that will make it easier to read the whole. Also remember the dependencies that bind the individual elements.

Design System — application

System Design components can be used in various configurations and contexts. Advanced Design System includes unacceptable, acceptable and permitted associations of specific elements. The Design System is created for the internal needs of the company, which include, among others, product development, optimization and integration, but also for external needs.

Design System — benefits for customers

The use of the Design System allows quick recognition of the brand by customers. It helps them remember how they used other solutions proposed by the organization. In addition, consistency, both functional and visual, has a positive effect on the Increase User Satisfaction. Products that consumers have already managed to get to know are perceived by them as safe and trusted. If they elicit positive reactions, they contribute to better reception of subsequent websites and applications.

Design System — advantages for the company

Creating a System Design brings great benefits to enterprises, such as saving money, time and effort. In addition, it helps to gain operational certainty and reduce the need to inform about changes and consult them with other employees.

Experts can work more effectively with one, common point of reference, consisting of rules applicable to everyone. The Design System also reduces unwanted changes in the case of product development carried out by external organizations.

What are the benefits of creating a System Design?

  • reduction of labor costs — production costs will be reduced, thanks to the lack of the need to involve a designer on each subsequent project,
  • reduction of working time — this is noticeable at the moment when you need to create small functionalities and modernize existing ones. In addition, when making changes, the designer will not have to participate, and the acceptance processes in this regard will be significantly reduced,
  • A higher quality user experience — the use of repeatability of patterns will help to instill a sense of trust and stability in users. Thanks to the possibility of testing individual parts of the system — it is easier to improve them and choose only those solutions that were to the liking of users,
  • visual consistency — the products created on the basis of the Design System are uniform, which affects the positive experience of customers. Provides a sense of order, transparency and unidirectionality of work,
  • Improving communication among employees — The Design System can positively influence the agreement of the team members. Each employee knows what the product should look like and where to look for the necessary information. Adequate communication also helps you scale your team easily.

In addition, the Design System is flexible, which makes it easy to change it, taking into account current market conditions and user requirements.

Does the Design System have any disadvantages?

Creating a System Design is a long process that never really ends. Initially, it is difficult to generate all the components of the interface and their connections. The visual page is only part of the system. Each element should be described taking into account different cases and start their implementation. This system is to develop with the digital product, which is related to the work counted even in years.

Remember that the Design System should not be developed only in your free time. This process cannot be handled by one person, but by a whole team of specialists, with interface designers and developers at the forefront. The company must treat each action as an attempt to develop subsequent projects.


The creation of the System Design is a continuous process — there is no way to create its final version. Any variant that can be considered complete — can still be modified. The design system needs to be updated from time to time.

If you want to know the secrets of running a successful business — check out our other publications. You are interested design of online stores? Are you looking for a business partner to perform usability audits or web analytics? Contact us!

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