Innovation is a constant in every business. However, what sets apart a business from its contemporaries is its ability to connect with users through its products. A design system helps teams within a company to collaborate and keep their work uniform and consistent to ensure a seamless user experience. It helps build the digital experiences of your company’s brand. According to Kinesis Inc. 94% of users' first impressions of a company are design-related and 75% of those same users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on website design.
When you opt for a design system, it streamlines the workload of the different teams. This unified system ensures that all your teams are able to work faster and the outcome is more organized and consistent. The results show up in improved user experiences and better insights for your business’ brand. There are several companies such as Airbnb, Hubspot, Dropbox, Shopify, Atlassian, Uber, Mailchimp, Microsoft, IBM, and Google that already use design systems to help with an efficient development process.
What is a Design System?
Before we delve into how a design system can help boost your business' growth through its key benefits, let's understand what it actually is. A design system consists of reusable standards and components that can help to bolster a brand's image by working in a compatible manner. It enables teams to create experiences that your customers want while ensuring consistency with your brand needs. A design system helps a brand build an image that is to stay with it for years to come. Simply put, a design system helps to provide order in chaos.
A design system grows with your business. Along with the changing needs of its users, design systems go through constant refining and development. A study by Figma shows that around 3/4th of enterprise customers use the support of design systems within their organizations. In this blog, we'll discuss ways in which a design system can prove to be beneficial to your business.
How is a Design System Beneficial to your Business?
The main purpose of a design system is to help facilitate teams that are working on a common product. It helps with the efficacy of the product's evolution. A design system will enable teams to create a product that is both faster and better. This will help your business not only gain a competitive edge but also help retain old customers and attract newer ones while reducing support costs.
Let's look at some of the ways in which design systems could help to benefit the growth of companies.
Helps to Build A Secure Brand Image
While a company makes the product, it is the brand that helps to sell it. In order to create a strong presence, a brand needs to be able to communicate with its target user, consistently. A design system works to help streamline the design process efficiently, to ensure that connection with the user is built to last.
Uber’s design platform’s style guide wherein they upload all the assembled design system elements also helps to showcase branding from multiple points of contact with prospective customers through printed materials, posters as well as digital billboards.
Allows for Easy Accessibility
Design systems ensure all customers who have access to your products are able to achieve similar results. It ensures accessibility is built into both the design language and the component library. The design language allows us to ensure the content being provided is acceptable and the design language patterns act as a foundation to the component library ensuring leverage of semantic HTML elements. When HTML becomes insufficient WAI-ARIA (Web Access Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications) are added in to fill the gaps. This ensures that accessibility is no longer a distant reality.
Shopify’s Polaris Design System looks to provide a comfortable user experience to the users of both Shopify and its merchants. It serves as a guide for the designing of one’s online shop based on the Shopify platform. Through the use of a variety of visual elements and UI components, Polaris Design System provides better usability for its e-commerce ventures.
Alleviates Strain on Design Resources by Focusing on Complex Problems
As simple UI elements are already in place, design resources have to work less on tweaking its visual appearances. This might come across as a small payoff when creating a smaller number of screens but when you look at coordinated efforts across thousands of screens and a dozen teams, it seems pretty substantial.
Prompt Responsiveness, Efficiency, and Consistency
A component library is built to be prompt and responsive. It helps account for diverse viewports and screen resolutions. Another key feature of a design system is its consistency. According to the 2019 Design Systems Survey consistency and efficiency were considered to be the most valued attributes in a design system, as they help make the user experience more predictable. Even if the number of teams working on a particular product continues to upscale, the UI remains consistent. Major visual rebranding or redesigning can easily be managed using a design system. The workflow remains consistent and designers are able to incorporate easily accessible high-quality work throughout channels.
Atlassian Design System’s end-to-end design language provides detailed resources on color usage, branding, and marketing. The company has a wide range of digital products that span different industries and its design system ensures that the experience is consistent and simple for marketers, designers, developers, and all others involved.
Helps With Smooth On-Boarding
A design system helps to reduce the overall onboarding time taken for new recruits by providing a single source of truth for them to get acquainted with. This helps to reduce the overwhelming stress of starting a new job by finding all the comprehensive documentation in a single location.
Provides Access to Trickle Down Updates
Every time a design pattern is updated, a designer has to struggle with updating the different components in several places. Having a design system in place helps to remove this struggle because they provide you with a single source of truth for all the components and patterns. Hence, styles are to be updated in a commonplace so that the changes to the products get distributed through quick updates in the library package version.
Ensures An Improved Performance and Code with a Consistent UX
Using a design system will aid developers to have a uniform view of the code. It will prevent them from duplicating and aligning the newer codes with the pre-existing ones. Also, when you have a consistent layout and code, it ensures a consistent experience for users irrespective of whether they use the same device or shift to another product. Having a predictable interface allows users to interact and engage well with your digital products.
Overall Improvement in the Development Speed
When the component library goes through a stable release, the development speed automatically improves. Developers are freed from the burden of worrying about building new components from scratch to ensure their accessibility and responsiveness. Simply importing and leveraging the components does the trick.
A design system can assist in the fulfillment of a business's needs. With the growth of the digital economy, the transition to digital products is occurring at a rapid pace, necessitating continued development. Through the support of creativity, design systems help save money and time while eliminating task repetition. It helps to promote transparency through the use of consistent design language, preventing one-off solutions and brand image scattering. A design system can also assist in the simplification and optimization of corporate processes. The consumer experience becomes consistent if you have a central design language in place.
Having a design system in place will allow users to access and understand your brand's visual language better. Design systems help to keep a consistent customer experience for your users, by aiding in the resolution of inconsistencies in the overall user experience. Adoption of a design system can also serve as a helpful guide by providing future designers working on your brand with enough information on guidelines and components.
The design system, like your brand, undergoes continuous adjustments and evolutions to reflect the company's overall growth and development. If your focus is to provide users with a seamless digital experience for years on end then a design system is the solution.
Speak to our team of experts to build better with design systems.