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A better understanding of a Design System

Thomas Huber

December 16, 2019

8 min of reading


At the meeting point between product development and web development, the Design System is presented as a tool in the form of a user interface allowing the harmonization of design and innovation processes. Placing the user at its center, this method allows the harmonization of experiences and structures of concern to designers of digital applications or products. Optimal tool for accelerating development, the Design System has many advantages in the implementation and design of user interface (UI) design.

Halfway between designer and developer

The challenges facing web designers today are similar to those previously encountered by engineers at the start of the microelectronic age of the 1990s. Building an elaborate language, abstractions and collaborative management models, such are the contemporary issues involved. Thanks to advances in digital innovation, the gap between developer and designer has narrowed since the advent of Computer Aided Design software, implementing more versioned and interactive tools for building computer code. Now more accessible thanks to more efficient designs, web development has also become more aesthetic with the evolution and simplification of digital design. The evolution of the Design System can be compared to that of architecture which today shapes its own dogmas and codes.

The Design System in few words

The definition of the Design System can be similar to that of an interface, of a design guide. It provides the guidelines, language and library grouped into a sort of global charter. A reference interface, the Design system is an essential tool for the design and development of a digital application, an e-commerce site or any other form of digital service. Thus, anyone working on the design and development of a digital product can refer to it and use the various components in simplified code. The content of a Design System interface then depends on the identity, the digital ecosystem and the vocation of a given company. However, we find the following common characteristics:

  • Patterns and UIT components
  • Typography Color spectra and associated tools
  • Imagery and iconography
  • Tools and grids for structuring elements

The strengths of the Design System

An essential tool for the development of digital products and services, the Design System is presented as a database constituted as a design basis for developers and web designers. Facilitating digital design in its entirety in a simplified and more accessible interface for a wider range of technicians, the Design System is also intended to save companies time in the development of their products. Thus the objectives of the Design System are twofold: to free up precious time for the designer, who is therefore freed from repetitive tasks and therefore to allow the latter to devote himself to the development of the final product as a whole and its interactivity.

Finally, the Design System has the advantage of facilitating the aesthetic design of the product, which is essential in the development of an application or an e-commerce platform. A conjuncture between appearance and functionality, the Design System interface is therefore an essential design tool in the contemporary digital market.

Design System in the era of industrialization of design

An efficient Design System is also one that adapts to the new challenges of web industrialization and digital development. Essential to ensure consistency of use and allow users an optimal experience of the product or final service, the Design System thus allows the implementation of structural and graphic elements that will be used to communicate effectively. The ultimate meeting point between the various collaborators and technicians involved in the development of a product, the Design System is the design optimization and time-saving tool essential to the successful development of a business today.

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