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A Short Primer on Design Systems

M. Stevens
NYC native, Frontend Developer, UI/UX Designer. Passionate about Python, UI/UX, design for social good, the Internet of Things, Diversity in Tech, Food, & Startups.
Updated on ・1 min read

You may have heard the term Design Systems, or maybe other terms such as Design Language, Pattern Library, or even Component Design.

When we talk about Design Systems, we are actually referring to components that can be reused in a number of different combinations. This is very important when dealing with human-computer interaction, user experience, interaction design, as well as front-end development. Design Systems help with improving design and development workflow, iterate with confidence and manage updates collaboratively. Documentation is also key to understanding the separate components that make up the design system along with when and how to use them effectively.

The importance of having a Design System is crucial to a team for a variety of reasons.

The main reasons:

  • Scaling your app or product for future growth
  • Promoting Consistency throughout the user experience and product branding
  • Efficiency for developers and designers in order to save time
  • Encouraging Teamwork

Some of the biggest examples of commercial design systems are:

  • Polaris by Shopify
  • Airbnb Visual Language
  • Plasma by WeWork
  • Swarm by Meetup
  • Google's Material Design

Here are links to more in-depth information about design systems if you feel like going down the design development rabbit hole:

Everything you need to know about Design Systems

Systems Design - Wikipedia

This post also appears on my blog as well, feel free to check it out.

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