How a Design System Can Speed Up Your Innovation Process

Designing at scale is crucial to business success. Big companies like Airbnb and Uber have embraced design systems as the new way they design digital products. A Design system is a collection of repeatable components and a set of standards that guide the use of those components. But how does that help save your company money? Here are a few thoughts from our design team that may help push you over to utilizing design systems in 2019.

Just as style guides help keep a brand consistent across all touch points, design systems unite product teams around a common design language. Building pattern libraries enable teams to build better products faster by making design reusable, and reusability makes scale possible.

A common analogy for a design system is atomic design. In the natural world, atomic elements combine together to form molecules. These molecules can combine further to form complex organisms. With nested symbols, designers can use a similar methodology to streamline the design process.

Think of a simple button as an atom. Atoms can be combined together into functioning units, becoming molecules. Relatively simple groups of UI elements, for example, a form label, search input, and button can join together to create a search form molecule. The ability to resize molecules is what makes a design system flexible.

When all product team members are on the same page, the implementation of those components becomes faster and more consistent which saves time on bespoke design. It is scalable across teams, making it more efficient. Simply because you’re reusing components in your design system, the time you spend creating will level off over time.

At that point, your designers and front-end developers can focus on fine-tuning existing products and adding delight to the experience! In the long run, the time it takes to create a design system will save your team time which will save your company money. It is how big companies are approaching the way they build digital products to scale.

At Rocksauce, we facilitate and design innovation sprints. We then pilot, create and develop new ideas, solutions, and software for companies big or small. Reach out to us today to see how an innovation or design sprint workshop can encourage goal-setting, ideation, and innovation at your company.

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