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You might have heard the term “design system” floating around recently, and you wonder if it’s something you should look into or just another trendy marketing idea. Design systems are actually a valuable tool your business should be utilizing to maximize the user experience, and it might even save you some time in the long run!

So, what is a design system? Think of it as an amped up version of your brand guidelines. Your design system should start broad and keep breaking itself down to house multiple components of your brand. It is your brand’s blueprint and library, but doesn’t just stop with colors and voice.

So, why do you need a design system? To better serve your customers by creating a cohesive user experience with every touch of marketing.

Feeling overwhelmed? Let’s break it down step by step on how to build out your design system:

  1. Start by identifying your overall brand and brand guidelines. This is best practices, core principles, process guides––mostly high level of who your business is and how it works.
  2. Next create a library of commonly used elements and specs. Here include templates, layouts, technical specs and sizes of commonly used elements.
  3. Get into the details by laying out typeface and fonts, specific color codes, logos, and illustration. But don’t stop there. You should also lay out design tokens, pattern library, icons, design principles and more.

It might seem like a lot of work upfront, but by creating this design system, you cut out so much hunting and searching for these elements on a regular basis. Plus, this is a neatly packaged guide to hand over to new hires to hopefully execute with ease. In theory, your design system should be so thoroughly built out, a freelancer could create assets for your brand with great accuracy on the first try just by referencing the system.

By keeping assets easily accessible you also cut hours of design time by being able to pull from work that has already been completed versus having your team start from scratch every single time.

This creates a seamless experience on the backend and on the frontend for your audience. They will get familiar with your brand, and recognize your branding whether they realize it or not!

So if you’re looking to maintain a strong brand identity, make onboarding easier, and save money on hours–a design system might be a great tool to incorporate into your business.

Do you currently use a design system in your company? Are you interested in learning more or finding marketing experts to help with your plans? Contact us today!