A design system is described as a portfolio of ecofriendly graphical modules, design standards, and style guides, which explains a common visual language for product teams. It links both teams that is involved in building up a final product, by having a very clear graphics standards, which makes the collection of websites from components kind of easy. So literally, a design system is a guideline for graphical and development teams.
Often times, designers come up with questions like; where do they start? Do they need to build up something from the scratch, use an already existing system, or start with what they have? when they are about starting a design system and most times, the reply as always is ‘it depends’. A good design system basically works for everyone, designers are not expected to be building design systems to be independent of other teams but instead, they should be achieving consensus through teams.
When starting a design system, there are important things that you need to consider with your team, they include:
- WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE AND IS IT AGREEABLE BY YOUR TEAM?
In a situation whereby you are looking for a new place to live, because where you are currently does not meet up to your standards any longer, or maybe because your current place of residence is too small and you need somewhere more spacious. But whatever your reasons maybe, some deficiencies were found in your current place. Exactly the same thing can be likened unto design system. In order for you to start working on one, everyone on your team has to come to terms with the state of deficiency. A big problem that will decrease your ability to develop, create and implement a design system would be the fact that not everyone on your team agrees that there is a problem initially. But a way to start attaining an agreement is by carrying out a pattern and component inventory, which entails you pointing out people across teams who can help.
- WHAT DOES IT COST TO GET STARTED AND WHERE SHOULD YOU START?
Now that everyone has agreed that you actually need a design system, the next question should be how much of your teams time and effort are they willing to donate towards the system? Imagine you wanting to move in to a new place, but you should also know that before you begin searching, you need to be sure that you can afford it. This is the same thing with design system projects. Contradictions might come up and while some teams would give their full support and effort in it, other teams will come to an agreement that a design system is needed quite alright but they are not able to contribute much to the actualization of the project. It is important to note that when starting a design system with your teams, a hundred percent of commitment is required.
- WHAT COULD WE DO TODAY?
At the end of everything, what most people care about is how the system will help them do their job better. Now that your team has a better understanding about the efforts and commitments involved, what you all are expected to think about next is if this design system is going to be profitable to other people.
Starting up a design system is not a very difficult task neither is it very easy, it all depends on your team needs, time, and their ability to adapt to the new system.