The top 3 organisational impacts of a design system.
Mar 20, 2023
Design systems have become a hot topic in recent years, with more and more organisations embracing this approach to design. A design system is a collection of reusable components, patterns, and guidelines that can be used to create consistent and cohesive designs across an organisation. While the benefits of a design system are many, in this article will focus on the top three organisational impacts of a design system.
1. Improved consistency
One of the primary benefits of a design system is improved consistency in design. When an organisation has a set of predefined components and guidelines, it becomes much easier to ensure that all designs are consistent and aligned with the organisation's brand and values. This consistency is important because it helps to establish a sense of trust and reliability with users.
Consistency also makes it easier for users to navigate and use an organisation's products and services. When the design is consistent, users don't have to relearn how to use different parts of the system, which can lead to a better overall user experience. This is especially important for organisations that offer complex products or services, where consistency can help reduce cognitive load and increase user satisfaction.
In addition, a design system can help organisations avoid the "Frankenstein" effect, where designs become patchwork quilts of disparate elements that have been cobbled together over time. This can happen when different teams within an organization are working on different parts of a product or service, and there is no centralised system to ensure that the designs are consistent. A design system can help to prevent this by providing a centralised repository of design assets and guidelines that all teams can reference.
2. Increased efficiency
Another benefit of a design system is increased efficiency. When an organisation has a set of predefined components and guidelines, it becomes much easier for designers and developers to create new designs and implement them. This is because they don't have to start from scratch each time they need to create a new design. Instead, they can simply use the existing components and guidelines as a starting point.
This can lead to significant time savings, which can be especially valuable in organisations where time is a critical factor. For example, in organisations that operate in highly competitive markets, being able to get products and services to market quickly can be a key differentiator. A design system can help these organizations achieve that by reducing the time it takes to create new designs.
In addition, a design system can help to reduce the number of design-related errors and inconsistencies. This is because designers and developers are working from a centralised repository of design assets and guidelines, which reduces the likelihood of errors creeping in. This can help to further increase efficiency, as it reduces the need for design-related rework and revisions.
3. Better collaboration
A design system can also have a positive impact on collaboration within an organisation. This is because it provides a common language and set of guidelines that all teams can use when working on design-related projects. This can help to reduce miscommunications and misunderstandings, which can be common when different teams are working on different parts of a product or service.
In addition, a design system can help to promote a culture of design within an organisation. When all teams are using the same set of design assets and guidelines, it becomes easier to align around a common vision for the organization's design. This can lead to a greater sense of shared purpose and a stronger culture of design within the organisation.
Furthermore, a design system can help to break down silos within an organisation. When all teams are working from the same set of design assets and guidelines, it becomes easier for them to collaborate and work together. This can help to break down barriers between different departments and teams, and create a more cohesive and collaborative organisational culture.
A design system can have a significant impact on an organisation. Improved consistency, increased efficiency, and better collaboration are just a few of the benefits that a design system can bring. Design systems can help organisations to create more cohesive, user-friendly designs that are aligned with the organisation's brand and values at scale. They can also help to reduce the time it takes to create new designs, and to reduce the number of design-related errors and inconsistencies. Finally, design systems can help to promote a culture of design within an organisation, and to break down silos between different teams and departments.
However, implementing a design system is not always a straightforward process. It requires investment in terms of time, resources, and budget. It also requires buy-in from key stakeholders within the organisation, including designers, developers, and product managers. In addition, a design system needs to be maintained and updated over time to ensure that it stays relevant and up-to-date.
Despite these challenges, the benefits of a design system can be significant. In a world where user experience is can be a differentiator, a design system can help organisations to create more consistent, efficient, and collaborative designs that are better aligned with the needs and expectations of their users. As such, it is no surprise that more and more organisations are embracing this approach to design.
WQA can help you leverage a design system to make a measurable impact on your organisation, fast
Partnering with WQA, a design system can be implemented within three to six months in organisations of any size, and scaled organically after that.
WQA builds world-class digital products for growth driven companies around the world. Working with Startups, Scale-ups and Enterprise, we design, build and scale digital products, experiences and platforms used by millions of people.