Download our guide on Design & Technology trends for 2024

What is a Design System, and Why Does My Application Need One?

design system

You, a design professional, know the struggle. You pour your heart into crafting a beautiful, user-friendly interface, only to see inconsistencies creep in as features expand and teams grow. Enter the Design System: your secret weapon for maintaining consistency, efficiency, and brand identity across your application.

Imagine a world where your UI/UX elements are harmonious, your developers sing in unison, and brand consistency reigns supreme. Welcome to the world of design systems, your secret weapon for conquering design chaos.

But what exactly is behind this mythology? Think of it as the single source of truth for your app’s design DNA, encompassing everything from the visual language (colors, fonts, spacing, buttons) to the foundational code powering those elements. It’s like a Lego set for designers and developers, providing the building blocks and instructions to craft cohesive user experiences across your entire application ecosystem.

Design systems aren’t just about pretty pixels. They include crucial design guidelines that dictate layout, interaction, and accessibility, ensuring your app is beautiful and usable for everyone. Additionally, they define your brand voice and tone, infusing every element with your unique personality and messaging.

Now, let’s clear some common hurdles:

  • UI design vs. design system: Think of UI design as focusing on the individual screens and interactions within your app, while the design system provides the reusable components and rules that govern those elements. It’s the difference between crafting a single Lego car and having an entire instruction manual and parts library for building anything you can imagine.
  • UI kit vs. design system: UI kits offer pre-designed components, while design systems go much more profound, encompassing code, guidelines, and brand voice. Imagine a UI kit as a paintbrush and some paint, while the design system is the entire art studio, complete with techniques, tools, and a guiding philosophy.

Benefits of Investing in a Design System

  • Consistency: No more Frankensteinian interfaces! Users will enjoy a seamless, recognizable experience across all features and platforms.
  • Efficiency: Stop reinventing the wheel! Reuse components and guidelines to save time and resources for both designers and developers.
  • Scalability: Adding new features or products becomes a breeze with a design system in place, ensuring consistency and quality even as your app evolves.
  • Collaboration: Designers, developers, and other teams sing in perfect harmony, aligned around a shared design language.
  • Accessibility: Everyone gets to enjoy your app! Design systems promote accessibility best practices, ensuring inclusivity for all users.

Design Systems in Action: Unifying Experiences Across Diverse Products

Think of design systems as static libraries and living, breathing frameworks that power exceptional user experiences across ecosystems. Let’s delve into how Atlassian, Spotify, and Salesforce leverage their design systems to achieve this:

design systems products

Imagine managing projects across Jira, Confluence, and Trello. Without a design system, these tools could feel like disjointed islands. Atlassian’s Design Language ensures a seamless transition between them, with consistent UI components, color palettes, and interaction patterns. The system reduces the cognitive burden for users and strengthens brand recognition across their diverse product suites.

Spotify delivers a unified listening experience regardless of platform, from desktop apps to mobile devices and smart speakers. Their Polaris design system goes beyond visual consistency, defining interaction patterns for navigation, playback controls, and social features. Their system ensures users can intuitively navigate across devices, fostering a sense of familiarity and ease.

Salesforce caters to businesses of all sizes, offering various CRM and productivity tools. Their Lightning Design System acts as the connective tissue, unifying the look, feel, and behavior across their diverse product offerings. This consistency simplifies onboarding for new users and empowers admins to customize the user experience for their specific needs.

These are just a few snapshots of design systems in action. The impact goes beyond the surface, influencing:

  • Development Efficiency: Reusable components and code snippets accelerate development, freeing up resources for innovation.
  • Content Consistency: Brand guidelines and voice & tone documentation ensure consistent messaging across all touchpoints.
  • Accessibility: Design systems prioritize accessibility best practices, making apps usable for everyone.

By implementing a design system, you’re not just creating a style guide but building a foundation for a cohesive, scalable, and delightful user experience across your entire digital landscape.

How Unosquare Can Help…

At Unosquare, we understand the challenges of maintaining consistency and innovation across diverse products. Our experienced designers and developers are passionate about crafting tailored design systems that ensure visual harmony and empower your teams, streamline development, and elevate the user experience.

  • Design System Strategy & Implementation: We guide you through the entire process, from initial vision to ongoing maintenance, ensuring your system aligns with your business goals and user needs.
  • Contemporary UI/UX Design: Our team breathes life into your design system, crafting engaging, user-friendly interfaces that reflect your brand identity and resonate with your audience.
  • Development Integration: We seamlessly integrate your design system into your development workflow, empowering your teams to build faster and more efficiently.
  • Innovation & Scalability: We stay at the forefront of design trends, ensuring your system evolves alongside your business and technology landscape.

But it’s not just about the tools but the partnership. We believe in close collaboration, working alongside your team to understand your unique challenges and goals. We’ll provide ongoing support and guidance, ensuring your design system becomes a living, breathing asset that drives your business forward.

Ready to harmonize your application ecosystem and unlock the power of a design system? Contact Unosquare’s Design and Development Center of Excellence today. Let’s create a design language that speaks volumes about your brand and resonates deeply with your users.


Ready to dive in?
Start with Unosquare today.

Unosquare is a full-service, international digital engineering firm. Through our centers of excellence we recruit, train and professionally manage talent to ensure expertise from discovery to delivery.

Let's work together