Riley Rittenhouse

The Most Exciting Design Systems Are Boring

March 22, 2020 5:29 pm

In an article by Josh Clark, called “The Most Exciting Design Systems Are Boring”, he explained how establishing a design system for a large company can be really beneficial in the long run by sticking with the current design system and organizing it to establish the same guidelines throughout the company.

Even if it was “boring”, I completely agree with what Clark is talking about in this article. Especially in large companies, who have multiple designers working on things having the consistency that comes from a well thought out design system is really important otherwise you could end up with variations of the same system.

Creating a design system is really helpful when you’re working with a team of people. I learned this recently by taking Brad Frost’s Atomic Design method to create an educational app. Since there were three people working on the same app, we had to make sure all our buttons, forms and other elements were the same to create that consistency throughout the app. Splitting elements into their smallest form (atoms) and using a UI kit as the basis for our app meant we could make changes easily and efficiently. This ended up saving so much time and allowed us to spend more time developing other aspects of the brand to individualize it.

Clark Systems
I think this image from Clark really shows how efficient a clear design system can be in a large company.

Design systems are more about establishing a language for your brand. Once you develop that language using patterns and components, you have the foundation to develop your brand across all platforms, which is why I think they are so important.