Design system

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A Design System is a set of interconnected patterns and shared practices coherently organized.[1] Design Systems aid in digital product design and development of products such as apps or websites. They may contain, but are not limited to, pattern libraries, design languages, style guides, coded components, brand languages, and documentation.

It serves as a reference or source of truth that helps the different teams involved (such as designers, developers, copywriters and project managers) to design and build digital products.[2]

Some of the advantages of a design system are:

  • Faster builds, through reusable components and shared rationale.
  • Better products, through more cohesive user experiences and a consistent design language.
  • Improved maintenance and scalability, through the reduction of design and technical debt.
  • Stronger focus for product teams, through tackling common problems so teams can concentrate on solving user needs.[3]

Notable design systems include Lightning Design System (by Salesforce),[4] Material Design (by Google),[5] Carbon Design System (by IBM),[6] and Fluent Design System (by Microsoft).[7]


  1. ^ Kholmatova, Alla (2017). Design systems : a practical guide to creating design languages for digital products. Smashing Media AG. p. 18. ISBN 978-3-945749-58-6.
  2. ^ "Everything you need to know about Design Systems". 2019-10-03.
  3. ^ Perez-Cruz, Yesenia (2019). Expressive Design Systems. Jeffrey Zeldman. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-937557-85-0.
  4. ^ "Lightning Design System".
  5. ^ "Material Design". Material Design. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  6. ^ "Homepage – Carbon Design System".
  7. ^ "Homepage – Fluent Design System".

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