Design System: create a consistent and fascinating experience by connecting teams

  • A design system is essential to ensure that digital products offer a cohesive and engaging experience by providing clear guidelines for interface design and behaviour.
  • Implementing a robust design system ensures a consistent user experience, facilitating navigation and interaction regardless of user limitations.
  • A well-implemented design system promotes team collaboration, allows for quick and consistent adjustments, and ensures effective maintenance and the evolution of digital products.

In the vast digital world we live in, we are affected by a wide range of websites and applications, each with its own interface and user experience. However, it is impossible to ignore a striking difference between the digital products that captivate us and those to which we are indifferent: the implementation of a visual and behavioural ecosystem known as a design system (DS).

What exactly is a design system, and why does it play such a crucial role in creating truly impactful digital products?

A DS is not just a set of design guidelines or visual component libraries – it is the backbone of any successful digital experience.

Think of a design system as the architect behind a well-designed city, where every street, square and building fits perfectly together to create a harmonious experience. It is also the foundation on which every layout element is built, ensuring that every interaction is usable and accessible.

Design System, why?

Users expect a useful, valuable, engaging experience. However, without a design system, interface elements can vary widely in style, behaviour and even terminology, leaving users confused and frustrated. A design system establishes clear guidelines that direct the appearance and behaviour of all components: consistency and cohesion, time and effort savings, scalability and collaboration.

Usability and Accessibility enhancements

UX consistency is not just an aesthetic matter; it plays a crucial role in usability and accessibility. Users familiar with the interface will have a more valuable experience, while the application of required accessibility standards guarantees that the product is usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities or limitations.

Importance of a Design System for team collaboration

A design system plays a vital role in collaboration between the team involved in a project. It promotes effective communication and collaboration, reduces time spent on rework and ensures a coherent implementation of UX.

Furthermore, the ease of adjusting or changing components is key. For example, if the colour palette or typography is updated, these changes can be easily applied across all relevant DS components. Minor adjustments or changes, like the colour of a button or the spacing between elements can be made immediately across all project layouts.

This flexibility and consistency not only facilitate maintenance and product evolution: they strengthen collaboration and alignment between teams.

Components and best practices

A design system comprises various elements working together to create a cohesive and efficient experience: typography, colours, iconography, interactions, sizing, animations and transitions.

To guarantee the success of your DS, it is essential to follow good practices. Document, test, iterate and involve all your stakeholders in the product’s development and maintenance.

UI Kits

For smaller projects and/or limited resources, UI kits offer a simpler alternative. A UI kit is a collection of pre-designed elements like buttons, icons and other common elements that can be easily incorporated into a project to accelerate design and implementation processes.

While UI kits are less comprehensive and flexible than a full DS, they still provide significant benefits for smaller teams and projects.


Time during which the UI Kit is valid.

Final Thoughts

Now, you have a good idea of what a design system is and how it can benefit your business.

  • A single repository source for UX and front end allows greater control over multiple product versions and product scalability.
  • A well-structured design system helps solve common project development issues. On the other hand, product teams are empowered to start new projects more quickly and easily.
  • The design system contributes to creating an engaging and effective user experience.

Maintaining the design system is crucial to ensuring its longevity and effectiveness. At Xpand IT, we follow a flexible process for maintaining these ecosystems, starting with regular audits to assess the DS’s alignment with the brand’s evolution. We conduct in-depth analyses to ensure that visual elements remain consistent and cohesive across all platforms and touchpoints.

Xpand IT’s UX unit has extensive experience creating design systems for projects of various complexity levels across multiple industries, not just only in large enterprises but also in SMEs.

If you’ve considered implementing a DS in your company but are struggling to define the starting point, our specialists can assist with your needs.

A Design System is a multi-faceted layer cake, and also operates as part of other layered systems within an organization.

Brad Frost, 2021
Carlos NevesDesign System: create a consistent and fascinating experience by connecting teams


User Experience

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