Design Systems are the Future

Day 3 at the Abstractions Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, and I learned a lot. In this post I’ll be talking about what I learned from the talk, entitled, “Road Runner Rules: More what you’d call Guidelines for Design Systems” by Micah Godbolt.

  1. I learned that linguistics and design are interconnected because the two combined, give you visual language. For example, when you design a website you are communicating with or to the user. You are telling the user something, guiding the user, or providing something to the user.
  2. When you design a site, the colors you use, the way the site is layed out can convey, trust, value, reliability and more.
  3. A design system is a set of rules and assets that define how to express everything a visual language needs to say. IBM has developed a pretty cool design system.
  4. Like anything in life, there are rules. Any design system has to have rules. One of the rules is to have a method. Include methods like using Object Oriented CSS which encourages code reuse, which makes stylesheets easier to maintain and the site faster. Another method is using BEM (Block Element modifier). According to their site, “BEM is a highly useful, powerful and simple naming convention to make your front-end code easier to read and understand, easier to work with, easier to scale, more robust and explicit and a lot more strict.”
  5. When designing a site you have to think about things like, how to create icons, the dos and don’t of photography, custom rules or guidelines that the site will have, templates, API’s linked assets and more. And if you create a system, you should document it.

I learned that following a design system increases workflow and makes for a better site and user experience.