Design Systems, preparation: Software, services and plugins

Getting ourselves ready to create a free design system called Dezin.

Christopher Deane
Sep 27, 2017 · 6 min read

About this series

What is it?

It’s time to take everything I’ve learnt over this time and create Dezin with a series of video tutorials that will help you master Sketch and learn how to create your own design system along the way.

A practical approach

About me

When you consider the nature of design systems it’s going to keep growing and continue to be refined over the months that follow. If you stick with it and stay for the long run, it’ll be very rewarding… so let’s prepare 😃.

Preparation

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

- Abraham Lincoln

To set ourselves up for success we’ll talk about discipline and the software, plugins and services you’ll need for this series.

Discipline

The ability to follow a workflow and each step in its process will turn your team into a design symphony where anyone can be the conductor.

There is intent behind everything we’ll do. From workflow, naming conventions, folder and layer structure, to colours, shared styles and symbols; When it all comes together you’ll become a more efficient and purposeful designer.

Sketch

Sketch Libraries

You can read more about this approach here:

Open Sketch, then…

Customize your toolbar

I turned this

Into this

We’ll rely on these less as we move through this tutorial series and start learning some new keyboard shortcuts. Speaking of which…

Customize your keyboard shortcuts

  1. Open the System Preferences app
  2. Select Keyboard
  3. Select Shortcuts
  4. Select App shortcuts
  5. Click the + icon
  6. In the drop down menu select Sketch.app, enter the exact name of the menu item you want to make into a shortcut then in the last field press the keys you’d like for the shortcut
  7. Select Apply

You’ll now be able to use the shortcuts that make you more efficient. I turned the existing ones that move a layer forward or backward and show your grid and guides into the ones I had used in Photoshop for many years.

Plugins

Sketch Runner

Auto Layout

Renameit

Stark

Sketch Style Libraries

Versioning

This is an optional step but if you’re working with multiple designers I’d suggest you use it. It will allow you to quality check new commits to the design system and keep the master Sketch file clean of duplicate symbols and shared styles.

Sign up for an account, download the desktop app and get ready to create your first project so you’re ready for when I finish the next part of this series.

Congratulations!

For updates:

Design + Sketch

The best collection of articles, tips, tutorials, and…

Christopher Deane

Written by

Design Leader. Product, Visual & Motion Designer. Design Systems Lead. Content Creator. Loving Husband and Awesome Dad.

Design + Sketch

The best collection of articles, tips, tutorials, and stories on designing and prototyping with Sketch and beyond

Christopher Deane

Written by

Design Leader. Product, Visual & Motion Designer. Design Systems Lead. Content Creator. Loving Husband and Awesome Dad.

Design + Sketch

The best collection of articles, tips, tutorials, and stories on designing and prototyping with Sketch and beyond

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