Since we introduced Toolabs DS-101 Component Studio as a beta preview version, we observed that multi-dimensional global and component state management has been one of the most loved features we developed. But it is a built-in feature of Toolabs DSM and it is still in development phase (more will be announced later on the release of Toolabs).
When Adobe announced the Plugins Panel, we thought that it would be awesome to release Toolabs DSM as a plugin for Adobe XD users to enhance their workflow of making themeable design systems. Before Adobe XD version 21, plugins could only be reached through a modal dialog therefore it was not suitable for a panel requiring a non-blocking user experience. Excited to be an early plugins panel developer and launch our plugin today. With Adobe’s Plugins panel launch today, our plugin can be quickly accessed and used alongside the canvas without breaking the user’s flow.
Although you can use Toolabs DSM for creating and managing your design tokens and share them between your documents, similar to Assets Panel of XD, in this post I would like to focus on system state management and its benefits.
Current Workflow of Creating Themeable Designs
With existing design tools, creating themed design systems is hard. Just to make a simple color theme, for each theme variation you need to:
- Duplicate all tokens and rename each of them (e.g., $background-light -> $background-dark).
- Make copies of all artboards and apply the corresponding design token for this theme to each element in the artboard.
- Repeat all the changes for other themed artboards to maintain system consistency for any change in the master artboard.
It is a cumbersome and error-prone process, that wastes time.
Stateful Design Systems comes to rescue
Toolabs DSM Plugin takes style management one step further with its stateful design system management which enables you to declare all the possibilities of your design with no need to copy and paste the artboards.
First, you declare the possible states of your design, which are not limited to only color themes but might be for multilingual copy text or even for different versions of your work.
Then, you select the desired state and change the value of style tokens to be applied for the selected state, without even touching your artboards, the changes will be applied to design elements, that is all :)
Moreover, you are not limited to a single list of color variations, but can generate n-ary cartesian product of multi-dimensional state declarations. It is better to show the possible combinations with an example state declaration :
We’d love for you to try out our new XD plugin. Click here for more information and to download it now.