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̶D̶e̶s̶i̶g̶n̶ Token Clusters.

The five ̶d̶e̶s̶i̶g̶n̶ Token Clusters you should be aware of.

The five Token Clusters.

D̶e̶s̶i̶g̶n̶ Tokens will revolutionize the future of brand identities by providing a consistent foundation for visual design across all digital platforms and incorporating various attributes such as behavioral, textual, assets, and functional utilities to create a truly holistic brand experience.

Design tokens.

Design tokens are digital representations of design elements, such as colors, typography, spacing, and other visual aspects.

Design tokens can be used to create a cohesive and consistent visual language and identity for a product.

They provide a shared vocabulary for designers and developers to communicate about design decisions and enable teams to maintain a consistent brand identity across all digital products and experiences.

Design tokens are used to define design elements in a single place and then reused throughout the product. This helps to ensure consistency across all parts of the product and makes it easy to update or change design elements in a single place.

Using design tokens can help streamline the design and development process, allowing designers and developers to work with a consistent set of design elements and reducing the need for manual updates to styles.

They also make it easier to maintain and update the product’s design, as changes to the design tokens can automatically propagate throughout the product or product line.

Behavioral tokens.

Behavior tokens or behavior design tokens are variables that store information related to the user experience of a product.

These tokens can define interactions, animations, and other behavioral elements that shape how users interact with a product — Making interactions, animations, and other behavioral elements consistent and predictable makes it easier for users to navigate and understand the product. This consistency can also build trust and credibility with users.

In addition, using behavior tokens can streamline the design and development process. By creating a set of consistent behavioral characteristics, designers and developers can work together more efficiently and ensure that the final product is cohesive and user-friendly.

Textual tokens.

Apart from design and behavioral information, you can use design tokens to store text strings, like copy and microcopy. We call these types of tokens “textual tokens.”

Textual tokens can ensure consistency in the text used throughout a product and help localize the product for different languages.

For example, you might define a token for the text of a button that says “Sign up” in English. You could then use this design token in your production code to display the button — and if you needed to localize the product for Spanish, you could update the value of the design token to the translated string “Registrarse” instead of updating the text in the production code directly.

Textual tokens can ensure consistency and make it easier to maintain and update the text used in a product.

Functional tokens.

Function tokens, or functional design tokens, are a type of design token used to store a reference to a function that can be reused throughout the codebase of a product.

Function tokens help to make the code more organized, maintainable, and reusable.

They can store common functionality like utility functions, data handling functions, validation functions, or code snippets used in multiple parts of the codebase. This allows teams to centralize their code, making testing, understanding, and updating the function easier.

Function tokens can also improve developer efficiency by providing a single source of truth for common functionality. For example, if a function needs to be updated or changed, it can be done in a single place, and the change will be reflected throughout the entire codebase wherever that function is used.

This also reduces the risk of bugs and errors because it eliminates the need to change code in multiple places.

Moreover, function tokens can improve the performance of the product. Reusing functions in multiple places reduces the need to duplicate the functionality across different parts of the code, which can save resources and reduce the codebase’s footprint.

In summary, function tokens can be a powerful tool for organizing, maintaining, and improving the performance of a codebase, while also improving developer efficiency by providing a single source of truth for common functionality.

Asset tokens.

There may be certain cases where it makes sense to use design tokens to store references to assets. For example, you might use a design token to store the URL of a specific font used throughout the product or to store the path to an image used as a logo or branding asset.

Asset tokens, or asset design tokens, are a type of design token that references an asset in a product, like a font, image, document, or even video, that can be reused throughout the product.

Using asset tokens to store a reference to images, documents, and other media allows the assets to be easily shared and reused across teams and departments. This can be particularly useful in large organizations, where different teams and projects may need to access the same assets.

Having a central repository of assets that can be easily accessed and referenced by all teams can help to ensure that all assets are consistent and up-to-date and also allows the organization to maintain control over the brand’s visual identity.

It can also help organizations keep track of asset usage and versioning, which can be critical for compliance and regulatory reasons. For example, if an asset needs to be updated or changed, it can be done in a single place, and the change will be reflected throughout the entire organization wherever that asset is used.

Hopefully, these definitions will be helpful to you and your team.

Find out how Tokens can improve your designs and design systems by connecting with us!

Also, check out our Tokens tool, Towkns!

Towkns is a tool to help designers and developers create, manage, and distribute tokens. Some of the features that Towkns include are:

In beta.
- Strict naming convention
- Advanced token inheritance
- Full web support (including the ability to translate design tokens to various formats such as CSS, SCSS, and JSON)
- Advanced multi-brand and multi-theme capabilities
- Integration with multiple workflows
- One-click build step

In development.
- Multi-platform support (including web, iOS, and Android)
- Token distribution through a secure content delivery network (CDN)
- Collaboration features for teams
- Multilingual interface

In research phase.
- Simplified version control
- The ability to manage more than just design tokens (e.g., utilities, assets, and textual content)

And much more!

Towkns is still in the very early stages, but it’s worth checking out now!

👉 https://towkns.com/

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Milber Ferreira

Frontend & UX Engineer | Entrepreneur & Founder | All about Design Tokens