There is tension between having a broad general purpose design system or an in-house design system tailored to the company.
User experience of design systems
- Many people think of design systems as web components or digital products.
- Rune Madsen has a broader definition: any systematic structure that eases the burden of work on designers & heightens the quality of the product.
Understanding the rise & risk of systems
- Design systems have become a trend because our workflows naturally will move towards optimization & consistency is ensured.
- However, there are 2 main problems with this:
- These systems benefit the designer, not the users
- The systems lead to a monoculture where many products look the same.
A need for design tools to evolve
- The problem with current tools is that we are bound to a waterfall process where designers work in one tool, while developers work in another.
- Designers & programmers should be unified around a single tool. Therefore, our tools need to change to bridge the gap.
Where design & programming meet
- It can be risky to make aesthetic Sketch or Photoshop files the source of truth when it comes to product design.
- One interesting way of combating that is Airbnb’s recent React work, which reverses the typical Sketch to code process.
Material Design also has problems. It is promoted as a design system for everyone, but it has a big mission to make everything look like Google.