April 1, 2024
UI/UX Guide
4 MIN READ

Speed up your App Design with Design Systems

Every UI UX designer needs a design system in their lives to make the whole design process easier. Learn about how to speed up your app design with a UI Kit.
By
Gabriel Pana
April 1, 2024
How to Speed up your App Design with Design Systems and UI Kits

“Design is more than just a few tricks to the eye. It’s a few tricks to the brain.” - graphic designer, Neville Brody

Designing an app or a web design can be easy. The research, the preparation, finding a great design team, and the financial resources that go into it, will no longer be reasons for any UI UX designer to worry. And, fortunately, there are multiple ways to make the process more efficient. One of the most important and specific means of achieving this is by using a design system. 

If we want to understand what design systems for apps are, we can think of the architecture of a house. If we wanted to move to a house, it would be more convenient to ask a team of architects to craft the project instead of doing it all ourselves. In the tech world, the architect is the designer, and the plan of the building is the design system. The best part is that we can use the same design system to build multiple apps. In the same way that we recycle, we utilize design systems for different apps, giving it a new purpose every time. 

What is a Design System?

A design system is a group of reusable UI elements. It contains various guidelines that UI UX designers can implement in different digital projects, such as websites and apps. Whether we look at Microsoft, IBM, Apple, or Shopify, we quickly notice how most of the largest and most successful companies use design systems.

Design systems contain design principles and patterns that contribute to the creation of high-quality, consistent interfaces and other digital products. The main purpose of a design system is to help you create a user interface that is intuitive and visually appealing, while also establishing a great user experience. Even after you develop the initial product, a design system will allow you to update it and improve it through various additions.

There are 5 elements that all design systems will contain:

  • Design Tokens
  • Design Kits
  • Content Design
  • Component Library
  • Documentation Site

Benefits of a Design System

In a 2020 study, one of the biggest research companies, Forrester, found out that 65% of the businesses they surveyed used a design system for their apps. 

As we mentioned, if you already have a design system in place, you will not need to struggle to make adjustments. Technology evolves at incredible rates. The most successful products constantly suffer changes and improvements. If we think about Apple’s remarkably popular iOS system, it will typically receive multiple updates and bug fixes throughout the span of a year. 

As UI UX designers, we will regularly need to revise our apps so that they fit trends and the latest digital discoveries. Besides this, UI  elements such as color scheme and layout also need to be modified from time to time. A Figma design system can reduce the need for these manual adjustments. It will also allow you to develop more products without needing to expand your team.

Another great advantage of implementing a Figma design system is that it improves the workflow dynamic inside your team. It is simple, if everybody is playing by the same rules, the end result will be harmonious. A design system will provide the foundation for every member of the team, which supports a straightforward collaboration. If a new person joins the team, they will save time by adjusting to a predefined UI design system, rather than having the entire group adjust to the new member.

Time is money.  Instead of wasting precious revenue on new resources, we can build up on an already existing basis, which is the design system. If your design team is used to working with familiar guidelines and concepts, their productivity will spike. And what does increased productivity mean? More time to build and work on new things, as well as reduced costs. It is also cheaper to build around something that already exists and you know will work, rather than starting off from square one. So, if you’re thinking ”How can I speed up my design process?”, using a design system is definitely a good way.

One thing we should always keep in mind when we design something for our brand is to maintain its identity. Companies that struggle to stick to their core values and always migrate between concepts that do not match their goals will come off as untrustworthy to customers. With a well-crafted design system, we can support our brand values so that the message does not get lost along the journey.

How much time does a Design System save?

In 2019, Figma carried out a very interesting experiment on different designers. This showed that designers who used a design system completed their work 34% faster than the ones who did not use one. 

According to a study published by ZeroHeight, from a tech point of view design systems can save up to 37% of development time. From the perspective of enhanced designs, the production time can be decreased by 27%. That is quite a lot of time saved up just by adopting a design system for your app!

But how does that really work?

The first thing that a design system helps us with is that it creates a pattern that we can later follow and use to enhance our app’s design and user experience. Our workload will be automatically reduced and we will gain valuable time to invest in other parts of our project.

We can look at design systems as we do at a business advisor. They will take decisions that help with making our app more efficient and we will be able to replicate them in the future.

Are Design Systems Worth It?

Design systems act as a shortcut. Designing an app requires various stages. From the initial development of a prototype to testing out different outcomes with a smaller control group, to implementing changes based on the findings, all these steps are crucial for the success rate of our app. A design system will drastically reduce the time required for each of the stages.

However, the research phase is not the only area in which we can save some time. When an entire design team works with the same design system on an app, it will open some doors to group efficiency. Because they are only required to learn its components and layout, the tasks can be spread out more easily. When people are familiar with the workflow, progress speed increases significantly. 

You may be thinking that you need more designers for your app, but you probably just need a good design system.

uinkits – Our Figma UI Kits and Design System

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest.” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system includes UI components, icons, variables, cards, buttons and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

By
Gabriel Pana
April 1, 2024

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