Unit 1: Intro to Design
Unit 2: Figma Fundamentals
Unit 3: The Creative Process
Unit 4: Color Theory
Unit 5: Introduction to Illustrator
Unit 6: Typography
Unit 7: Layout
Unit 8: Typesetting
Unit 9: User Interface Design
Unit 10: Design Systems
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The Value of Design Systems

The modern world does not tolerate re-inventing the wheel easily. Life around us gives us enough clues on how modularity has established itself as a concrete standard for nearly every system that exists around us.

In this lesson, we will discuss the value and importance of design systems.

Importance of Modularity

You can see modularity in engineering, science, arts, economy, and nature in its own sense. It has proved to be a reliable principle that breeds consistency and productivity.

The importance of modularity extends to reach programming, where it’s become an established best practice to build programs in a modular manner, so it scales easily during development, and is also easy to maintain in the future.

Using the same pattern in web design and development, one can only think of the many benefits behind having modular components that can be easily put together, just like Lego blocks, when building a new website. Having a number of components sharing the same look and feel makes it both a fun and organized experience to build a harmonious system that communicates well with the team working on it, as well as the audience who are perceiving it from the outside.

Design systems make it possible to set the different guidelines and provide the different components to work with for any given system. They make sure everything runs according to the same grand scheme of regulation which is often established based on many factors; including the brand of the project, the purpose it serves, and the audience it’s made for.

Democratizing Design Practice

Design systems help democratize design practice. Experience design (XD) teams can add lots of value to the business through design work that goes beyond efforts like designing buttons or form layouts. But they often lack the bandwidth to do so. So it’s good for the business if designers can make these tasks more efficient by democratizing the work they require. Design systems help teams do this by providing a set of user-experience-“blessed” components that developers and product managers can pull from when doing basic updates. This eliminates the need for XD pros to create yet another wireframe, freeing up that time for higher-impact work.

Power Accessibility Efforts

Design systems help power accessibility efforts. More companies are recognizing that they can use design systems to help achieve their accessibility goals. How? By making sure all design elements and code in the system adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it’s less likely that accessibility issues will creep into the organization’s digital experiences.

Improve Talent Retention

Design systems help indirectly improve talent retention. Ask any designer what they like least about their job, and you’re likely to hear things such as “I hate solving the same problem over and over again — like how to lay out a form.” Designers leave companies where they’re creating wireframes for the same design problem again and again to go where the work is more challenging and exciting. And exciting work means solving complex challenges that someone hasn’t already figured out — like reimagining an entire customer journey or designing an innovative new feature that fulfills an unmet customer need. Design systems document design decisions that are already made and can be applied again and again across products so that designers are not caught in this cycle of working on the same problems again and again.

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