Why a Design Management System is a must for an Enterprise grade application

In the recent past, most of the enterprise grade applications that have been developed are well designed, rich in functionality, and they have used the latest back-end technologies. But the real question for any design enthusiastic would be “how many of those applications were developed using a Design System?”

Companies and design teams manage to somehow develop enterprise grade applications without considering the importance of having a Design System until they face the true horror of manageability and scalability of the application.

The “Why” and “How”

So what is a Design system?

A design system is not just a set of components; it can be considered as the “backbone of the application” which consists of;

1. Reusable components/elements

2. Defining UI patterns

3. Defining UI styles

4. Design principles and guidelines

Are companies too late to adopt to a Design System while the application is being developed? The answer is NO!

You would wander why companies that haven’t considered having a Design System as a core part of its applications build with in the organization’s. Here are few reasons why;

Lack of knowledge about Design Systems

For any organization first and foremost, before they even plan the development of an application, it’s a must to initiate incorporating a Design System that’s commonly used or else create their very own. Foreseen the impact of not having a design system and the problems they would have to undergo at a later stage is very much higher, hence having the right people with the right skills to build a design system with their expertise is a MUST and will turn out to be a smart move.

Assuming the use of Design Systems are a waste of time!

The consequences are very much higher for an organization knowing the importance of a design system and not considering it while planning and developing enterprise grade applications. Most of the organizations tend to consider this effort as an extra cost and unnecessary resource utilization, but what they don’t foresee is the long-term objectives of managing the application look and feel through a design system.

Down the line from the application point of view, the sustainability and consistency is damaged due to various requirements and problems that occur;

1. Managing commonly used styles within the application

2. Modules/components design consistency issues

3. Unable to manage reusable components within the application

Not considering application white labeling approach

Nowadays most of the products that are being built to adopt to B2B or B2C strategies should consider the use of a design system within the application. This is where the importance of the application and its core themes should be built on top of a design system. If not, the hassle to transform the application with brand colors would be a time consuming and not a practical task depending on the application depth and complexity.

Finally, even though creating a design system consumes time and right people/resources at the initial stage of a product cycle, on the long run it will beneficial to each and every one in the organization to adopt and follow a design system and its standards.

Leave a comment down here if you wish to share your experience with not having a Design System and what you had to go through or if you have any questions please do share with me,

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Shamir Dawood

Product Designer (UX/UI Designer) | Over 10 Years of Experience in Software Design Industry