Maintain consistency with Design Systems
Design System saves you time and money
When your team utilizes a design system, shipping new features becomes faster.
With design systems, designers spend less time designing components that already exist, and handoff to engineers is easier because most of the interface is already built with existing components.
What used to take 3-4 months can now be done in less than 30 days.
Through quantitative UX research, we analyze user behaviors to observe what your users actually do and how they do it. We then compare these findings against expectations to identify unnecessary obstacles that get in the way of completing their core tasks. By identifying friction, we uncover opportunities for improvement through design and interaction changes.
Design Principles & Governance
A Design system is much more than a style guide or a components library. What WANDR delivers is the principle of how design should be treated and governed at your organization. It provides your team a better understanding of the decisions that lead to the components in the design system, guiding them in the right direction when they need to create custom UI elements.
Engineers run the culture at your organization - we see this time and time again. They build new features and add them to your product like Frankenstein. With a well-governed design system, culture starts to shift towards becoming design-centric. In addition, by working with the WANDR team, Design Operations (DesignOps) will also become incorporated into your organization.
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Design Systems FAQs
What is a Design System?
A design system is a documented guideline, containing all reusable design elements that may be assembled together in order to maintain design consistency through product development. They are based on modularity and standardization--two reasons why factories during the industrial revolution were able to take advantage of economies of scale to mass-market levels.
Think of design system as a human body--the brand is like our DNA, typography and colors are like cells, design components like buttons are like tissues, and a widget in a dashboard is like an organ. As you can see, each small component is part of a larger component that’s then within a larger system that all work together harmoniously.
What are the benefits of investing in a Design System?
Design Systems can save your organization thousands of hours of work, especially when you’re building a large SaaS product. UI components and design elements can easily be replicated so that teams can use the same components over and over, without needing to design them from scratch. It also allows your design team to change a single component in a matter of seconds, not hours.
For example, let’s say you’re going through a redesign and a designer needed to change the button from red to blue. Without a design system, this designer would need to change that button color manually across all of your screens that have that button. At a small startup, that may only take an hour or two to do; but if you’re scaling an enterprise SaaS product, that single change can take days. With a design system, that designer will change the color once, and the system will automatically reflect the change across every screen in seconds.
Design system also serves as a single source of truth that allows for scalability when designing new features--it prevents inconsistencies, design debt (and/or technical debt), and misinterpretations. So when you have a product team with multiple designers, they are all working out of the same component library, instead of their own individual references. This benefit then trickles down to development handoff--if a developer had already created a red button, they won’t need to re-develop that same button.
We’re an enterprise company with a complex SaaS product, what is your process in building our Design System?
Our team at Wandr is extremely experienced with working on enterprise SaaS products that require new Design Systems or those looking to update their existing Design Systems.
Our team will first conduct an audit of what exists, how the Design System is being utilized by the product team, and how the changes of any components may affect the overall user experience and technical architecture.
Once the audit is complete, we’ll strategize and plan with you (and your stakeholders) on how to move forward. Oftentimes, we find that it is extremely challenging to build a Design System that involves new UI elements for a legacy SaaS product due to changes in technical architecture. These changes can become timely and expensive, so we plan with you to prioritize each quarter what elements are able to change and be added to the Design System.
Once the planning is complete, we execute by creating the visual design language, create the UI component library (pattern library) and document each component. As the last part of the execution, we will set the design principles and brand guidelines of how the Design System should be utilized.
For clients who are interested in Design Operations (DesignOps) as a service, we will also work with your team on how to govern and maintain your Design System.
We’re a startup company, is it too soon to build a Design System?
No, it’s never soon enough! When you build a Design System from the start of building a product, it will ensure that you have the right foundations for scalability and consistency.
It will also ensure that as you have changes to your product team (old designers leaving, new designers coming onboard), you have a single source of truth that everyone can utilize and not create technical debt.
How long does a Design System take to build?
As with anything, how long it takes to build a Design System depends on the complexity of your product. For small product, this can take as short as a few weeks. For an enterprise SaaS product, this could take up to a year.
What’s the difference between a Design System and a Style Guide?
Style guides are your foundation for your brand identity. They set the tone, voice, and language of your brand by establishing key design elements, such as typography, iconography, and colors. Style guides only serve as one part of the Design System.
Design Systems, on the other hand, lay down the principles on how all these different elements should work together and how they should or shouldn’t be combined. For example, if a button is always blue, but then is red when placed inside a chart, the Design System will explain as to why there is this inconsistency of design elements in certain instances.
Design Systems are also always evolving, unlike a Style Guide. A Style Guide usually has a standard number of design elements that never change unless an organization goes through a major re-branding; however, a Design System is expected to evolve as the product scales because of new interactions and UX that is involved.
Why are so many product teams releasing Design Systems these days?
If your organization does not utilize a Design System, then it is leaving money on the table. Design Systems can directly impact your bottom line--it saves thousands of work hours that would otherwise be used creating repeated design elements that already exists. It ensures that your entire product team and organization are working from the same single source of truth, which is essential for scaleability and consistency. Without it, your team is stuck doing busy work fixing the inconsistencies.
How much does a Design System cost?
The cost of our Design System services start at $40,000. The final estimate depends on the complexity of your product. Specifically, an enterprise SaaS product will cost significantly more than a startup product due to the complexity of the designs and the technical architecture.