Technology leaders such as Google, IBM, and Salesforce rely on design systems to codify and scale design efforts across entire organizations. But design systems aren’t just for big-name brands: 65% of companies surveyed by Forrester in 2020 said they use one.
In essence, a design system is a set of patterns and practices that help teams across an organization—from designers to developers—create consistent, accessible digital products. There are different models, but most consist of a pattern library, design tokens, brand and style guidelines, and documentation on how to use the system.
The benefits of design systems are twofold. First, they speed up every stage of product development, from concept and design to production and testing. In a 2019 experiment, Figma found that designers working with a system completed their tasks 34% faster than those without one. Second, design systems improve the customer experience by ensuring consistency, familiarity, and accessibility at every touchpoint.