Efficiency and consistency are key requirements in Agile software development and DevOps. A design system is a good tool to improve the efficiency of product development, user experience, and the uniformity of products and services.

What is a design system?

A design system isn’t just a collection of reusable components. Emmet Connolly, director of product design at Intercom, aptly describes how the term is sometimes misused:

"...most design systems are just component libraries: Big boxes full of user interface Legos that can be combined in countless ways. The pieces may be mutually consistent, but that doesn't mean their combinations are. A product is more than a bunch of reusable UI elements. It has structure and purpose.”

In keeping with Connolly's spirit, I’d describe a good design system as a collection of working practices—a framework that combines user interface components, design principles, and technical specifications.

A design system serves as the basis for product development and provides a consistent set of instructions that justify why specific components and solutions have been chosen. Understanding this makes it easier to accept decisions.

A good design system combines the workflows of UX design and development and guarantees that all digital products reflect the company's brand through reusable, well-designed, user-tested, and validated components.

The main benefits of a design system

An appropriate design system offers a number of significant benefits:

  • Speed ​​and efficiency in product development: When a design system is in use, the creation and introduction of new services accelerate considerably. Efficiency leads to cost savings because the planning and testing of new projects don’t have to start from scratch.
  • Consistent user experience: A design system guarantees a uniform user experience with different products. Ease of use and consistency strengthen the brand and create trust in users.
  • Accessibility: A good design system takes accessibility into account in all services, making it easy and straightforward.
  • Improving communication: Design systems help designers and developers communicate better and more efficiently, which facilitates collaboration. With a common language and shared components, misunderstandings and inconsistencies are reduced.
  • Supporting innovation: Although a design system promotes consistency, it is not intended to stifle creativity. It provides a framework allowing designers and developers to innovate without having to reinvent the wheel for every project.
  • From plans to implementation: UX designers can be confident that the final implementation matches their vision. In addition, if a design system is implemented with front-end technology used in the application, the use of components is straightforward.

Something for everyone

The benefits of a design system must be tangible for development and product teams to maintain motivation. While benefits vary between different businesses and teams, we’ve listed those most widely appreciated based on our experience of working with organizations in an assortment of industries:

Product teams

  • A unified brand and user experience.
  • Products that work the same way.
  • Faster and higher quality user interface development.
  • Continuously developing user interface components.
  • Faster start to projects.


  • Easy-to-implement plans, for example, Node.js package management dependencies.
  • Component bug fixes.
  • Write one component, and get ten on the shop.
  • Less writing of CSS-style files.
  • Components that work well together.

UX designers

  • Less work with pixel-accurate user interface definitions.
  • One source for the latest designs.
  • Rapid prototyping with codable/clickable prototypes.
  • Stronger company uniform design.
  • An efficient tool for preparing, managing, and implementing user interface guidelines.

When is the best time to implement a design system?

There is no single design system that solves all problems. The system should be tailored to suit your company's specific needs and growth stage.

Most of the time, it makes sense to develop and implement a design system when a company starts a new product development project or renews an existing one. The design system can then be carefully developed alongside the product, enabling one to benefit from the other.

A functioning design system also brings with it a clear process for producing and maintaining plans in the development team.

It is important to note that the design system is more than a library of components; it’s the foundation of the company's design and development.

From an inch to action

A design system is a strong tool for companies that want to develop their DevOps and software development processes.

A well-planned design system streamlines the development of applications, improves internal consistency, and speeds up the implementation of new services.

At Eficode, we have extensive experience with design systems and their application for various user needs.

Published: Jul 2, 2024

Software developmentDevOpsDesign and UX