As the web continues to become more complex, designing static pages has become untenable, so that many of us have started to approach design in a more systematic way. In this book, Alla Kholmatova sets out to identify what makes an effective design system that can empower teams to create great digital products.
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Not all design systems are equally effective. Some can generate coherent user experiences, others produce confusing patchwork designs. Some inspire teams to contribute to them, others are neglected. Some get better with time, more cohesive and better functioning; others get worse, becoming bloated and cumbersome.
What are the key qualities of a well-functioning, enduring design system? Throughout the book, Alla will share an approach that will help you every day with your work.
This book is aimed mainly at small and medium-sized product teams trying to integrate design systems thinking into their organization’s culture. Everyone in the product team could benefit from reading this book, but particularly visual and interaction designers, UX practitioners and front-end developers.
This book presents a perspective on design systems based on Alla Kholmatova’s experience as an interaction and visual designer. It is about how to approach your design process in a more systematic way, and ensure your design system helps to achieve the purpose of your product and fits with the culture of your team.
The book is divided into two parts. In the first part we’ll talk about the foundations of a design system – patterns and practices. The second part focuses on practical steps and techniques to establish and maintain a design system, including planning the work, conducting an interface inventory, setting up a pattern library, creating, documenting, evolving and maintaining design patterns.
There isn’t a standard definition of “design system” within the web community and people use the term in different ways. In this chapter, we’ll define what a design system is and what it consists of.
Solid principles are the foundation for any well-functioning system. In this chapter we’ll discuss the qualities of effective design principles and look at some of the ways of defining them.
In this chapter we’ll discuss the role of functional patterns and why they should be defined early in the design process.
In this chapter we’ll discuss how perceptual patterns work and their role in a design system.
This chapter describes how to establish a shared language, which allows a group of people to create and use patterns cohesively for a particular product.
This chapter introduces some of the qualities a design system can have, and the ways in which risks and downsides can be managed.
In this chapter we’ll look at finding support for establishing a design system in your organization, and planning and starting the work.
The exercise in this chapter describes an approach to systemizing functional patterns, starting with a product’s purpose.
The exercise in this chapter describes how to conduct an inventory of styles, define perceptual patterns, and integrate them into the system.
In this chapter we’ll look some of the practical techniques to set up a simple, useful, and multidisciplinary pattern library.
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