What is a design system? | UpTop Health

What is a design system?

3m 25s

In their One Question for UpTop Health video series, UpTop Health experts discuss what a design system is. For more information: How Your Healthcare Company Can Reap the Benefits of a Design System With Limited Resources

Moderator: John Sloat, (CEO)
Interviewees: Abbey Smith (UX Designer), Michael Woo (Director of UX)

Episode Transcript

Moderator: Hi, welcome to One Question with UpTop Health. Today the article that we’re covering is “How your healthcare company can reap the benefits of design system with limited resources“. And the first question I have Abbey is ‘What is a design system?’

Abbey: In general, a design system is a collection of components and these components are reusable so that you can mix and match and plug and play where you need to across the entire world of your product. All these components are designed with clear standards in mind. So you set everything from color, type, fonts, applying your style guide and brand guidelines to the UI. Your user interface kit is built into one of these, in the largest sense of a design system, so that they can be these components that can be assembled to configure anything that you need to.

It really does help designers within your team ideate on new solutions while making sure everything that they push live stays aligned to the design scheme that you have going already. So in a sense, it’s both a library for designers to pull from and then a brand governance tool to make sure that everyone within your organization can stay on the same page. What do you think Mike?

Michael: Those are all great points. The only thing I’d add is having the systemic way to centralize and organize these design patterns for use often, like you mentioned, with guidelines and standards that allow you to more efficiently design your pages, but quickly scale and extend across your digital ecosystem and maintain the consistency. It’s just easier to maintain and update when changes are necessary. If you understand how cascading style sheets work; being able to update a single file and it cascades out to the rest of your other files, that’s essentially the same way that a design system operates, but more so for designers and developers equally, as well as product teams in general. It’s not just designers or engineers or developers who consume this, it’s the entire product team as they think about what new pages they have to build or microsites they have to spin up. Being able to have access to this visual vocabulary, this visual language, and understand all the uses of all the components like you mentioned; it just makes it easier to build things going forward.

Moderator: Thanks guys.