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9 Signs You Need a UX Design System

Written by Tara Verner on May 12, 2021 1:28:10 PM

In UX Planning, UX Design System

Software products are increasingly complex because they’re becoming more reliant on shared infrastructure, security, and identity management. You may have dedicated internal teams who manage these different components. But what about the larger aspects of the product that holds it all together? Who ensures that consistent principles are used to govern them, and does your company have documentation that lays everything out? 

If you don’t have a documented, unified UX design system to establish baseline templates, components, and rules for your product, then your team is going to be rebuilding pages or components with 100% effort each time. While there are numerous reasons to implement a UX design system, these are some of the biggest.

 

1. Your software is outdated.

Constraints posed by outdated applications can challenge developers and designers. While adopting a UX design system introduces yet another constraint into the process, it’s a positive one. Ultimately, a design system enables your team to shift their time from managing  small details to bigger picture and the broader user experience initiatives. 

 

2. Your software has multiple modules or is a suite of applications.

Are your designers and developers recreating the same page over and over again? Design and development teams can spend too much time rebuilding modules when they should be reusing designs and code. With a UX design system, teams can efficiently select components to repurpose, dramatically speeding up time-to-market.

 

3. You have multiple developers working on the same software.

Multiple team dependencies can slow down the the production cycle. A UX design system ensures your developers are able to  work on multiple deliverables in tandem without wasting time duplicating anyone’s previous work.

 

4. Your customer support team spends too much time answering usage questions.

An interface that’s inconsistent in both functionality and appearance delivers a poor user experience. When users get frustrated, they’ll either give up or get customer support involved. Unifying the user experience with a UX design system ensures your customers are familiar with your UI patterns because they have seen it all before. 

 

5. Your software needs to run across multiple devices.

If you have separate, uncoordinated web and mobile products, your development work will be costly. Plus, your customer experience will be cumbersome. A UX design system can streamline the design and development cycles while improving the user experience across devices.

 

6.  Your software has accessibility challenges.

Oftentimes, accessibility problems are ignored because fixing them is deemed too costly. Rather than everyone on your product team individually fixing the same accessibility problems, a UX design system ensures accessible components can be multiplied and integrated at scale, saving time and money.

 

7. Your product has bloated code and code defects.

Tiny changes to your product build up over time. A new shade of blue, a different line thickness—although they seem small and add little value to your product, they create design debt and bloated code. When you build from scratch instead of repurpose, bugs and errors multiply across your design and development process. A UX design system can help.

 

8. You have technical debt in the UI.

Many development teams just don’t have the time or resources to fully update their solution to a new UI technology. Consequently it’s not uncommon to find just portions of an application done in a particular UI. In the long run companies end up with solutions with may different UI technologies.

 

9.  You don’t have highly experienced UI development resources.

UI in today’s digital solutions is very complex and takes specialized skills. If you don’t have specialized people on your team--or if you want your developers to work as “full stack” developers--a UX design system with reusable code will reduce the skill level required to deliver high-quality user interfaces.

 

Getting Started

If you or your company shows even one of these signs, it could be time for an updated, modern, Unified UX design system.  Contact us. We’ll show you examples of design systems and discuss how Catalyst UX can help you.