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Change the way you do web development with design systems

Dec 20
2017
Change the way you do web development with design systems
As a web developer, Webcoda loves a good design system. Why wouldn’t we? They give us the ability to produce quality websites, applications, intranets and more by using a solid, user friendly process. Design systems give clear standards and outlines to follow to ensure consistent quality that help guide a good web developer. They also allow for people to play outside the lines to build creative works. By using design systems and content management systems and code you know and trust, you reduce conflicts and errors.

Software developers were the original lovers of a good design system. They chose to use them to ensure quality. Over time, these systems have become common place in product management, application creation, building for mobile and of course, web development and web design.


Here’s how design systems work for us as a web developer as well as you as our valued client


Good design is about scaling

Design systems set a strong framework that allows for good design through providing consistency. Consistency is key to creating a great user experience, especially if you need to scale.

Scaling occurs when your customer base expands, your workforce grows, and/or you produce a wider range of products and services. As many large-scale organisations, NFPs and government departments are pushed to do more with less, scaling well has become vitally important.


Design systems allow you to build with a web developer or to create an application or project that is focused on a future. By using design systems to help you scale, you can:
  • Offer a level of consistency that prevents projects becoming piecemeal and patchwork as they expand
  • Give autonomy to your staff by providing a consistent website, application and content management experience
  • Provide your customers with a seamless brand experience
  • Build a robust user interface that remains workable for the life of the project
  • Empower teams and designers to work quickly and iterate knowing quality is assured

You choose to build design systems that allow for growth by having the framework in place. It’s a process of knowing how things work coupled with the ability to replicate what has worked before. It also means building additional work on solid design and code.

As your chosen web developer, we take you through a process and activate design systems with each project we create. Large or small, we’re chasing efficiency and knowledge in equal measure.


Design systems focus on the why


Why are you building that campaign? Why does it need to include virtual reality? Why do you need the ability to service your project in multiple languages? Why do you need to connect to that software? Why should it be a web developer job over someone better versed in web applications?

If you understand the why of a project, you’re already ahead of the game. The answers you should never accept are:

“We’ve always done it this way”
“The project only has a limited budget”
“The marketing manager is friends with this company and…”
“Our customer service centre doesn’t like change…”
“We’re overwhelmed with choices…”
“We’re going with what we know…”

Why is a huge building block for design. As a web developer, you need to know the why to create the website that works best for the needs of the customer. Yes, it can be scary to change from what you know. And we’re all fatigued trying to keep up with change and technology.

But if you don’t know why you’re doing something or worse still, are allowing fatigue to dictate the terms of your new solutions, step back.

Why removes the ambiguity and gives you something to move forward with. There’s confidence in understanding new technology and taking the time to get to know a better way. You could be shutting down an opportunity to save money, time and brain space by not understanding the why.

That’s why all good design systems begin with the why and track the way we meet that why every step of the journey.


Standards make for a solid experience


Your user experience doesn’t only come down to your customers. It comes down to your staff as well. It comes down to providing something that enhances and improves the user experience as a matter of course.
To get to a gold standard in design systems, you must have strong standards. Once those standards are implemented, they continue to fuel a positive experience by giving the consistency people crave.

What do we mean from a web developer’s perspective when you talk about design systems standards?

Design system standards include:
  • Uniform hierarchy for menus and placement of content
  • Naming conventions for URLS or emails that are easy to follow
  • Accessibility requirements and components that aid with compliance
  • File structures and the way files can be stored and accessed, updated and created
  • Visual language such as icons, colour palettes, photographs, vectors and more
  • How space and motion are utilised

By creating standards within design systems, you provide the web developer with solid building blocks. You inform the designer and give them the opportunity to meet and exceed requirements of great user experiences. Plus, you give both your internal and external customers a working standard that is not confusing.

When systems dwell happily in the realm of standardisation, they become easier to follow and navigate.  


Components help with building great user experience


We love Kentico and Microsoft products because the code is clean and the components, easy to bring together in a positive fashion. You get the ability to scale by adding new code, new applications and new ideas without it causing errors and failures.

This is how all design systems should work. What’s the point of having a system that has a narrow vision and that can’t grow with your team, ideas or customer needs?

You should be able to enjoy a standard of work with your systems that empowers your marketing, systems and customer service teams. Add an application for a chat bot. Or make email sign ups simpler with each campaign. Why can’t you skin your website seasonally without having to involve a web developer? Why should you have to feel like you’re building an entirely new project if you add an extra language to the presentation of information?

The more you can reuse code, visual assets, functions, buttons, types of data display, menu structures and more, the more you can empower both customer and employee alike.

Humans like learning new things. What we don’t enjoy is having to re-learn something each time we use it. Components found within design systems help bridge the gap between what is needed in the future and what the end user can use with confidence.


Save money, time and efficiency with design systems

Introducing your teams to solid design systems and frameworks can help maintain the integrity of your online presence now and in the future. Don’t be the business that loses its capacity to understand your online presence, applications and website when the web developer leaves. Use it instead as a tool to empower your teams and your customers to continue their journey with or without key players.

Want to discover what a great design system can do for your website? Contact Webcoda now.  

 
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