Creating a Design System Language…

Al Power 👨‍🎨
8 min readJul 19, 2016

It seems like the current buzz word in the design industry and everyone wants one. But how exactly can a product benefit from having a living, breathing design language? I’m going to try break down the very basics so you can understand why it’s needed.

“ Creating an underlaying language will unite our design philosophies and methodologies across our platform.”

So why do we need a Design Language?…

There are two ways of looking at it, from an internal and an external perspective.

It creates a holistic perspective to ensure we’re all adhering to the same methodologies and patterns as a team. Every team member should be inline with the concept that we’re promoting and should be able to reference the design principles against any project they are currently working on. The main goal of a design language is to create focus and clarity for designers. A design language is like any language. If there is any confusion it will cause a breakdown in communication.

Having a cohesive Design Language creates harmony within a platform. For onlookers, standardised colours, interactions and patterns creates a sense of familiarity and security. A well planned and well executed Design Language is the key to a gratifying experience. For instance, if you walk into a Starbucks in Iceland, you will recognise a lot of similar touches to your local Starbucks down the road. Familiarity brings a sense of comfort and security to the user. Introducing design constraints on individual elements within a platform creates consistency at a higher level.

A successful Design Language will:

  • Focus: allow the designer to focus clearly on the project at hand rather then to be diverted by other distractions.
  • Clarity: allow the designer to think clearly about our design beliefs as well as the design constraints in place across the platform.
  • Confidence: allow the designer to have complete confidence in what they are designing and that it is…
Al Power 👨‍🎨

Lead Brand Deaign // Visual Designer // Illustrator // Dublin, Ireland //