9 benefits of implementing a design system framework into your business

Design Systems
4 Minutes
As product design has evolved, the scale and speed of design have also increased. There are millions of apps and billions of websites, each with hundreds or thousands of pages (or screens). With this level of expansion comes a dire need for organisations to streamline products and design work. So, many design teams leverage robust design systems to manage designs at scale.
Design systems implemented well can benefit the business, the product teams, and the end users. Let's dive into the benefits.

Benefits for the Product Team

Work can be created and replicated quickly and at scale

The core benefit of design systems is the ability to reproduce designs quickly by utilising ready-made UI components and elements. Teams can use the same elements repeatedly, reducing the need to reinvent the wheel and removing the risk of unintended inconsistency.

It frees up design resources to focus on more complex problems

Design can concentrate less on tweaking the UI and more on complex issues. While this payoff might initially seem small, it becomes substantial when you grow into larger teams and thousands of screens and acquire third-party mergers.

It creates a unified language between teams

Teams are often remote, and a unified language reduces wasted design or development time caused by miscommunications. For example, the functionality or appearance of something already defined doesn't need a debate. Move on to something bigger.

Helps entry-level designers think at scale

Usage guidelines and style guides help educate and onboard designers, developers and content people as the rules of the UI have been defined.

Business benefits

Design systems empower businesses of all sizes to deliver high-quality experiences that resonate with users while optimising resources and driving sustainable growth.

Consistency across products, channels, and departments.

Where each product or channel operates independently, the lack of an organisation-wide design system can lead to inconsistent visual appearance and experiences that seem fragmented or unrelated to the brand. Over time, inconsistencies can affect how customers trust and perceive your brand.

A perfect example of where a design system can hugely benefit is for small, medium and large businesses that work with mergers and acquisitions. Your digital touch points expand widely and, if poorly executed, can have a considerable long-term impact.

Faster development for tech

Design systems have the most significant impact later on, and tech efficiency numbers can be impressive once everything is in place.

Design systems expedite technology development by providing a systematic approach to design and development processes, reducing duplication of effort, fostering collaboration, and enabling rapid prototyping and iteration. By streamlining workflows and ensuring consistency across products and platforms, design systems empower tech teams to focus more on innovation and less on repetitive tasks, ultimately accelerating time-to-market and enhancing overall efficiency.

Figures from Zeroheight show how the 'carbon design system' saw a significant return on investment.

  • A simple form page developed with a design system took 47% less time than coding it manually.
  • Forms built from scratch took around 4.2 hours. Forms using the Carbon Design System took 2 hours (including developers familiarising themselves with the system.

The combined figure above shows a reduction of approximately 50% of the time spent on front-end development.

Improve consistency to increase revenue

According to Forbes, maintaining consistency in branding can lead to a significant revenue increase of up to 23%. They emphasise that investing in consistent brand presentation across various platforms fosters a trustworthy user experience, potentially resulting in higher conversion rates. This sentiment is echoed by the Nielsen Norman Group, highlighting the importance of perceived value in user interfaces. They suggest that users need to perceive a website as valuable at first glance to be more likely to engage with it, emphasising the effectiveness of consistency in user retention and engagement.

Enhance quality to optimise optimise efficiency

Improving the quality of your product also involves implementing efforts to enhance accessibility. Design systems play a crucial role in helping organisations meet accessibility objectives.

Accessibility is not the only quality to consider. Design systems contribute to a reduction in the codebase and up to 20% less ongoing maintenance. Companies have also seen a significant decrease in the amount and frequency of changes after successfully implementing their design system.

Better retention

Forrester insights say design systems can indirectly contribute to talent retention. Designers frequently pursue more engaging opportunities elsewhere, especially when facing mundane design challenges within their current roles.

Designers often feel frustrated when repeatedly tackling the same problems or when the output differs from the designs signed off. Similarly, developers tire of customising styling for each component and managing a messy codebase. Adopting a design system is increasingly recognised as a strategic imperative for organisations, enhancing their ability to attract and retain talent within the company.

Its a wrap

Businesses implementing design systems are increasing year on year. It's unsurprising given the various benefits of having a design system within an organisation, which can notably enhance efficiency and productivity while offering a good return on investment.

Who doesn't want to speed up their product teams, enable consistent quality outputs and allow teams to focus on optimisation and innovation?

Design systems don't have to be a considerable business ask, complex, or daunting—they're a strategic approach to scaling products effectively.

Sound interesting?...

Together Incredible, we have helped growth-driven businesses of all sizes implement a design system in their working methods. Over the past two years, we have worked with growth companies such as Pink News, Tails.com, DragonPass, and Evri, all of which are on a mission to scale their products effectively.
If you think this could benefit you but need help figuring out where to start and the steps involved in kickstarting this business initiative, book a 20-minute discovery, and we can talk about your current situation and what we believe would help you hit the ground running.
It's not a sales call! It's a free strategy session to help us understand your business challenges and growth plans and for us to provide you with some actionable guidance on the next steps.

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