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Design system vs Style Guide: Which will be better for your business?

Design system vs Style Guide

It is impossible to overdo by optimizing the work on the design. You can approach the issue globally and take advantage of all the features of the design system, or you can limit yourself to the style guide. We understand what tools are used for what, how not to confuse them, and get exactly what you need for your project.

The design system is the key to enhancing the team’s successful approach to design and empowering designers. This allows you to integrate all the values and vision of the company into the product. The majority of the experts say that the companies they work for already use the design system.

It is worth noting that the stage of implementation and creation of the system design can introduce additional difficulties in the coordination and scaling of the product.

Moreover, there is a common misconception that the design system is the same as a UI kit or a style guide, but this is not the case and the difference between a design system and a style guide is significant. UIKit and styling are certainly crucial elements of a design system, but these are just key elements of a more integral entity.

What is exactly a design system?

It is a set of elements, tools, and manuals that assist developers in creating interfaces with a uniform style and behavior. It usually includes a set of templates A color scheme, fonts, symbols, and other design elements. It lets you simplify the development process, as developers can use ready-made components without wasting time on their creation. It also helps to maintain the consistency of the interface at different levels of the project.

However, a design system can be complex and time-consuming to create and maintain. In some cases, it may limit the freedom of creativity of designers and developers, as they must adhere to strict rules and restrictions set within the system. In addition, the design system can be ineffective for small projects or projects that require a unique and individual design.

What is a style guide?

It is a document containing a set of rules, standards, and best practices on the basis of which a specific project will be built: the tone and style of the text, what should be left untranslated, where you can find relevant information, what terminology to use, and so on.

However, the style guide may be less structured and organized compared to the design system. It does not provide ready-made components and templates, which can complicate the development phase and lengthen the time spent on creating the interface. In addition, the style guide may be less effective for large projects that require many different design elements.

Design systems and style guides. The key distinctions

  1. The first consideration is the degree of difficulty that each possesses. Style guides are not as thorough as design systems. Voice, tone, and textual communication norms can all be implicated. Design systems imply including anything from fonts and color schemes to UI principles.
  2. One more factor is the amount of strategy required. Style guides are not as strategic if compared with design systems. the overall design process for some particular good or group of goods, whereas style guides concentrate on the particular elements that comprise that process.

So, which is better for your business – a design system or a style guide?

The answer depends on the specific needs and features of the project. If a project requires high consistency and repetitive elements, then a design system may be a more suitable option. If the project requires more creative freedom and an individual approach to design, then a style guide may be preferable. In some cases, combining both approaches may be the best solution.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that both tools assist in creating high-quality and consistent UI They are not the ultimate goal, but just a means to achieve a better user experience.