In the words of Gymnasium instructor Brad Frost, design systems are “the official story of how an organization designs and builds products.” They serve as living libraries of essential coding and design elements, from standards and guidelines to patterns, with the aim of simplifying and streamlining the ever-complex product creation and adoption process.
By outlining a consistent, overarching design system, those involved in the design and development find themselves producing higher quality work with less time and effort wasted. As an added bonus, this type of structured documentation on the backend can result in a more consistent and cohesive user experience on the front end.
Design systems play an undeniably crucial role in bringing order to the chaos of code and design, but building and maintaining a thriving one can be daunting. Not sure where to begin? Gymnasium recently launched four free courses, taught by the one and only Ethan Marcotte, that tackle the topic from a variety of perspectives.
Are You a Web or UX Designer?
The growing ubiquity of design systems has had a major impact on designers and the way that they work alongside their teams, and a comprehensive understanding of these systems is more important than ever. In the Design Systems for Designers course, you'll learn to build a design system from the ground up. With a focus on design, you'll tackle the differences between pattern libraries and design systems, learn to extend the use of familiar tools like Figma, Sketch, and Adobe Creative Cloud, and discover next steps to elevate and advance your design system work.
⚙️ Do You Code or Consider Yourself a Developer?
Developers can play an integral part in both maintaining and shaping design systems, especially when it comes to the creation and organization of pattern libraries and other reusable components. With Design Systems for Developers, you'll go beyond the basics to learn the “how” and “why” of design systems, review and practice methods for creating and integrating patterns into a production environment, and define the shape and structure of your own design system.
Are You a Product Manager or Owner?
Even if you don't work directly with design systems, it's helpful to understand their purpose, how your team works with them, and how you can help to create a successful one. Design Systems for Product Managers provides a high-level overview of design systems and pattern libraries, including common assumptions and problems, how to define your system's purpose and principles, and ways to improve design system adoption and relevance.
Not in the Above Groups, but Want to Learn More About Design Systems?
You don't have to be a designer or developer to take a deep dive into the world of design systems. Design Systems for Everyone outlines the fundamentals of design systems, from the concept's definition and history to best practices for creating your own.
Design systems are here to stay, so think ahead now and thank yourself later. Whether you're a designer or developer, a product manager or owner, or simply someone who wants to expand their skill set, Gymnasium and Ethan Marcotte have a free course tailored just for you.
This article was originally posted on Gymnasium's blog.
Advice for planning your next career move in UX.
Career Advice • Design & Experience
How to build a UX team that thrives: set healthy boundaries by example.
Career Advice • Insights & Trends • Managing & Leading Teams
Top 10 must-ask design interview questions.
Design & Experience • Marketing & Creative • Recruiting & Hiring