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  • Writer's pictureTeam Criador Labs

What Goes into a Design System? A Guide for Business Owners and Founders

Design systems are becoming increasingly popular among businesses that want to create consistent, scalable, and user-friendly digital products. But what exactly are design systems and what do they consist of? In this article, we will explain the basics of design systems, the benefits they offer, and the essential components they include. We will also share some examples of successful design systems from leading product design companies in India and abroad.

What is a design system?

A design system is a collection of reusable components, guided by clear standards, that can be assembled together to build any number of applications. A design system is not just a set of UI elements, such as buttons, icons, and colors. It is also a set of rules, principles, and best practices that define how those elements should be used, combined, and adapted to different contexts and scenarios. A design system helps teams to design and develop products faster, easier, and more efficiently, while ensuring a coherent and delightful user experience across all touchpoints.

Why use a design system?

A design system can bring many benefits to your business, such as:

  • Saving time and money: By using a design system, you can avoid reinventing the wheel every time you need to create a new feature or update an existing one. You can reuse the existing components and follow the established guidelines, instead of starting from scratch or relying on guesswork. This can reduce the design and development time, as well as the maintenance and testing costs.

  • Improving quality and consistency: A design system ensures that your products look and feel the same across different platforms, devices, and screen sizes. It also helps you to avoid errors, bugs, and inconsistencies that can harm the usability and accessibility of your products. A design system can also improve the collaboration and communication between designers, developers, and other stakeholders, by providing a common language and a single source of truth.

  • Enhancing user satisfaction and loyalty: A design system can help you to create products that are easy to use, understand, and enjoy. By following the design system standards, you can ensure that your products meet the user needs and expectations, as well as the business goals and requirements. A design system can also help you to establish and reinforce your brand identity and personality, by creating a distinctive and memorable visual style and tone of voice.

What are the essential components of a design system?

A design system can vary in size and complexity, depending on the scope and scale of your products and projects. However, there are some common components that most design systems include, such as:

  • Design principles: These are the core values and beliefs that guide your design decisions and actions. They reflect your vision, mission, and goals, as well as your user needs and preferences. Design principles can help you to align your team and stakeholders, and to evaluate and improve your design solutions.

  • UI components: These are the basic building blocks of your user interface, such as buttons, inputs, menus, icons, typography, colors, etc. They are usually organized in a component library, where you can find the code, documentation, and examples of how to use them. UI components should be modular, reusable, and adaptable to different contexts and scenarios.

  • UI patterns: These are the common solutions for specific design problems or user goals, such as navigation, authentication, data visualization, etc. They are usually composed of multiple UI components, arranged in a certain way to create a consistent and intuitive user flow. UI patterns should be based on user research, testing, and feedback, and follow the best practices and standards for usability and accessibility.

  • Design tokens: These are the atomic elements of your design system, such as colors, fonts, spacing, etc. They are usually defined in a JSON or YAML file, and can be used to generate the UI components and stylesheets for different platforms and technologies. Design tokens help you to maintain and update your design system more easily and efficiently, by allowing you to change the values in one place and see the effects across all your products.

  • Documentation: This is the written and visual explanation of how to use and maintain your design system. It can include the design principles, the component library, the UI patterns, the design tokens, the code snippets, the usage guidelines, the best practices, the dos and don’ts, the FAQs, the tutorials, the examples, the feedback channels, and more. Documentation helps you to onboard and educate your team and stakeholders, and to ensure the proper implementation and adoption of your design system.

Examples of design systems

To inspire you and give you some ideas, here are some examples of design systems from leading product design companies in India and abroad:

  • Criador Labs: We are a product design studio based in Bangalore, India, that offers end-to-end design solutions for digital products. We have created our own design system, called Criador UI, which contains the UI components, UI patterns, design tokens, and documentation that we use to design and develop products for our clients. Criador UI helps us to deliver innovative, consistent, and user-friendly products, while saving time and resources. You can check out our design system here.

  • Google: Google is one of the most influential and innovative tech companies in the world, with a wide range of products and services, such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Assistant, etc. Google has developed its own design system, called Material Design, which is a comprehensive guide for visual, motion, and interaction design across platforms and devices. Material Design helps Google to create products that are simple, intuitive, and beautiful, while reflecting its brand identity and personality. You can check out Google’s design system here.

  • Airbnb: Airbnb is a global platform that connects travelers and hosts, offering unique accommodations and experiences around the world. Airbnb has created its own design system, called Airbnb Design Language System (DLS), which is a set of principles, components, and patterns that help Airbnb to design and build products that are consistent, accessible, and delightful. DLS helps Airbnb to scale its design and development process, while maintaining its brand voice and culture. You can check out Airbnb’s design system here.


Design systems are powerful tools that can help you to create better products, faster and easier. By following a design system, you can ensure that your products are consistent, scalable, and user-friendly, while reflecting your brand identity and personality. A design system can also help you to improve your team collaboration and communication, and to reduce your design and development costs and efforts. To create a design system, you need to define your design principles, create your UI components, UI patterns, and design tokens, and document your design system. You can also get inspired by the design systems of leading product design companies in India and abroad, such as Criador Labs, Google, and Airbnb. If you need help with creating or implementing a design system for your products, feel free to contact us at Criador Labs. We are a product design studio based in Bangalore, India, that offers end-to-end design solutions for digital products. We have the expertise and experience to help you create a design system that suits your needs and goals. Let’s get in touch and start designing the future together.


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