We established that Design Language System is a set of rules or guidelines that heightens the level of harmony in a digital ecosystem. Digital ecosystem consists of every interdependent group of enterprises, people or things that share a standardized digital platform for mutually beneficial purposes. Grouping these interdependent groups into three broad categories as Brand, Users and Business, lets see all the benefits that DLS brings to the table.
A DLS creates a personality for a digital product. A personality that has its own character and other quirks which gives it its own identity and allows it to be recognized in this over populated world of digital products. Example: Facebook’s like button is it’s signature interaction. From its launch on Feb 9, 2009 to now, it has become imperative to the brand. Users recognize the ‘like’ button even when used out of context, in a third party site as a web beacon.
Allowing the user to interact with consistent set of interact-able elements helps in defining the perception of the brand. This is always good as compared to a fragmented experience which a non-consistent product would provide. A good design language system understand the nuances of consistency and modifies elements and interactions based on context and does not over do consistency.
The claps on Medium to show appreciation for the article. Its unique and has not been done before, as opposed to likes and upvotes in other applications. This makes it authentic to Medium. When such authentic design language is followed consistently throughout a platform it creates recognizability for the brand.
Ease of Use & Enjoyment#
This is a no brainer. The user’s experience is heightened when he interacts with consistent, easy flowing applications that he is able to recognize and carry out his functions with ease. His experience become pleasurable and enjoyable.
Efficiency and Cost#
Having a design language in place enables a team of designers, developers and every other interdependent group in the digital ecosystem to create, recreate, modify or iterate on a product in a quick and cost efficient manner. The end product will then align holistically with the product ecosystem. This level of efficiency can be credited to DLS. Example : Karri Saarinen, Design Lead at Airbnb built and maintains Airbnb’s design language system. The goal his team set for the DLS was
“ to create a more beautiful and accessible design language. We wanted our designs be unified to drive greater efficiency through well-defined, reusable and cross-platform components.”
Since the DLS was now built, the developers could concentrate on building feature logic than spending their time on view code. This method worked out to be very efficient to the teams in Airbnb.
Stability and Flexibility#
The DLS acts as a guiding light to every one in the ecosystem. It becomes a conscious effort by everyone in the ecosystem to align future builds with the DLS. This brings in stability. As discussed in the Part 1 #DLS, the design language system should be an iterative process, this ensures continued stability. The flexibility that DLS provides proves that it is here to stay as it evolves with time and context.
A unified design language shouldn’t be just a set of static rules and individual atoms; it should be an evolving ecosystem.
Karri Saarinen, Head of Design - Airbnb.
Once the DLS is implemented in the product or application it brings to light opportunities to make the product’s user experience better which will benefit the business. These opportunities create more ground for innovations.
The benefits of a Design Language Systems are endless and can be used not just in the digital ecosystems. Watch out for more on the #DLS series.