Design Systems


COLORMONO / August 11, 2021

4 min read––– views

Notice: This is a live breathing document. I’m talking from a Front-end’s perspective.

Design System Notes

“WITHOUT A UNIFIED LANGUAGE, all products drift toward inconsistency.”

“A design system is the broadest of these tools, and explains how a team should create products. It encompasses the pattern library and style guide, but also includes underlying design principles, rules, and guidelines to help teams create cohesive experiences.”

Excerpts From: Yesenia Perez-Cruz. “Expressive Design Systems.” Apple Books.

Modular building

A pattern Library (Tooling)

Reusable UI building blocks that are shared across teams and assembled to build products.

  • Figma Example:

  • Figma:

  • React:

Naming stuff

Ejemplo de Naming en Figma:

Group: Announcements / Alert Composition: Text, Additiontal Text, Action, Icon, Close Icon

Component: Banner Variant: Plain, Left Icon, Left Icon + Action Status: Neutral, Information, Success, Warning, Alert

Component: Toast Variant: Light, Color, Dark Type: Neutral, Information, Success, Warning, Alert

Component: Toast Variant: Light, Color, Dark Type: Neutral, Information, Success, Warning, Alert


Button - Status - Variant - Size

Button / Status3 / Variant9 / Size*3 Button + Left icon Button + Right icon Text Button Left icon + Text Right icon + Text Icon Button Toggle Button

Status: Normal Hover Disabled Active

Variants: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Destructive Primary, Destructive Secondary, Success Primary, Success Secondary, Constrast Primary, Contrast Secondary

Size: xs-sm-base-md-lg-xl-2xl Large Medium Small


Plan, Action, Right Icon, Left Icon, Left Icon + Action

TIP: There are several good plugins that will help you to rename elements in batches: Rename It, Ultra Renamer 2, Regulator or even the out-of-the-box functionality in Figma.

Install the library in a project using Yarn workspaces.

Create a GitHub Packages


A style guide

Documentation about how this components should be used.

Anatomy of a component: Like how a component is broken into named parts:


  • Deliverate about how we approach creating, building, and maintaining the UX of our products.
  • Collaborative documenting, how our team build products together.
  • Spend more time on creating a shared language and less time on tools.

Design Principles are a tool for creating a better, more consistent experience for your users. They are high level principles that guide the detailed design decisions you make as you're working on a project.

There are essentially two kinds of them. Universal and Specific.

Universal Design Principles

The universal kind, also called Heuristic applies to basic human behaviors and can be used for all kinds of designs. Examples of Universal Principles are: Jakob Nielsens famous 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design and Whitney Hess's 20 Guiding Principles for Experience Design.

Specific Design Principles

The other kind of Design Principles are the Specific ones You create these for a specific project to ensure a consistent design. Examples of Specific Design Principles are Tivo's Design Principles and the Android Design Principles. The Specific Design Principles are especially great when you're working on a big project with a lot of people involved. By establishing a set of Design Principles it's easier to keep the product aligned with the UX Vision.

What Should I do With Them?

If you're not doing it already, you should start using Design Principles to improve the User Experience in your own projects. To get started check out the Design Principles of others to get inspiration for your own.


Your find your purpose statement describes what your team is trying to achieve with the design system. It answers four questions:

  • What is the goal for our design system?
  • Why is that goal important?
  • How will the design system help us?
  • Who is the design system for?

What is the goal for our design system?

Example resp: Our design system will make the quality of our products better for our audiences.

Faster to market

Why is that goal important?

Example resp:

How will the design system help us?

Example resp:

Who is the design system for?

Example resp: