As designers, you may be surprised to see the terms design systems and marketing teams in the same sentence, but we believe that combining these two forces will not only streamline your output and make design work more effective, but it will directly impact your ROI.
What is a design system?
You may have an understanding on this already, but let’s make sure we’re aligned.
To us, a design system is your brand’s internal reference point. The single hub where all design direction and decision has been agreed, so that all future work produced is consistent in colours, styles, and brand positioning.
It can encompass many things, such as:
- Typography choices
- Colour palettes
- Design principles – things like contrast levels, repetition rules and white space requirements
- Brand guidelines on messaging and the feeling any design work should evoke
- Any reusable components – such as buttons or line breaks
And more. These are the fundamental elements that your business needs to ensure anything designed or produced, whether that’s a product or webpage, is consistently inline with the overall tone and direction of your brand.
The key purpose to any design system is simple: make the UX (user experience) better for your audience or customer.
Design systems are for designers, where do marketing teams come in?
Think about the core function of any marketing team: to understand the audience’s changing needs and desires, and react accordingly through converting content.
The purpose of your design work is: to provide the content needed to meet the changing needs and desires of the audience.
Your marketing teams are the ones who directly communicate with the people you’re designing for, so it makes sense to us that marketing teams should be involved with design decisions that will ultimately be shown to your audience.
But marketers aren’t (at least most aren’t) designers.
This is where having a solid design system in place can be hugely beneficial to the overall return on your business investment.
Imagine a sudden shift in the market. Your marketing teams will know this instantaneously, but if they then need to submit a brief request and wait for design teams to develop a new web page, you may miss the mark and lose the customers that were ready to react and convert.
A solid and comprehensive design system will allow your marketing teams to capitalize on trends, and create the work they need to react themselves, when time is of the essence. Without crashing everything or sending out comms in a brand-contradicting shade of purple.
This is especially useful for busy design teams that aren’t always able to deliver work on the fly when other, larger projects are taking up capacity.
How can you create a successful design system that marketing teams can use?
Bring your marketing teams into the design system development stage. Get their insight on what elements should look like in order to resonate with the target audience that they know inside out.
Remember, everything comes down to UX. Effective, “frictionless” UX, according to Forrester Research, can increase customer conversion rates by 400%.
Collate all of the brand elements into one central system that your marketing teams have access to.
Include clear guidelines, instructions and webflows so that when the time comes to react fast, they can step in and produce a piece of content themselves (a landing page, newsletter, web page update) that aligns with your business direction every single time.
Don’t have the capacity to get your design system in place? Design Force can help
Creating and implementing design systems can seem like a monumental task and we hear you, but if you take the time and energy to do the work once, it will continually reward you by:
- Speeding up design work output
- Allowing you to successfully resonate with your audience again and again
- Generate awareness and recognition through consistent branding
- Saving you time on duplicating assets that are used repeatedly
If this sounds like something that your business needs to implement (and it should be!) but you don’t have the capacity to create the fundamentals right now, Design Force can provide the additional resource you need to get your system up and running.
With our dedicated team of world-class designers, we can step in to create the assets you need to bring your design system to life.
Talk to us today to discover how we can onboard your team in just one day, and get ready to empower your marketing teams to create effective design work that converts your ideal audience time after time.