In this article, we’ll discuss what a design system is, what the best design systems look like, and why it’s crucial that your marketing teams have access to yours.
What a design system is
You may have an understanding of 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 execution guidelines are agreed to ensure all future work produced is consistent in colors, styles, and brand positioning.
The best design systems include:
- 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
These are the fundamental elements that your business needs to ensure anything designed or produced – whether that’s a product or webpage – is consistently in line with the overall tone and direction of your brand.
The best design systems work to:
Make the UX (user experience) better for your audience or customer.
How marketing teams fit into design systems
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.
If you look at design systems at scale, successful businesses give marketing teams access and input to design direction.
But marketers aren’t (at least most aren’t) designers. This is why the best design systems are created with marketers in mind.
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.
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.
If your design system isn’t up to scratch, Design Force can help
Creating and implementing design systems can seem like a monumental task.
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.
Talk to us today to discover how we can onboard your team in just one day, and empower your marketing teams to create effective design work that converts your ideal audience time after time.