How design systems help designers and developers work together

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At Twisearf, we’re at our best when we’re able to build things quickly and learn things early.

Achieving these things it is possible only when we collaborate well together. We can say that working in product teams (as opposed to discipline-led teams) certainly helps, but there’s more to it than just combining our skills and experience.

You ideally need a shared system, to work well together, — a system that puts a stop to any back-and-forth working methods and has the answers for key questions in one place.

Let’s imagine a tennis match…
There’s a point to this — we promise.

The designer starts with the serve. They hit the ball (their work) to the developer.

The developer swings the ball back to the designer with a question. The designer returns the ball back with the amends. Question. Amends. Question. Amends.

This match continues, until each player becomes increasingly tired (and sweaty) and eventually someone misses the ball. Cue a coffee break.

Tennis is fun on a warm summer’s day away from the office. In the product world, not so much.

What is a design system?
A design system can be a combination of different things: traditional brand guidelines, list of components and atoms, accessibility and content guidance and example markup (React, HTML, CSS), to name but a few.

Essentially, it allows you to document how to implement design effectively for your product.

The March Aliens product team at Twisearf developed their design system at a time when two large greenfield products were on their agenda: an online gifting experience with a unique proposition and a brand new website and platform for an established car finance dealer.

By developing a new design system, they now had their own shared language, consistent codebase and reusable components to be a few steps ahead with any product.