As your company scales, make sure your brand identity evolves in step with a smart, forward-thinking design system.
Whether your company is just getting off the ground or you’re an old pro trying to stay ahead of the curve, your brand’s aesthetics have an outsized impact on the way you interact and form relationships with your target audience. By investing as much in how you present yourself to consumers and industry peers as you do in your team, your products, and your infrastructure, you’ll be setting yourself up to scale your business confidently and sustainably.
Of course, there’s more than one way to invest in your brand’s aesthetic future. You can tackle design on a project by project basis, or you can create a uniform design system to guide every project and maintain a consistent look from one campaign to the next.
Pioneered by NASA in the 1970s, uniform design systems provide an internal compass for teams — but they’re more than a simple style guide. By standardizing your aesthetic and creating individual, customizable design components, it becomes easier to create new branded marketing collateral, whether physical or digital, that can inform larger campaigns and give your social media platforms a branded touch. Curious if you should invest in a uniform design system of your own? Here’s what you should know.
For brands looking to develop a thriving digital presence, designers and developers are going to be your workhorses. If your company doesn’t have a uniform design system in place, however, you may be creating more work for your creative team than is necessary.
With a uniform design system, you can boil your brand aesthetic down to its essential component parts. This means that developers can build individual modules that complement one another and can be combined to create fluid design ecosystems. Designers can then use these components as the building blocks for their digital properties, making it unnecessary to consistently build new site pages from scratch.
Ultimately, uniform design systems make communication and collaboration across key teams easier. By standardizing your aesthetic and UX functionalities, you’ll also be streamlining the workflow of the designers and developers responsible for managing the way your brand presents itself to the world.
Scale Design with Demand
At a time when market disruption is the norm, smaller companies need to be ready to scale whenever the opportunity presents itself. By having a uniform design system in place, maintaining a consistent tone, style, and aesthetic as your business grows becomes a less arduous task.
For example, if your brand begins to add new services as you expand, a uniform design system can help standardize the user experience across every site page — whether those pages represent your core competencies or an exciting, novel direction for your business. Rather than a piecemeal, aesthetically inconsistent digital presence across different pages and platforms, you can ensure that you present a cohesive front with which your customers can engage.
Put Your Best Foot Forward — Your Employees Will Thank You
Uniform design systems don’t just benefit the user experience. By investing in a consistent branded presence, you’ll be signaling to your employees that your company is confident in its mission, direction, and how it is perceived by investors and consumers alike.
In addition to serving as an invaluable resource for incoming designers and developers, a uniform design system will help new hires acquaint themselves with your business. After all, a uniform design system can help inform internal digital platforms, such as onboarding programs and training materials, in addition to external, client-facing platforms. As Kaari Saarinen, Design System Lead at AirBnb, puts it: “A unified design system is essential to building better and faster; better because a cohesive experience is more easily understood by our users, and faster because it gives us a common language to work with.”