Why Switching to a Design System Is so Important Today

Design is think made visual - Saul Bass

Once upon a time there was a wise man, named Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web. Do you know why? Only to share documents with his collegues. Yeah, the Web started only to share webpages with others, but went so beyond.

On the Web we now have Facebook, Netflix, Uber and a lot of different applications that can’t be compared to a simple webpage.

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee.

Once Upon a Time, Again

Unfortunately, our perception is often stuck in the past. We continue to think of webpages as entities and not as applications or as a composition of different components that bring us new, modern and awesome functionalities. We try to transfer the concept of a physical page inside of something that is much more. Do you remember the mostly used save icon? The 3.5-inch floppy disk! How many years have passed since you last used this device that could contain up to 1.4 MB? The mental process is the same. We try to understand something complex, like saving a virtual file, by translating it in something physical. It’s the same for webpages; we try to translate that concept in something simpler, like a page in a book, but in doing that we’re forgetting that webpages don’t exist anymore and that we have web applications now.

Floppy disk

The beautiful and also old floppy disk.

Unfortunately, again, that happens most of the time also in the design & development process.  We, as designers and developers, create modern websites based on this old way to see the Web. It’s an actual issue, because those preconceptions will slow down our work.

There is a solution that comes to our help and prevents us from remaining stuck in a vision of the Web composed only by pages: design systems. And this is what our next post will explain.

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