Design Systems Book – A Great Starting Point

Reading ListPosted on

2 min read

Design systems are all around us, but it is still hard to specify what it is. At some point, we all use a system (on different levels), but because it is resource-intensive, we usually don’t have the luxury to work on one.

About The Design Systems

A design system is a set of standards with the goal of managing design at scale. Under design, we mean absolutely everything displayed somewhere: brand identity, components, patterns, guides, language.

It is a document (or a set of documents) that serves as the ultimate truth about our system, project, brand. To get the idea, you can check out some of them:

As you will see from the examples, the popularity of the design systems is primarily present at the big companies or the governments. However, any project can benefit from a smaller system in the long term.

About The Book

As the author, Alla Kholmatova says, this is a starter book but still a comprehensive one. It is an excellent head start if you know just a little about these systems, but it doesn’t disappoint even if you’re proficient.

The language and the structure are good, easy to read. As it comes from the topic, it is primarily a theoretical book, and this is all right because every project is different.

It has two-part: the first one (from chapter 1 to 5) is a generic one about the design systems, building blocks, and quirks. The second part (from chapter 6 to 10) is a little more practical: creating and managing your own system based on examples.

To make a design system, we need our whole team, so it is a good read for everyone who works on any project, be a project manager, UI designer, UX specialist, back or front-end developer. I think it is a must if you are a designer or a front-end developer.

You can get it from Smashing Magazine, where you can download a preview too.

The Reading List is a series of book recommendations. Please, note that I only write and recommend books that I like. So here, there aren’t many critics (mainly just language difficulty because I’m not a native speaker). Also, note that this isn’t a full-fledged analysis; it is just a casual suggestion. Happy reading! 😉

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