Design System and Library in Figma: Why, how and what?

Design systems are essential for designers to deliver consistent interfaces across all the different products. In this article, I'll explain design systems and libraries in Figma: why they're important, how they work, and what you can do to start using them.


Introduction

If you're new to Figma, or if you've been using it for a while but haven't explored its design system and library features, you might be wondering why you should bother. After all, isn't Figma just a design tool like any other?


In short, no. Figma is much more than that. It's a powerful design platform that enables you to create and manage complex design systems, libraries of reusable components, and collaboration with your team – all in one place.


In this article, we'll take a look at what design systems and libraries are, why they're so useful, and how you can get started with them in Figma. Let's dive in!


What is the design system?

The design system is a set of rules and guidelines that help designers create consistent, cohesive designs. It can include things like a color palette, typography styles, component library and more. A well-designed system can make it easier for designers to work together and create better products faster.


Figma’s design system tools help you create and share your own design systems. With Figma’s library feature, you can easily browse and use design elements from other people’s libraries—or even build your own to share with others. And our new prototyping feature makes it easy to turn your designs into interactive prototypes that look and feel just like the real thing.


Why do we need to have a design system?

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with choices. Whether it’s what to wear, what to eat or what to watch, we are constantly making decisions. This can be overwhelming, and it’s often easier to just go with the flow and choose the first thing that comes to mind.


However, when it comes to design, there is no room for error. A bad design can cost a company millions of dollars in lost productivity and revenue. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong design system in place.


A design system is a set of rules and guidelines that dictate how a product should be designed. It includes everything from the overall look and feel of the product to the smallest details like button sizes and spacing.


having a well-defined design system helps to ensure that all products created by a company are consistent with each other. This makes it easier for customers to use them and understand them, as they know what to expect from each one.


It also makes life much easier for designers, as they don’t have to start from scratch every time they create something new. They can simply refer to the design system and know exactly what needs to be done.


So why do we need a design system? Quite simply, because it makes life easier for everyone involved – customers, designers and developers alike.


The Different Types of Design Systems and Libraries

There are many different types of design systems and libraries available to designers today. Each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered when choosing the right one for a project.


The most popular type of design system is probably the Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. While this system is widely used and recognized, it can be expensive for individual designers or small teams.


Another popular option is Sketch, which is a vector drawing and animation software. It’s less expensive than the Adobe Creative Suite and has become increasingly popular among web and interface designers.


Other options include Figma, which is a cloud-based design tool; Affinity Designer, which is an affordable vector graphic editor; and Gravit Designer, which is a free vector graphic design tool.


Each of these design systems has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that will best suit the needs of your project.


How to Make One in Figma

When it comes to design systems, there are a lot of different ways to skin a cat. But if you're using Figma, there's one method in particular that we recommend: making a library.


Libraries in Figma are essentially collections of design elements that you can access and use in your projects. They're perfect for storing things like reusable components, shared styles, and other common design assets. And best of all, they're easy to create!


Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make a library in Figma:


1. Create a new file or open an existing one.


2. Click the "+" icon in the left sidebar and select "Library."


3. Give your library a name and click "Create."


4. Add any design elements that you want to include in your library. To do this, simply drag and drop them into the library panel on the left side of the screen.


5. That's it! Now you can use any element from your library in any other Figma file by selecting it and clicking "Add to project."


Conclusion

Design systems and libraries help you work smarter, not harder by giving you a solid foundation to start from that can be reused and scaled as needed. In Figma, they're easy to set up and use, so there's no excuse not to take advantage of them. If you're not sure where to start, check out our guide on how to create a design system in Figma. And if you need some inspiration, be sure to check out the amazing design systems and libraries that other Figma users have created.


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