Design Systems

We love design systems and they form an essential part of all our projects - we believe they are a fantastic source of truth for digital products, and they allow us to create consistent, scalable UI languages and streamline UX guidelines. As digital design specialists, we can create design systems specific to your products and needs, as seen in our article on scalable design systems.

Our unique process for creating design systems combines our knowledge of design and user experience. By using our holistic and human-centred design approach, we ensure that you don’t just end up with a collection of “cookie-cutter” reusable elements. A Furthermore design system has structure, meaning and brings your digital presence to life effectively without compromising on creativity. It has the flexibility to evolve and grow over time but is always guided by clear principals, best-practice and the highest accessibility standards.

For our clients such as The Harvard Gazette and AGBI, we’ve built design systems from the ground up, alongside the creation of brand new visual languages and websites. We’ve also applied our design system philosophy to well established digital products such as Hall & Partners and Chelsea FC, where the introduction of proper typographic hierarchy, the streamlining of mixed styles and reduction of visual clutter has resulted in products that are easier and more enjoyable to use.

An example design system from our work with Chelsea Football Club

What is a design system?

A design system is a collection of reusable UI components, combined with usage instructions and guidelines, that can be assembled together to build an on-brand interface of a product such as a website or app. A system can consist of elements of your brand identity (such as colours, fonts, images), brand principles (brand values, purposes, objectives) and best practices (such as accessibility, design boundaries). Design systems aren’t just for designers - they can be useful for developers as they can contain development resources and technical documentation, and all other creative building blocks that are useful for the design and development workflows.

Why use a design system?

Design systems allow us to quickly and efficiently put together UI patterns using premade components and elements. Designers can use the same components repeatedly, reducing the need to redesign elements and reducing the risk of inconsistency. Having a unified design resource also reduces wasted design or development time around miscommunications, as the appearance or functionality of a UI component will have been predefined in the design system.

An example design system from our work with AGBI

Design System Methodology

We have establish 3 core principles that we apply when creating and maintaining a design system:

When you're dealing with a big product with lots of moving parts, keeping things consistent can be a real challenge. If your design varies too much across different features, users can get confused. Consistency simplifies things by ensuring actions look and behave the same way throughout the product. This means users don't have to relearn how to do things every time they click around.

Designers need to feel comfortable using your system - that means it should be easy to understand and navigate. Are components clearly labelled and easy to find? Do designers know how to use the system effectively? If not, they might not trust the system, which could lead to inconsistencies creeping in.

Don't waste time reinventing the wheel—or the main call-to-action button. If your design system is inconsistent, designers might end up duplicating work, creating patterns or components that already exist elsewhere. This not only wastes time but also makes the product harder to manage in the long run.

Looking for a new design system? Get in touch

Do you have a product that could benefit from a design system? Drop us a lineand let's chat about how our design team can help.

Get in touch with the team to discuss your idea, project or business.

workshop session for a service design project
service design workshop with Furthermore teamLarge Furthermore logo in white