Couldn’t I just buy a UI kit instead of building a design system?
This is one of the questions I get asked most often when I say that building a design system could take months of work.
And I get the appeal of taking a shortcut and calling it done.
But it’s the same of asking “couldn’t I just buy a vocabulary instead of learning French?” Words are an important part of a language, but they are not the language.
When do you use a certain word? How do you structure sentences? How do you decide between synonyms? What’s the meaning of certain expressions in your community?
A design system is a company-wide effort of building a visual language for your products.
You can use a pre-built UI kit as your “words”.
But you can define the grammar only by applying them to your product and having the necessary conversations with your team.
And this process takes time 😊 that’s all