Design Systems

Victor Evangelista

Victor Evangelista / Mar 9, 2019

UI/UX • 4-minute video

I gave this presentation at Las Vegas Developers Demo Day back in 2019 after I first proposed and began implementing a reusable component library at Vehicle History.

What was the Impact?

Designing and developing a design system is certainly a large investment. It requires marrying Design and Engineering. The effort required to implement a complete set of standards, documentation, and principles along with the UI components is intense.

That leaves the question- What makes going through this effort worth it?

  1. Increasing Consistency
    • Vehicle History faced an issue maintaining consistency between UI components. One example of that was the “Rating” component in the video.
    • The truth is that most frontend applications will face this problem without a design system. Communication breakdowns happen between people.
    • When you reduce the moving parts and consolidate the interface/functionality provided to users, you leave less room for duplicated and inconsistent features.
  2. Increasing Development Speed
    • At first, you may not see the results. In fact, during the inception, you may even need to temporarily scale back business deliverables. Temporarily.
    • When a design system is production-ready, the results are astounding. There’s a reason startups use Material Design and Carbon to bootstrap great experiences.
    • At Vehicle History, development speed radically increased. At one point, our new business problem was keeping the product backlog from running out!
  3. Improving the Developer Experience
    • Developers who consume components from design systems know having thorough documentation, reliability, and consistent design is a breath of fresh air.
    • When maintaining the component library, developers are working with more robust software from a single source of truth.
  4. Improving Accessibility
    • With a central location, you can ensure ALL components meet a11y requirements.


Building a design system is a large investment that pays dividends. If you have a large enough business and truly want to create a unique brand identity, it’s absolutely worth it. However, if you’re a small business or startup, there are plenty of beautiful and robust design systems available for public use.

Here are some of my favorite public design systems today:

  1. Material Design
  2. Human Interface Guidelines
  3. Carbon Design System
  4. Atlassian Design