Design systems create a bridge between designers and developers. They describe the rules, constraints, and principles of your company’s design language. Design systems aren't exactly new. If you've ever visited New York City, there's a good chance you've benefited from the subway design system to navigate around—officially named the New York Transit Authority graphic standards manual, designed by the infamous Massimo Vignelli. Design systems don't just provide brand guidelines, they provide a way to consistently implement functional design. In today's incarnation of design systems, it's expected that they provide one source of truth for code, along with documentation and design resources. For teams building digital products, design systems can improve workflow efficiency and enable teams to deliver a better experience to customers.
With so many examples of design systems out there, it can be hard to know where to start or know what is right for your company. If you work on digital products, even if you don't work on design systems, taking a systems thinking approach to design and UI development can help you build a good foundation for team collaboration and scaling your product.