February 22, 2018Why One Design System to Rule Them All Isn't Enough


In our previous blog, "Design Systems: Scaling Great Design for Today and Tomorrow," we focused on the rationale and elements of a design system in general, explaining how it scales design work and orchestrates design decisions across applications. The point of a design system is to solve repeatable design problems once and build them into reusable user interface modules. In other words, it bakes them into code. A design system allows teams to work on different parts of an application, either in parallel or subsequently, and still create a coherent and unified user experience (UX).

A design system breaks down user interfaces into reusable prebuilt modules that can be assembled based on coherent design patterns and styled according to brand guidelines

It's important to note, though, that there's not just one type of design system, and different ones have different purposes. Because financial institutions have complex application landscapes, a single design system will not be the cure-all to every UX use case in a company's portfolio.

Why a Superior Customer Experience Requires the Co-Existence of Many Design Systems

Imagine that you're browsing a financial institution's new services portfolio on its website. You want an overview of the services as well as easy and flexible access to all the information. Once you've decided on a service, you want to be guided conveniently and quickly through the onboarding process, similar to an e-commerce check-out process. This means that you expect an entirely different experience than the one you had when browsing the services portfolio. Last but not least, your onboarding experience should also differ from your experience of performing transactions on the company's e-banking or trading solution.

Providing seamless customer experience across applications requires the coexistence of several design systems, each optimized for a specific use case

As you can see, solving these different use cases across the customer journey with one single design system just doesn't work. Companies that serve a complex application ecosystem need to focus on delivering unified customer experience across different applications, with each based on a design system that is optimized for that specific situation. Also, to present a consistent brand identity across all applications, the different design systems should offer a way to style the user interface according to the brand's visual specifications.

How to Leverage a Best-of-Breed Design System

With the launch of Appway 7, Appway completely revamped its design system to provide enhanced UX. The Appway Design System specifically targets process-centric applications and knowledge work in financial services, like the ones I highlighted in the customer experience example above. It's optimized to provide the right UX for complex collaborations between clients and employees, task takers and experts, and humans and machines for data gathering, task management, knowledge work, and overall progress monitoring.

In other words: The Appway Design System is optimized to get the job done, fast!

To learn more about the Appway Design System, read our whitepaper, Design Systems: Scaling Great Design for Today and Tomorrow.

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Written byAdriana IspasUser Experience Lead, Appway