How can the efficiency of design system be measured?

How can the efficiency of design system be measured?

Using a design system AND tracking its efficiency may be tricky but it also is very important. The developers play the key role in the design system’s success since they are creating the components and templates for the project and they are doing it for a perspective — the system saves a lot of time and money when implemented.

Yet how efficient is such an investment of effort?

Here are some useful tips on how to track the efficiency of the design system:

1. Track how much the design system is used

This is an important metric to evaluate the success of a design system. It includes monitoring how much are components and templates used by developers. It can also help with following recommendations and implementing best practices. Measuring the impact of these initiatives the team can show real progress and will have justification for future investments in the design system.

Just tracking how many times a component was used is not a good metric. Instead…

2. Track where the components are used

Instead of tracking the number of times a component is used, track the number of pages where the component of a design system was used at least once. This way you will learn which components are the most frequently used and for which pages.

Products that help with the matter:

3. Keep the versions of the design system in check

Consider the version of the design system you are using. It may happen that you have a project using components from version 3.0 while the latest version is 8.1.

4. Development speed

Does it really speed up development? How much money will I save by using a design system?

In this article, Cristiano Rastelli from HashiCorp highlights significant decrease of changes and their frequency because of using a design system. The data showed that using components of the system is a lot faster and more effective than writing a new document for each new element. This proves that the design system did indeed save developers time and effort.

5. How handy is your system

A measurement of how easy to use your design system is for the developers. It is a truly interesting metric because it leads to better cooperation in the team and quicker implementation of the system.

6. How to use the discovered data?

Gathering data is one thing and putting it to use is another. The metrics should be taken seriously. Do not forget that in the future the design system requires more funding and resources all while proving its value for you.

Use tools such as Google Analytics, Metabase, or Mixpanel for creation of interactive information panels to display data here and now. It also will be best to use data visualization tools such as Tableau or D3.js for interactive visualization of data; this will make the data and metrics easer to comprehend by all parties involved.

7. I am willing to invest time and money in a design system. When will it payoff?

The data you will gather is only a part of the answer it can be used to track the ROI (return on investment) of your design system.

As a follow up, here is a screenshot with empiric data that shows how, much time it took to design using system versus designing from scratch.

If you ever need a design system or design for your product, feel free to email us at Leave the work for the professionals!

Thanks for reading! See you in the next article.

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