If you work in web design, you’ll have heard a lot about design systems over the last few years. But you may still not be sure what they are… and wading through a dozen intimidating Medium posts might not have helped either. In which case, here’s a book to set you straight.
Laying the Foundations: A Book About Design Systems is the self-published creation of two well-known voices in the web community: the husband-wife creative partnership of Andrew Couldwell (author and designer) and Meagan Fisher (editor). And it explains everything you need to know about design systems, how to design websites and products systematically, and how designers and developers can work together efficiently as a team.
Because design systems are primarily used in large organisations, there’s a tendency for them to be written about in an overly corporate and technical fashion. In contrast, Andrew and Meagan’s book is delightfully down to earth and deals with the subject in an accessible, jargon-free manner that’s full of practical tips and advice based on personal experience.
It covers what design systems are, why they are important, and how to get stakeholder buy-in to create one. It then brings the theory to life by introducing you to a simple model, and two distinct approaches to creating a design system.
All in all, this book will help you overcome the feeling that there’s something other web designers keep talking about, but which you don’t quite get.