What is an Design System?
As many growing design teams struggle with inconsistent outputs across multiple teams, the use of a design system could really be the answer to all problems.
Keeping consistency throughout the email creation process is often a difficult task. Frustrations such as the long amend process and inconsistent branding often recur. The use of a design system can make this process more efficient and stress free. A platform which does not disrupt any code structure, and allows non-coders to access to each template without accidentally damaging any emails. Having a place where all team members can work collaboratively and feel safe working within each template is extremely important.
Using modular templates can enable you to produce great email campaigns easily, whilst also streamlining your email workflow. It can be difficult to manage multiple email campaigns across different platforms, ultimately leading to errors, duplicated code and repeated work. Using modular templates will help to eliminate these problems, giving the user control over the content which appears into the recipient’s inbox. Ultimately, a design system should be beneficial and time saving for brands giving them ultimate control and putting any email worries at ease.
Important aspects within a design system:
Fonts: Web fonts are not supported everywhere, but if you choose to go down this route it is important to know your design system supports this. Always choose a font which is prominent to the brand and aligns with other digital platforms, including fallback fonts.
Images: Marketers are often using live imagery to update emails at the time of open, this could often involve adding a countdown clock, device specific banners or location based images.
Mobile responsive: Over 50% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Through using mobile responsive templates brands can provide the best experience for the user across different devices. It is important to ensure the email content works for smaller screen sizes.
Branding: Establishing a strong brand identity, through the use of a recognisable colour palette, email theme and typography. Define the font specifics and ensure campaigns never go off brand. A core aspect of a design system is its tone of voice, to create solutions for these challenges and to provide clarity throughout the experience. This should also match across all of the other digital platforms, enabling the brand to be easily identified.
Reducing errors: When creating different versions of emails it is inevitable errors will occur. Using modular templates can save time and reduce room for errors, giving more time for QA and testing.
The benefits of a design system:
Team management: Design systems often allow you to create different sub-teams to connect your marketers, designers and anyone else working closely with your email production. Allow full control on who has access to which templates.
Flexibility: Designers, copywriters and clients can all work directly into a template. Giving each user enough freedom to work knowing they will not break any email code, whilst also keeping consistent branded emails.
Productivity: Using a design system allows email to be produced at scale. They enable more resource to be spent on QA, testing and development encouraging team productivity.
Translations: Translations are very important when working on email at a large international scale. Having an email design system which can produce email in different languages is extremely beneficial for brands when expanding.
Ultimately it is a decision that will directly affect your brand, if you know it will cut down on time wasting then it is worth the move. You're starting the process that will only increase in value as you test more throughout time. Giving you more time to focus on your main focus, email!