The concept of a design system came out of building websites and designing apps. It started as essentially a style guide for common design patterns in order to keep a growing website or evolving product looking consistent. It eventually went on to include brand materials, copy guidelines, and code. And because all of these same aspects apply to email design, it makes sense to use a design system for your email templates as well.
Decisions and documentation
At the heart of a design system is the need for consistency and efficiency in campaigns. Starting with branding and referencing current available assets. And taking into account a modular design approach. As solutions and elements are added to the design system, there will be less design decisions that will need to be made. A design system for your email campaigns can be an extension of your current documentation and help align creatives across marketing mediums.
"As elements and solutions are added to the design system, there will be less design decisions that will need to be made."Tweet This
A design system helps define a process for developing a campaign. It sets up a foundation and highlights limits to work within. This however, doesn’t mean you can’t be creative within those barriers. Knowing and understanding your constraints can in fact allow you to be more creative. After all, there is no such thing as an unlimited canvas. A good design system includes the “why” and “how” of decisions made: “How and when to use this?”, “When to avoid it?”, “How does it fit into the system?”, “What’s the rationale behind it?”
"A good design system includes the 'why' and 'how' of decisions made: 'How and when to use this?', 'When to avoid it?', 'How does it fit into the system?', 'What's the rationale behind it?'"Tweet This
Collaboration and iteration
Having a design system in place allows teams to better collaborate, with a resource to refer to when starting a new campaign. Even better, putting the thinking behind your email’s design out there for others to see and comment on leads to new ideas and evolves your email strategy. And it encourages regular analyzing of the problems your emails are trying to solve.
To see if an email design system is right for you and your organization, and find out how to get started check out our latest guide.