Store design data within your Design API
Learn how to organize your design data to easily manage it within your design system.
Identify, gather and distribute your design data
Before diving into setting up a Design API, we recommend you to take a step back. Before anything, you must be able to answer the following question: "Where and how is my organization's branding used across its products and platforms?".
The general idea is to:
- Make a brand inventory from all your UIs (marketing website, web and mobile apps...) to identify common design decisions like colors, typography, iconography...
- Identify design decisions that can be shared between your UIs and the ones that are specific.
From this sorting, you'll be able to organize your design decisions efficiently in your Design API.
ℹ️ A Design API acts as an external source of truth for your branding. Organize it well and see the magic happen 🎩
A practical use case
The main benefit of using a Design API is to ease the consumption of a brand at scale.
Let's say your organization provides a single digital product available on the following platforms: Web, iOS, and Android.
You will most likely have to keep in sync:
- a marketing website
- a web app
- an iOS mobile app
- an Android mobile app
Those platforms are different. They require specific care and technical knowledge to be maintained. Thus, your design tokens and assets have to be specifically defined for each of these products and platforms.
For many years, teams have been making pattern inventories to create component libraries. Well, it's now time to go even further and apply this for all your design data.
Find tokens, filter them and organize them in repositories that will be consumed by your targeted platforms. Like you do with components.
For instance here are some of our repositories we have at Specify:
- Light Theme (colors, shadows, borders)
- Dark Theme (colors, shadows, borders)
- General (text styles, fonts, icons)
- Mails (text styles, fonts and bitmaps we use on our custom mail templates)
- Marketing (shadows, text styles, fonts, vectors, bitmaps we use in our landing page)
Create as much repositories as you need while centralizing as much design data as possible to manage easily between your platforms.
For instance, if you use the same icons for your web, iOS and Android apps, then store your icons inside the same Specify repository.