Tame the beast

Design systems can become a handful if not understood and used in good measure. You want it working for you rather than the other way around. Here are are my thoughts and some example of how IĀ approach them.

Token inheritance

Tokens are inherited through levels that become progressively more specific. Early levels are often abstract e.g. 'neutral colour' and final levels are specific e.g. 'form field border colour'.

Changing values

Each level provides an opportunity to make broad changes or specific changes to the whole design system.

Styling components

Multiple final level tokens are combined to style components.