DLS Lite: A simple, light-weight design language system that is easy to implement
User Experience – A psychological journey
User Experience is a psychological journey that a user undergoes through the physical interaction with a product or service. It is a sum of the value the user derives from using products or services of a company. The value comes from superiority and consistency of the product or service offered throughout the user’s interaction with it.
It is difficult to provide a customer the perfect user experience or feel, particularly in an ever-changing world where products/services and user expectations constantly change. Same is true with business applications that users interact with.
UX in business applications
In this era where the digital services are accessed and consumed via multiple devices, a business application must be User Experience centric. It must be highly intuitive and functional. If the application is consumer facing, it must have the look and feel, the message, and the design patterns which are consistent with the company’s brand. However, supporting this consistency requirement across applications is difficult to achieve and is expensive.
Where the digital services are consumed via multiple devices, a business application must be User Experience centric.
Design Language System
This gives rise to the need for a foundational Design Language System (DLS) that does not change frequently and ensures consistency across different applications and across versions of an application. DLS ensures a certain level of harmony in a digital ecosystem.
Large organizations have a dedicated design team that builds and maintains DLS. They work closely with application development teams to ensure the design guidelines for UI/UX are adhered to. Such design teams in an IT department have a budget associated and they operate under a charge-back model.
However, there are many small projects that do not have the budget to afford a consultant from the design team. There are also IT departments that cannot afford to have a design team even for their relatively larger projects. With the digital transformation wave taking over the technology world, identifying a sophisticated approach for consistent UI/UX would require a whopping amount of time and budget.
CES solution – DLS Lite
Given this situation in a client engagement, CES worked out a framework and drafted a light-weight design language system – DLS Lite. This framework was culled out from a comprehensive, more detailed DLS Framework that CES had already developed. Using this framework ensured a consistent and sustainable design/development activity.
The key elements of DLS Lite are:
- Choosing from a predefined design system (Foundations, components, patterns)
- Creating UI Library (Framework agnostic using web components)
- Implementing and adapting the DLS (Applications inherit DLS)
The key features of DLS Lite are:
- A library of core design elements (simplified wireframes, branded color palette, etc.)
- Easy configurability and reusability (a standardized and compatible set of widgets)
- Application developer friendly (usage guidelines to help implementation by developers themselves)
- Organic structure (easy to expand and evolve into a full-scale DLS)
With DLS Lite, businesses get the application that is consistent with company brand, without having to pay for it.
Benefits of DLS Lite
This process framework benefits the suite of applications that a company plans to develop or even modernize. It would be a perfect fit for those cloud migration projects that do not involve a lot of rewrite. It could be used in maintenance mini-projects involving small UI tweaks. It saves design time and is light on the budget.
With DLS Lite, businesses get the value of an application that is consistent with company brand without having to pay for it. Since even the smaller projects get to use it, it helps develop Design Thinking culture across the board.
Some benefits realized by the customer where CES implemented DLS Lite:
- The cost of new UI development reduced up to 40%
- The cost of designing reduced up to 80%
- The cost of modernization/upgrade of existing UI reduced by 40%
Ease of implementation
CES can help build a light-weight DLS system from scratch or repurpose it from an existing foundation. It can be a starter DLS for an organization that does not have one. It can be carved out as a subset of full-featured standard DLS used in the organization.
Having a DLS significantly improves productivity of a scrum team and its through-put. It ensures consistency, familiarity, and ease of use of business applications. In case of end user applications, it also helps ensure loyalty to the product or service of a business. For more information or a conversation on how CES can implement a Design Language System to help enable a consistent brand and user experience, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.