Introduction to Design Systems

Drawbacks of design systems

But while all of these benefits sound great, there are some drawbacks as well.


We've all heard the saying that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and your design system won't be either.

Design systems take time to build. We're not talking a month or two. A robust design system built from the ground up can take many months to several years to be stable. This is all dependent on your team structure.


A design system is never complete. It isn't a project with a finite end date; it's a product serving products and it will evolve over time.


A design system is a living, breathing product which has lifecycles and requires maintenance.

And we cannot build a design system without a team.


Stakeholders don't like hearing that a design system requires a large, up-front commitment, but that's the reality.

We need designers, engineers, and product managers to ensure the success of the system.

And given all of these downsides, the number one reason design systems fail is a lack of adoption.