Consistency is a huge part of your product’s user experience. With hundreds of design elements (buttons, inputs, tooltips, navbars, cards etc), it becomes very easy to lose track of what has been designed and built already. The problem is exacerbated when multiple products, developers an designers are involved. Especially if you want to scale.
Every element that is designed and not reused is referred to as ‘design debt’. The more design debt created, the more you’ll find consistency slipping away, and the more the team will be misaligned.
As you scale, your design language will become a mess, your developers and designers will spend more time trying to find if an element has already been created than solving the problem the design solves.
Using a design system provides a single source of truth. One place where every design element is housed. Developers can grab the latest version, instead of building from scratch or asking designers “is that the latest gradient on that button?”.
Designers can grab previously designed and thought-out patterns.
Need to change something? Change it once and it’s changed everywhere.