One benefit of design systems is that they help ensure consistency across surfaces, platforms, and projects. The BBC claims that their design system, GEL enables them to “create consistent and delightful user experiences” while Salesforce highlights consistency as one of their four design principles. But what does consistency mean in practice and when can it create conflict in a design system?

In this talk we’ll take a look at the differing types of consistency (internal, external, and real-world) and how they work in digital and physical interfaces, and we’ll go a step further and dive into the myriad reasons that inconsistency can make sense, too. You’ll walk away with a framework for making better trade-offs when deciding for or against consistency.


Sketch Notes by Cindy Chang