By now you probably have heard of responsive design and understand how it works, especially for web design. If not, here it is in a nutshell. Responsive design simply means that your website responds to the size of the device that you are viewing it with.
So if you are looking at a website on your phone, tablet or desktop, the design is adaptable and responding to that size.
Have you heard of responsive design in terms of your design system though?
We know that a trifold brochure is drastically different in size and proportion from a billboard. Your design system must be adaptable for these sorts of size and medium differences. A responsive design system means that your design components, the DNA of your look and feel, are adaptable, flexible and well thought out. We use the term Managed Flexibility when we discuss responsive design. It simply means that within a set of guidelines and specifications, we build flexibility and adaptability for design so it can take on any size and form while retaining your overall look and feel.
There is a Chinese proverb that supports our thinking, “a reed that does not bend will break.”
A design system that is not responsive will break. And when it breaks, it creates a downhill snowball for your look and feel.