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I design internal web tools for a company, and we use Vue and Vuetify on the front-end. I use a material design plugin with Sketch and have created our own beginnings of a design system/style guide that follows our brand guidelines with our own colors. Otherwise we generally adhere to Material Design. Vuetify is great for our dev team to make UIs quickly, but with each new version it seems like they update the visual design of components. This makes UIs with different versions inconsistent.

I'm wondering if other in-house design teams are doing something similar, primarily using an open-source UI framework that changes their visual design with additional versions? At what point do you push your dev team to move away from said framework or stop at a certain version to keep UIs visually consistent as we continue to build sections of our internal product with consistency in mind? The dev team likes new components and niceties of newer versions though.

Hoping to get some advice on what to do about this - thank you.

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  • "they update the visual design of components". Does "They" refer to the developers of Vuetify or your internal developers? – Nash Jan 16 at 16:21
  • Developers of Vuetify, thanks for clarifying – user3009365 Jan 17 at 17:59
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Vuetify is installed via npm the Node Package manager. As almost all Node modules it uses Semantic Versioning.

In 2019 there was a major release, Vuetify switched from version 1.x.y. to version 2.x.y.

The change in the major version indicates that by definition that there are breaking changes. Not only the design and look-and-feel, but also how things are built, and key third-party dependencies.

If your company moved from 1.5 to 2.x they probably had good reasons to do so. Maybe they needed a completely new component from the 2.0 release. Maybe they had a different reason.

Key thing is, this was a major effort. To avoid breaking your product, a lot of planning, auditing, testing, a new build system, removal of old stuff was probably required.

Most small shops prefer stay on older stuff because they do not have the resources to support all the new stuff in addition ot the old one.

Maybe just ask around in your company - who was responsible for the decision, who did the planning and who did all the grunt work?

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Whatever the decision, it should be informed by some objective information from a combination of business requirements/constraints as well as technical and user requirements/constraints.

It is important with most design systems to develop some core philosophies about how it is to be implemented, which allows you to separate the core components from the variable components that can be more flexible and adaptable as the situation or circumstances change (as it seems to be in your case).

If the design system is solid enough and robust in its design, it will allow users (i.e. developers and designers) to easily adopt and extend while still maintaining some level of alignment with its core elements.

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