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I recently joined a company with a small team but not a startup. I'm working on a CRM SaaS product, which has a few years, but it's not very sophisticated (UX and UI wise).

When they started to build the product, the team created a Storybook library with a few components designed by developers. There was no designer in the team back then.

The designers that came to the team after it created many UI Kits but they were never implemented. They used to design the mockups using their UI Kits, and it was up to the developers to decide how to adapt to the already existing UI. In summary, this is what I'm facing right now:

  • No UI Kit to work with as a source of truth;
  • The current UI Library it's bad (not only the looks but has huge usability issues);
  • The mockups needs always to be adapted ad-hoc during the implementation.

I've been thinking of two possible solutions:

  • I ignore the current UI Library, create a new UI Kit, and push for a redesign;
  • I work on building a UI Kit that matches the current UI Library and improve the components and styles over time.

Both have pros and cons. I'm pretty sure this is something that a lot of designers already faced at least once. What is your experience with this kind of problem? What have you done? What was the outcome?

Thanks :)

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    Hi Causin, welcome. I think this is an important topic, but StackExchange is for questions that can produce one accepted answer. Would you consider editing your question to be more specific (rather than soliciting opinions)? Reddit is also good for questions like this if you are looking for more of a conversation. Thanks.
    – Izquierdo
    Sep 16 at 13:43
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It depends on the company's budget, openness to change, the worth of the effort, current state of the app.

You could be better off with a review of the design system and the app itself. Identify all the building blocks in the app, categorize and group them, refine and make sure they are consistent throughout the app and improving them. This would result in easier implementation usually consisting in some CSS changes and some interaction improvements without the costs of doing it from scratch.

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In my experience it makes no sense to do any library / system design building untill design is not finished. Its much easier to design something new, and to bring it to functional & nice state while having freedom to draw what you want. Another reason for this is that changes may be required and if you invest in building library you will need to update many things.

Once you've tip topped your designs, and they are in further implementation phase, you can build small design system. If you are only designer in company, it is good change this will depend purely on you and your discipline of taking time to do work thats not visible right away.

So shorter said, go ahead build your own baby.

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