Bridging the Gap Between Design System and Development

June 28, 2023

Bridging the Gap between Design System and Development

Research by Jade

The gap between design and development is a common challenge in product development, often caused by poor communication, different skill sets, different timelines, limited feedback, and changing requirements. These gaps can result in longer development times, increased costs, and a product that doesn’t meet user needs or business goals.

To bridge the gap, it’s essential to foster communication, collaboration, and understanding between design teams and development teams throughout the development process.

This blog focuses on how designers and developers should communicate when it comes to the technical requirements of a project. It includes keeping each other in line on how to satisfy client requirements during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) using JavaScript Libraries and their UI/UX Design System counterparts.

Let’s begin!

Questions for Developers Before Starting a Software Project

As a developer, it’s important to ask questions early so that you have a clear understanding of the project requirements.

Below are some questions developers ask themselves when kicking off a project:

  1. Will the design be in line with the JavaScript library/CSS framework I’ll be using?
  2. How much customization will I need to implement based on the design?
  3. What 3rd-party libraries/tools should I use to make the design work?

These are just some of the many questions developers ask themselves when they are not involved during the design process.

Startechup UI UX Design Service

On using JavaScript Libraries and CSS Frameworks

As the number of JavaScript Frameworks and CSS libraries grows throughout the years, it becomes overwhelming what to use for a particular project. Developers must agree on what to use based on the goal of the product to be developed and narrow it down from there.

On using Design Systems

A Design System is a JavaScript Libraries’ or CSS Framework’s counterpart for a UI/UX designer to use when designing a product. It is a set of guidelines and reusable components that ensure consistent design across projects.

Most major JavaScript Libraries/CSS Frameworks have a Design system such as Material Design and Bootstrap. In contrast, some do not and would require the designer to replicate it from scratch.

How a Design System Used for the Product Affects Development

In most cases, developers are unaware if the design is feasible based on the JavaScript Library/CSS Framework they’ll be using for the project.

If the design system used by the designer does not match the JavaScript library or CSS framework used by the developer, it can create several issues in the product development process:

  1. The design system and the development framework may have different capabilities, which can result in the design not being fully realized or implemented effectively. For example, a design system may require a specific interaction or animation that is not supported by the development framework.
  2. It can lead to inconsistencies between the design and the final product, which can negatively impact the user experience. This can lead to a product that is confusing or difficult to use, ultimately resulting in poor user adoption and retention.
  3. It can result in additional development time and costs. The developer may need to make modifications to the design or the framework to make them compatible, which can lead to delays and additional resources being allocated to the project.

To avoid these issues, it’s important for the designer and developer to work together closely to ensure that the design system and the development framework are compatible. This can involve selecting a framework that aligns with the design system or modifying the design to better align with the capabilities of the framework.

Ultimately, close collaboration and communication between the design team and development teams can help ensure that the final product meets both design and technical requirements.

Man programmer is working on his laptop

JavaScript Libraries/CSS Frameworks and Their Design Systems

There are JavaScript libraries and CSS frameworks that have a corresponding design system.

Here are we identify which frameworks have a design system:

For AngularJS:

NG Bootstrap

With ng-bootstrap, developers can use familiar Angular and Bootstrap CSS syntax to easily create a wide range of UI elements, including common widgets like carousel, modal, popover, tooltip, navs, and additional components like datepicker, rating, and typeahead.

The codebase is meticulously reviewed and tested with almost 100% coverage, ensuring that no corners are cut. Additionally, all of the widgets are accessible, with proper HTML elements and required aria attributes, and they support keyboard navigation and focus management.

Has a Design System counterpart

Angular Bootstrap

NGX Bootstrap provides comprehensive and easy-to-understand documentation, modular components, and a set of guidelines to improve code readability and maintainability.

Additionally, it supports the latest Angular versions, and its components are unit tested to ensure reliability and performance across both desktop and mobile platforms.

Has a Design System counterpart

Angular Material

Formerly known as Material2, Angular Material is Google’s official Angular UI component library. It is built using TypeScript and focuses on implementing the application based on Google’s Material Design principles.

Most importantly, Angular Material allows developers to create their own customized components.

Has a Design System counterpart

ng-lightning (Lightning Design System for Angular)

ng-lightning is a widely-used Angular component library specifically designed for Salesforce development. This library heavily relies on input properties to enhance performance for end-users while also leveraging the lightning design system and native Angular components.

Design System counterpart: Salesforce UX – Lightning Design Kit for Sketch


Vaadin offers over 45 accessible components for Angular apps. They are designed to work seamlessly on both web and mobile, ensuring a great user experience. Just a heads up, some of these components require payment.

(Key components: Charts, Spreadsheet, Multi-select data grid)

Design System counterpart: Figma Libraries | Components | Vaadin Docs

Nebular (Customizable Angular UI Library, Auth and Security)

Nebular is a customizable and elegant UI component library for Angular, providing a solution for application design. With over 40 UI components, four visually appealing themes, and integrated authentication and security modules, it empowers developers to create stunning and secure applications.

Design System counterpart: Eva Design System


PrimeNG is yet another Angular component library well-known for its extensive collection of UI components. Its widgets are all open-source and licensed under the MIT license. Its component library depends on the design framework you select (e.g., Bootstrap, Material, etc.)

Some component libraries have a design system. Some do not (Viva, Fluent, Lara)

Onsen UI Hybrid Mobile App Framework

Onsen UI is a remarkable JavaScript-based component library designed specifically for web and mobile applications. With the comprehensive array of development tools and powerful CLI offered by Onsen UI, developers can effortlessly construct responsive mobile apps and progressive web applications (PWAs).

Does not have a Design System counterpart (designer will replicate from scratch)


Components in Syncfusion are module-based, making selective referencing easy. The touch-friendly and adaptable components are optimized for use on multiple devices, ensuring a great user experience for a global audience that speaks different languages and comes from diverse cultures. These components are also lightweight, providing faster loading times for web pages.

(Key components: Data grid, charts, and scheduler).

Note: This is a paid library.

Does not have a Design System counterpart (designer will replicate from scratch)

For ReactJS:

MUI website


MUI is a fully loaded UI component library that offers a comprehensive set of UI tools to create and deploy new features at speed. It is one of the most powerful and popular UI component libraries out there with over 3.2 million downloads on npm a week.

Has a Design System counterpart

Ant Design

Ant Design is a react-based UI component library to build enterprise-grade digital products.

(Key components: Tree, Statistics, Transfer, Rate, Mentions, QRcode, Statistic)

Design System counterpart: Resources – Ant Design


Another popular front-end framework—React Bootstrap, is rebuilt for React-based applications and systems. It has replaced Bootstrap JavaScript, where each component is developed from scratch as native React components with no need for dependencies such as jQuery.

Has a Design System counterpart

Chakra UI

Create react applications with Chakra UI, which is a simple, accessible, and modular component library. It offers useful building blocks to help you build valuable features in your applications and delight users.

(Key components: Skeleton, Stepper, Stats, Avatar Groups)

Design System counterpart: Figma UI Kit – Chakra UI

Blueprint JS

If you are building data-dense and complex interfaces, Blueprint JS will be highly suitable for you. It’s also majorly used for desktop apps.

(Key Components: Date range picker, Spreadsheet data grid, Omnibar, Timezone picker)

Design System counterpart: Blueprint – Documentation (Sketch)

Microsoft Fluent Design System

Microsoft Fluent Design System is a cross-platform, open-source design tool to help you create an engaging user experience. It was previously named Fabric React and is an excellent UI library created by Microsoft.

(Multi-platform, Key components: Color picker, Activity Thread, Facepile)

Has a Figma Design System counterpart depending on the platform

Semantic UI React

With Semantic UI React, you can load any CSS theme you want on the app you are building. It also has human-friendly HTML to develop software products. It’s a declarative API that offers powerful prop validation and features.

(Key components: Sidebar, Transitions, Portal, Dimmer, Social Feed, Advertisement, Flags)

Design System counterpart: Design Systems Semantic UI Kit for Adobe XD


With React-admin, you can create delightful UIs, whether you are building your internal tools, B2B apps, CRMs, or ERPs. As an open-source framework for B2B apps, it aims at increasing the maintainability and productivity of developers by allowing them to design faster. (Based on Material design. Key components: Calendar, Editable datagrid, Tree with details, Infinite list, Column selector, Column arranger, Filter, Wizart Form (step-by-step from)

Has a Design System counterpart


PrimeReactis similar to its Angular counterpart. This library provides components based on the design system you are going for (e.g., Material, Bootstrap, etc.)

Some component libraries have a design system. Some do not (Viva, Fluent, Lara).


Gestaltis Pinterest’s design tool as well and comes with many features and components. Its interface is also smooth to allow developers to get started with the tool quickly.

Has a design system counterpart but requires you to join their Figma community

visx | visualization components (data visualization)

visx is created by Airbnb. and it’s a collection of multiple low-level, expressive visualization primitives built for React applications. It was developed to unify a complete visualization stack throughout the company, bringing together the delight of React with the robustness of D3 for calculations.

Does not have a Design System counterpart (designer will replicate from scratch)


Grommet provides an array of components, themes, and templates. It has its own designer app to try different themes with the components.

Does not have a Design System counterpart (designer will replicate from scratch)

For VueJS:

Bootstrap Vue website


BootstrapVue brings the power of Bootstrap to Vue. It makes all Bootstrap elements, such as rows, columns, and cards, available as Vue components.

Has a Design System counterpart

Quasar Framework

Quasar Framework follows the Material Design guidelines and fully supports all desktop and mobile browsers. Its main strength is that it’s all-in-one, covering many of the nifty web development tasks out of the box.

(Key components: Knob, Skeleton loader, vertical stepper, pull to refresh)

Has a Design System counterpart


Vuetify is a component framework based on Material Design, a popular design language developed by Google. It consists of UI guidelines for cards, shapes, interactions, depth effects such as lights and shadows, and more.

(Key components: Timeline, Autocomplete chip/single/multiple)

Has a Design System counterpart

CoreUI Vue

CoreUI Vue is a Vue component library that focuses solely on creating admin templates. It’s built using modern frameworks and tools such as Bootstrap, Vue.js, and Sass. The over 100 components that the framework includes make creating dashboards and user interfaces for administrative applications a breeze.

(Provides templates, Key components: Chart, Smart table with sort and filters)

Has a Design System counterpart (Bootstrap)

Vue Material

Vue Material (Material Design for Vue.js) is a widely used, lightweight framework that implements the Material Design specifications. Even though it follows the specs to the final letter, it’s not as opinionated as other frameworks. This means you need to make fewer design choices so that you can create applications without the downside of having to override the default styles of the library.

Has a Design System counterpart


Element is a Vue UI component library with a large community. It’s not only for front-end developers but also provides a full UI kit that designers and product managers can work with. It’s specifically tailored for creating desktop UIs, but it does support some responsive features such as hiding elements based on the window size and creating grids.

(Key components: Calendar, Timeline, Statistic with countdown, Transfer, Datetime picker, Cascader)

Has a Design System counterpart for Axure and Sketch


Vuesax has beautiful and well-designed components that you can use for your own projects. The aim of this framework is to offer a development experience where you can style the components based on your branding and requirements without losing the speed of creation and production.

Does not have a Design System counterpart (designer will replicate from scratch)


iView is a high-quality Vue UI component library that offers dozens of useful and beautiful components. It’s easy to get started with, and you can even create new projects in a visual way using iView Cli.

(Key components: Circle Chart, Table filters/sort/multi-select)

Does not have a Design System counterpart (designer will replicate from scratch)

Low-code/No-code platforms

These no-code tools were created to eliminate the struggle with UI libraries, data sources, and access controls. You will get a streamlined way to handle everything and produce apps that customers would love to use.


Retool is a drag-and-drop component that integrates external databases, manages data sources, and access controls all in one platform. Retool is best used for building internal tools.


GrapesJS is a web template editor with built-in components. Edit your template, then export it as code.


In conclusion, a design system that matches the JavaScript component library or CSS framework being used by developers is critical to bridge the gap between design and development. By using a matching design system, designers and developers can collaborate more closely and ensure that the final product meets both design and technical requirements. 

Design systems that align with the development framework also help streamline the development process, reduce potential errors, and ensure that the final product is optimized for performance and user experience.

Ultimately, a design system that matches the development framework can help ensure that designers and developers work together more efficiently, resulting in a better end product for the users.

style guides compilation

Need UI/UX Design Services?

Keeping up with the constantly evolving UI/UX design industry can be a challenge. If you need assistance with your project, we’re here to help!

Our team of experienced designers and developers at StarTechUP is here to help bring the visual elements of your UI/UX project to life! We also offer web development, mobile app development, and other software engineering services.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin