Approach to Design in the early days

For a while there was a popular opinion that Design is something creative, like art. This can be true for Graphic or Motion Design. But for me, as a Product designer, Design is more like an Order or System that serves a bigger goal - to be clear and help our customers reach their goals quickly and easily. It doesn’t make sense to think about a button or component as an independent element without keeping in mind how it will be used.

Building a coherent design system requires a lot of time and effort. But when you’re working in a fast-paced startup you can’t waste time polishing icons and colour tones. You have to find a balance between speed now and setting up a good design foundation for the future.

So when is it worth investing time into creating a design system? I think the answer is always as soon as possible! At Cordless we started building it right after the prototypes were validated and approved. As soon as we started working on our first design concepts and UI, we contributed components to our design system. Although it takes a bit more time at first, it pays off in the long term

When building a design system you can’t be focused on just 1 screen, you always have to keep in mind the bigger picture. It’s only once you used the component in several places that you can decide whether it is good and universal enough for your overall design. I’ve seen this many times - the same component may be great on a particular screen or page, but it doesn’t work overall.

At Cordless we take atomic approach to design, i.e. breaking design down to small elements. This methodology has been tried and tested. I found that the more you decompose your components - the more flexibility you have in the end.


You should allow yourself to be imperfect sometimes. From time to time, as you learn more and notice that your design components are not a good fit anymore, you’ll have to come back and tweak them. Decomposing large components into smaller ones will make this task easier. In the early days Templates and Pages can be a hindrance to the design process. Don’t make your life difficult!

December 01, 2021

Oleg Medvedev

Product designer