How much time does it take to build a design system?

Another popular misconception is this.  Design Systems take a ton of time to build. It is easy to take a look at some of the most prominent ones that hit the front page of Designer or Hacker News and think, “wow, that must have taken for-ev-er!”

Companies that are brave enough to release their design system publicly typically have a couple of things under their belts. 

First, they have a huge head start. They have likely invested into their system years ago. What you are seeing is the refined version that has gone through countless iterations.

Secondly, they often have a large team (if not one with Design Systems Engineering focus) so they are able to move much faster.

Now, it is like trying to say I am planning to duplicate an Apple product. That will be quite difficult indeed.

What you need is an MVP approach. Ask yourself this 3 part question and make sure you hit all 3 criteria

1. What can be built the fastest?


2. What can I build with the least effort?


3. What will burn less time?

This is likely the first step and a good place to target your Design Systems Engineer towards an MVP.