Fascinating Atomic Design Tactics That Improve Your Workflow

Website designing continues to evolve every day!

To come up with innovative, compelling and more appealing web designs as part of evolution, web designers implement various approaches, techniques, and philosophies. Every designer has their own preferences, some desire to work from the top-down approach, starting with the most basic elements. This is the most common approach, which leads to quality design.

On the contrary, some designers prefer to work from the bottom-up technique. They follow simple to complex approach by beginning with the smallest elements and then creating a big-picture design.

Backpedal to Old Secondary School Chemistry

You must be remembering those typical chemistry classes in school days!

Atomic designing is quite similar to that!

If you were attentive at that time, you must be aware of chemical reactions where atomic elements combine to become molecules, which combine further to become complex compounds.

Let me tell you a basic chemical reaction:

Hydrogen + Oxygen = Water (H2 + O2 = H2O)

Atomic Designing follows the same!

Let’s Dig Deeper into Atomic Design

It is a bottom-up methodology, that is influenced by chemistry and stamped by Brad Frost. Every matter comprises of atoms that amalgamate to shape into molecules, which in turn homogenize into more complex organisms. Likewise, the atomic design is based on the concept of creating elements and then combining them together to create a better design for the user.

It’s an efficient way of creating advanced and engaging websites. There are many advantages of atomic designs over other means of website creation. In atomic designing, interfaces are made up of smaller components, which implies dividing the entire interface down into basic blocks and then creating winsome designs.

Analogy of Atomic Design

Analogy of Atomic Design

An atomic design includes 5 prominent stages that are used to generate interface design systems. Every stage is different and plays an important role in creating a dynamic interface design system. Paying attention to these stages will help promise a quality user experience.

We have already studied in high school chemistry, that atoms are the fundamental building blocks of matter. Each atom or element has distinct properties that cannot be broken down further.

Let’s correlate this to our design system, where atoms are the most basic asset of any design. These are the basic UI elements that consist of all our user interfaces such as labels, type, spacing, and colors.

Molecules:

Atoms combine and form molecules, to acquire new properties, or to accomplish a function. Similarly, in design systems, molecules are considered as a group of atoms combined to create a functional element.

Organisms:

A group of molecules or complex UI components composed of groups of molecules joined together to form distinct sections of an interface, form organisms. In the design system, both atoms and molecules are the basic functional forms that can be reused across any design. However, organisms are a bit more complex and create bigger chunks of our design.

For example: Where atoms combine and create a molecule to structure a search feature, the molecule can combine with another to create the page navigation, which means complete page navigation with a search feature.

Templates:

This is the most important stage of atomic designing. As we wrapped up the basic structure of the design system including basic building blocks – atoms, a group of atoms – molecules and chunk of molecules – organisms, it’s easier to assimilate them together and create an intuitive and consistent design, as a whole.

Templates are a group of organisms performing together to place components within the site layout, create page-level objects that articulate a design’s structure. You can use complex organisms to create different templates of larger layouts which loaded with multiple features.

Pages:

These are instances to the templates, that display the user interface. The role of pages is to apply actual content to the templates and test the resilience of the design system. Pages are important for testing the effectiveness of the basic design system. Pages offer a place to intelligible variations in templates, which are essential for establishing robust and good design systems.

Design Better & Faster

In today’s era of rapid growth where every industry is flourishing, the design systems are playing quite a crucial role. What exactly is a Design System?

In simple language, a design system is the collection of reusable basic components that are combined to create a number of applications. Atomic design plays a vital role in creating effective design systems.

The atomic design provides a methodology for creators to stimulate a strong user experience (UX). It’s a method to describe and practice design systems. The design system helps designers and developers in creating the designs, better and faster.

An atomic design requires designers or developers to work from the ground up, which makes the design interface purposeful. It saves time and effort for the developer and designer. With the atomic design, a designer can easily rely upon creativity without clashing with the developer. The atomic design offers quality assurance.

Instead of building identical components constantly from scratch, design systems allow designers and developers to reuse the basic components and hence increase efficiency. Apart from this, design systems introduce a guide of clear standards to maintain consistency in building components.

Why Need an Atomic Design?

Why Need an Atomic Design?

An atomic design provides the ability to shift between abstract and concrete instantly. Initially, the interfaces split down into atomic elements and then integrate to form great experiences. An atomic design helps to generate more effective and flexible user interface design systems. It requires lots of planning with creative thoughts!

Create a System of Components

As you break down the components to its most basic parts like atoms, it’s easier to identify what parts of a website can be reused and how you can blend them to create more molecules, complex organisms, and templates. With the help of these 5 basic elements, you can create a range of pages that display the user interface.

Let’s consider a website that has not more than five atoms including a small image, a paragraph, a large image, list item, and a link. By understanding this categorization, you can create very interactive and usable web page by integrating these fundamental atoms into molecules, complex organisms and appealing templates.

Simple & Clear Layout

In atomic web design, interfaces are easier to code. It’s easier to understand the code of an atomically-designed website then a website created in a traditional way, as it is fine at the time of designing, but later becomes complicated when you come back for small tweaks.

Even for new designers and developers, understanding the codebase is quite easy to create beautiful designs quickly. An atomic design reduces the risk of writing duplicate codes. As you are using the term “atoms” to create the initial layout, it’s easy for developers or designers to see where other components of a site are used. If you need to make a copy of existing code anywhere on the website, it’s easier to find where it’s stored.

Creating Your Style Manual is Simple

Designing a website according to the concept of atomic design from the beginning, enables you to assimilate all the atoms and molecules into your style manual. Even for the website which is not designed atomically, it is not difficult to include the fundamental components, and amalgamate them to build more interactive web pages.

But, It’s always best to design a website atomically from the beginning instead of trying to extrapolate atomic design standard to another site in the end. An atomically designed website helps you in creating compelling and engaging designs.

Faster Prototyping

In atomic designing, you already have a list of atoms before creating a website, which means it’s easier and quicker to create mock-up pages and prototypes of your website. You just need to amalgamate your fundamental atoms or elements required in designing a web page and then refine and customize accordingly, to reach the final stage.

Easier to Refurbish A Web Page

It’s easier to make changes in an atomically designed webpage. As the design is categorized into basic components like an atom, molecule or organism, it is more understandable and easier for designers or developers to make any updates to a component across the website. Similarly, unwanted components can be removed easily following the atomic design approach.

Code Is More Consistent

With an atomic design, designers utilize predefined basic building blocks called atoms to create the website layout. This makes it easy to determine which components are being used in the creation of different parts of the website. This minimizes the possibility of creation of duplicate code.

Let’s consider an example, if you have a website and want to locate a blue button, you need to go through the entire codebase to find that single button. However, with the atomic design you don’t need to go through the entire code, you can go through the list of atoms and can find that blue button, right there!

More Modular File Structure

An atomic design is quite common, when it comes to hypertext mark-up language (HTML). This approach may also be used for JavaScript, CSS or more languages that designers or developers utilize to build a website to make complete code reusable and modular.

No Need of Recurrent Designs

As mentioned above, atomic designing involves the use of basic building blocks called atoms to create a website. Instead of creating individual atoms for identical things, web designers prefer to go through the list of existing atoms, select the best based on their requirement, tweak them and reuse them in web page design. It is like, you are creating a website and you need to add a title or the main header on the website, so if you have an atomically designed website there’s no need to create them again. You can customize them as per your choice.

Less Components, More Benefits

If a creator has a clear list of basic building blocks, molecules, and organisms before the website creation begins, it is easier to reuse them rather than create new components for slight variations. This saves time and keeps the entire design as consistent as possible.

In The Nutshell!

Undoubtedly, atomic designing is a radical idea for creating an attractive website! However, it requires a lot of legwork, but is time-efficient for creators. This process is well-structured and lets the creator focus on minor details, making sure to keep the big picture in mind which helps produce quality design of the project. It helps you in creating a design system that speeds up your team’s workflow. Using the standards of atomic design enables designers and developers to stay on the same page which leads to better design and higher customer satisfaction.

If you are starting a new project or interface soon, it will be beneficial to consider applying the standards of atomic design. You may simply love it!

Like it? Share it.

Leave a Comment Yourself

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *