What Is a UI Kit And Why Do You Need One

5minutes read
what is a ui kit

Any moment, a designer, coder, or developer can take an interface element he needs and use it, understanding how it looks in different states. There is a UI Kit for this. It creates a solid foundation for all design, optimizing performance and allowing designers to create beautiful interfaces quickly and efficiently. This article will explain what a UI Kit is, what it’s for, and how it’ll save you time and money.

What is a UI kit?

A UI Kit is a set of ready-made user interface solutions. Often these are:

  • buttons,
  • inputs,
  • menus,
  • checkboxes,
  • various switches,
  • and other standard elements of interaction with the site.
what is a UI kit
what is user interface kit in design

All elements in the UI kit are interconnected, made in the same style.

Advanced UI Kits also include:

  • grids,
  • columns,
  • rules for the use of typography,
  • indents, etc.,

User interface kit is used to simplify, unify and integrate large projects. It allows to quickly and efficiently create each next page using components based on the model of the previous ones. It’s also the main design document of the project, which is checked against by everyone: designers, layout designers, developers at every stage of work on a project.

Take a look at examples of UI Kit from global companies:

1) Google’s UI Kit

google UI kit
google user interface kit example

2) Apple’s Human Interface UI Kit

apple's human interface UI kit
apple's human interface user interface kit example

3) Microsoft UI Kit

microsoft interface UI kit
microsoft user interface kit example

4) Amazon UI Kit

amazon user interface kit example
amazon ui kit

Pros and cons of creating a UI kit for a business

Each UI kit element can be reused on any site’s pages. The more pages you have on your site, the greater the need to create a UI Kit. It is needed so that all elements look harmonious. If you do not use UI Kit, your interface will look like a vinaigrette of various buttons and styles. Thus, the user will not have a common understanding of what this or that element means.

User Interface Kit has such pros for web or app design:

1) Unified style of all projects

All of your information systems will be identical. Customers will recognize your company by the same elements. They will also be more comfortable working with each of your new products since they will be familiar with all the elements and their meaning.

2) Instant access to the UI KIT for the whole team

Analysts, designers, developers have access to the kit via the link. They can independently familiarize themselves with all the elements, the rules for their use and create prototypes, frontend, and design.

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3) Development speed

With a ready-made UI KIT, you have all the elements, such as buttons, input fields, tables, charts, already designed and translated into components (in JS). You can build systems without wasting design and development time. It also simplifies prototyping. If you used to make prototypes from simple shapes, now you can assemble them from a simple design.

UI kit gives development speed for your product
development speed is one of ui kit pros

How to use a UI kit?

We can use the UI kit in our projects and build it as a constructor. We don’t need to draw anything from scratch. We take the UI kit and divide it into parts that we need. We use icons, progress bars, buttons, etc. We collect from such elements a site as a constructor.

Design system and its relationship with the UI-kit

When you change the site’s UI or add pages or new products to existing resources, you need to take care that all their UI elements remain in the same style and work as one mechanism. That’s what design systems are for.

A design system is an electronic catalog that stores all UI-kit elements necessary for work, laid out, and ready to use.

If, for example, new employees come to the company, they don’t need to look for a button that should be inserted on the site for a long time – it is already in the huge document of the design system, which all employees can use with a certain level of access.

The design system has another advantage – team communication. With its help, you can create a product many times faster because each participant in the process knows exactly what and how to do it. The developer understands the prototyping patterns for your product. The designer and developer can implement the components together. The project manager can always specify which element should be changed and why.

Design systems are made for large corporations like Microsoft, Apple, where there are many different products, more than 100 resource pages, and all must fit together and look whole. It is essential to use it when not one, but many designers are working on products. And it is necessary that all the changes they make to the site fit together and look the same.

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Can I use a ready-made UI KIT?

There are many kits on the Internet for little money, something like $15. You can certainly use them. But they are more suitable for small projects that are not going to scale far, or your company is supposed to make one system rather than build many products.

UI kit which is ready-made
ready-made ui kit pros and cons

Top reasons to build, not buy a UI KIT

  1. Large companies bring all systems to a single form so that employees and users can navigate easily in any company system;
  2. Companies need to follow the corporate identity;
  3. When you buy a UI KIT, you need to build on the technologies included in the purchased kit;
  4. The purchased UI Kit cannot close all the functionality of the systems. That is, you will need to finish painting it and modify it;
  5. When building a User Interface kit from scratch, you see the whole development goal. You will be able to develop elements based on the task, making each aspect more convenient.
reasons to build a UI kit
top reasons to build, not buy a ui kit

Requirements for the UI KIT developer

UI KIT is developed only by a Senior designer and developer who have experience in similar projects. The designer and front-end developer must have the expertise and knowledge to build complex systems since the UI kit will be used for about five years by all development teams of your company and contractors involved for most of your plans.

Why develop a UI kit for your project?

Let’s consider the approach from a slightly different angle. You are doing a large/long-term product with several designers. Even with one technical task, the result obtained may not be collected into a single project. Each designer is different: the level, understanding of the technical specification, outlook on life, the version of photoshop, liquid in a bottle at the monitor… The output is incompatible with website pages or application screens.

We need some kind of “brand book,” if you like, interface guidelines. This will be the UI kit. Let the lead designer create a set of elements, create a concept for the main page. The rest will work on this foundation.

To conclude

UI-kit is the first and obligatory element in the creation of any high-quality UI design. Besides, it helps to save money on creating new design elements. After all, a high-quality UI kit can be created once and used as long as there is a website, SAAS platform, or any other resource.

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