Atomic Design allows you to deploy at any scale

Iñaki BarturenDecember 09, 2021

Atomic Design is undoubtedly part of the agile methodologies that today represent the best way to create digital solutions for large companies. It allows generating design systems in a modular way, facilitating the use of each component to create new content.

The analogy of atoms and molecules is used to understand better the almost organic way all content works. In practical terms, it's about taking the whole design of a brand and breaking it down into individual parts (atoms). By linking the atoms together, molecules are created, from which organisms are born, templates are built, and you end up with entries that are consistent with each other. In a previous article, we addressed the origin and advantages of Atomic Design; this time, we will focus more on its impact on companies.


Modular content for agile development

The idea of modularity is perhaps one of the cornerstones of technological development. Whether in assembly lines - following Ford's analogy in Brad Frost's book - or when referring to Composable Commerce. The idea of functional and easy-to-assemble modules that enable the creation of complex organisms has always played a central role in driving process efficiency, regardless of the application area.

With Atomic Design, you approach the entire design system of your platform from an object-oriented perspective. With this approach, you standardize the design components according to the companies' own definitions. You generate content types, relationships, and hierarchies that allow you to have multiple combinations in the design of your platform, optimizing the creation of the interface and the whole experience.

Using a modular approach and a decoupled architecture is the best strategy to develop a modern digital platform. It helps to have all the components in a shared workspace and, at the same time, allows the teams to work autonomously: you bring them closer and improve their ability to create new content smoothly, thanks to the headless approach.

Facilitates collaborative work

Design teams can work without needing to request design code editing; in fact, they no longer need to deal with internal systems. This makes the process more efficient between development and design during the production release of new projects.

From our experience at Reign, the main objective of Atomic Design is creating a design system, which in a nutshell is an organized set of components with specific rules that allows them to be related hierarchically.

Our CTO and one of the founders of Reign -Juan Manuel Fluxà- comments in an interview with Marcelo Lewin from Headless Creator that this method increases the speed in the creation of new projects and allows the reuse of its components in a simple way, deploying your content in any digital channel. This feature gives it a well-deserved place within agile methodologies.


Better content governance; from an atom to global eCommerce

The brand's design is converted into a series of autonomous modules, in this case, called atoms, molecules, etc. This considerably reduces the time needed to create new entries, as all the material is already available. When it comes to creating digital solutions for businesses, the need for agile development is everything when you're looking to scale with your brand.

Atomic Design allows companies to grow consistently and efficiently over time. Even in an environment where the connected devices are increasingly varied, each presents challenges in itself, so the design must have the flexibility to adapt; web, mobile, tablet, accessories, and consoles. The ecosystem has diversified and will grow more and more every day.

Besides creating design systems, this methodology also generates style guides, which is the documentation of organizing and using the types of content that make up the system.

So brands are always one step ahead and beyond responsive pages (which is still relevant) and maintain the ability to quickly generate interfaces and personalized digital experiences for any platform, maintaining consistency over time.

The best part is that this is replicable at any scale. Even if it is a platform of hundreds of thousands of product pages, they all belong to a couple of style guides that contain the brand identity, standardizing the content and giving consistency to the experience, a sign of trust for people.

At Reign, we use Atomic Design as the foundation of our agile development approach. We know the importance of having a design system to create new content from your atoms and with the ability to relate to any other, allowing us to power platforms at any scale.

The confidence in this methodology leads us to promote this way of working with content, so we always educate the companies that work with us; therefore, their teams can exploit the full potential of Atomic Design.

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