Doing a Design Audit

By doing regular design audits, you can make sure everything looks the same and sends the same message.

Regular design audits can have a big impact on your company’s success. Design is important for how your company looks and what it’s trying to say. This helps customers recognize and trust your company. It’s also important to keep things looking new and up-to-date so your company stays current in the market.

Take some time to review your design materials regularly and update them as needed to make sure your brand looks strong and consistent.

What's a Design Audit?

Design audit is assessing a company’s existing design elements for effectiveness and efficiency. Visual elements, layout, and user experience are analyzed. The goal is to identify problems, inconsistencies and usability issues that do not meet objectives. 

Findings can be used to improve the company’s design strategy resulting in a more cohesive and impactful visual identity. It is ideal for companies refreshing their brand or launching a new product or service. The audit can be done in-house or by hiring an external design consultant.

Benefits of a Design Sysem Audit

Holistic view

Optimize your brand with expert analysis that highlights strong points and provides actionable steps for improvement, streamlining processes and enhancing impact.

Better UX

Make sure your digital offerings meet customer needs for higher engagement and platform performance. This tool can help you provide the best experience and stay ahead of competition.


Consistent branding is key to building consumer loyalty and recognition. A uniform visual and text plan fosters professionalism and quality perceptions, leading to long-term success.


An impartial third-party audit offers an objective evaluation that remains uninfluenced by internal factors or biases.

Design Audit Key Components


Evaluate the design system’s adherence to accessibility standards, such as color contrast, keyboard navigation, and proper semantic markup. Ensure that the design system caters to users with disabilities and meets accessibility guidelines.


Assess the usability of the design system by evaluating its clarity, intuitiveness, and ease of use. Consider the effectiveness of components, patterns, and guidelines in supporting user tasks and interactions.


Analyze the performance of the design system, including page load times, rendering speed, and overall responsiveness. Optimize the system for efficient performance to enhance user experience.


Evaluate how well the design system integrates with existing development tools, frameworks, and platforms. Check for compatibility with different browsers, devices, and screen sizes to ensure consistent experiences across various environments.


Evaluate the flexibility of the design system to accommodate various design needs, use cases, and content types. Determine if the system provides enough options for customization and supports different layouts and contexts.


Assess how the design system is maintained and governed. Consider factors such as version control, update processes, and collaboration mechanisms to ensure the system remains up to date and evolves with changing needs.


Examine the comprehensiveness and clarity of the design system’s documentation. Evaluate if it provides clear guidelines, usage examples, code snippets, and explanations of design principles to support designers and developers.


Review the consistency of design elements and patterns across different components and screens. Ensure that the design system maintains visual and interaction consistency to create a unified user experience.

Design Audit Tools and Workflow

By following this guide, you can ensure that your running design system is well-maintained, consistent, accessible, and optimized for performance, providing a smooth and efficient user experience across different platforms and devices.

1. Go through your products hunting down visual inconcistencies.

  • Screenshot/record and segment everything you see – good and bad.
  • Draw special attention on critical use flows and processes.
  • Prioritize (ignore small detai)

2. Document everything in a report outlining the strong points, problems and critical areas.

Here’s what you need to put on the table for consideration. Draw attention to channels, funnels, and multidomain products.

Design System Freebies

  1. Design Consistency: Assess the consistency of design elements, such as colors, typography, spacing, and iconography, across the design system components.
  2. Component Library: Evaluate the organization and structure of the component library, ensuring that it is intuitive and easy to navigate.
  3. Accessibility Compliance: Verify that the design system adheres to accessibility guidelines and provides inclusive experiences for users with disabilities.
  4. Documentation Quality: Evaluate the clarity, comprehensiveness, and usability of the design system documentation, including guidelines, usage examples, and code snippets.
  5. Component Reusability: Assess the reusability of components across different projects and platforms, ensuring they can be easily adapted and scaled as needed.
  6. Version Control: Check if the design system has a robust version control system in place to manage updates, revisions, and backward compatibility.
  7. Developer Experience: Evaluate the ease of implementation and developer experience when using the design system components, including the availability of code snippets, documentation, and support.
  8. User Testing and Feedback: Gather feedback from users and stakeholders to understand their experiences and identify areas for improvement within the design system.
  9. Design System Governance: Assess the governance and ownership structure of the design system, including roles, responsibilities, and processes for maintaining and evolving the system over time.
  10. Alignment with Business Goals: Evaluate how well the design system aligns with the overall business goals, brand identity, and strategic objectives of the organization.
  1. Website Components:

    • Navigation menus
    • Buttons and interactive elements
    • Forms and input fields
    • Typography styles
    • Grid layouts
    • Image and media styles

  2. Social Media Publication:

    • Branding consistency across social media platforms
    • Templates for social media graphics and posts
    • Guidelines for visual elements (logos, icons, colors)
    • Typography and text styles for social media content
    • Consistent use of brand voice and tone

  3. Mobile App Interfaces:

    • UI components (buttons, icons, tabs, cards)
    • App navigation and menu structure
    • Consistent layout and grid system
    • Typography and text styles
    • Interactive animations and transitions

  4. Email Templates:

    • Branding and logo placement
    • Header and footer design
    • Typography and text styles
    • Call-to-action buttons
    • Consistent formatting across devices and email clients

  5. Print Collateral:

    • Branding and logo usage
    • Typography styles and hierarchy
    • Color palette and usage
    • Layout templates for brochures, flyers, and posters
    • Consistent use of imagery and graphics

  6. Iconography:

    • Consistent visual style and design principles for icons
    • Icon library and categories
    • Guidelines for icon usage and placement
    • Icon design specifications and variations for different contexts

  7. Color Palette:

    • Primary and secondary brand colors
    • Color variations for different UI states (e.g., hover, active)
    • Color contrast ratios for accessibility compliance
    • Guidelines for color usage and combinations

  8. Typography System:

    • Primary and secondary typefaces
    • Heading styles and hierarchy
    • Body text styles and line spacing
    • Guidelines for font sizes and weights
    • Typography usage for different contexts (e.g., web, print)

  9. Illustrations and Graphics:

    • Consistent style and visual language for illustrations
    • Guidelines for illustration usage and placement
    • Design elements and motifs specific to the brand
    • Specifications for file formats and resolutions

  10. Design Guidelines and Documentation:

    • General design principles and philosophy
    • Usage guidelines for different design elements
    • Code snippets and implementation instructions
    • Best practices and recommendations for designers and developers
    • Examples and case studies illustrating successful implementation
  1. Typography styles
  2. Color palette
  3. Logo and branding guidelines
  4. Buttons
  5. Forms and input fields
  6. Checkboxes
  7. Radio buttons
  8. Switches and toggles
  9. Dropdown menus
  10. Navigation menus
  11. Cards
  12. Modals
  13. Alerts and notifications
  14. Tabs
  15. Accordion and collapsible sections
  16. Pagination
  17. Progress bars
  18. Sliders
  19. Carousels
  20. Icons
  21. Badges
  22. Avatars and profile pictures
  23. Typography headings (H1-H6)
  24. Paragraph styles
  25. Blockquotes
  26. Lists (ordered, unordered)
  27. Tables
  28. Grid system
  29. Image styles and guidelines
  30. Video and multimedia styles
  31. Tooltips
  32. Breadcrumbs
  33. Date and time pickers
  34. Calendars
  35. Steppers
  36. Loading spinners
  37. Search bars
  38. Filters
  39. Tags and labels
  40. Progress indicators
  41. Social sharing buttons
  42. Footer design and components
  43. Error states and messaging
  44. Empty states (e.g., empty cart, no search results)
  45. Onboarding and user education components
  46. Login and registration forms
  47. Password strength indicators
  48. Pricing tables
  49. Testimonials and customer reviews components
  50. Style guides and documentation templates
  1. Primary navigation
  2. Secondary navigations
  3. Footer navigation
  4. Hero section
  5. Call to action (CTA) section
  6. Feature section
  7. Services section
  8. About Us section
  9. Team section
  10. Testimonial section
  11. FAQ section
  12. Pricing section
  13. Contact section
  14. Blog section
  15. Portfolio section
  16. Test-drive/Demo section
  17. Newsletter signup section
  18. Social media section
  19. Stats/counter section
  20. Process/steps section
  21. Video section
  22. Case study section
  23. Clients/partners section
  24. Awards and Recognition section
  25. Testimonial carousel section
  26. Client/partner logos section
  27. Pricing table section
  28. Comparison table section
  29. Resources/download section
  30. Events section
  31. Callout section
  32. Team member spotlight section
  33. Customer success stories section
  34. FAQ accordion section
  35. Latest news/updates section
  36. Partnerships section
  37. Trust and security section
  38. Blog post list section
  39. Testimonial grid section
  40. Career/job openings section
  41. Featured products section
  42. Privacy policy/terms of service section
  43. Customer support/help desk section
  44. Product roadmap section
  45. Image gallery section
  46. Onboarding/Get started section
  47. Resource library section
  48. Community/forum section
  49. Content teaser section

3. Design System QA Checklist.

Here’s what you need to put on the table for consideration. Draw attention to channels, funnels, and multidomain products.

  1. Design Consistency:

    • Are design elements consistent across all components and screens?
    • Do colors, typography, spacing, and styles adhere to the design system guidelines?

  2. Accessibility:

    • Is the design system accessible to users with diverse abilities?
    • Have accessibility guidelines (WCAG) been followed for color contrast, keyboard navigation, and screen reader compatibility?

  3. Browser and Device Compatibility:

    • Has the design system been tested on major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc.) and devices (desktop, mobile, tablet)?
    • Are there any inconsistencies or issues with rendering across different browsers and devices?

  4. Component Reusability:

    • Are components designed to be reusable across different projects and platforms?
    • Do components scale and adapt well to various contexts and use cases?

  5. Documentation Accuracy:

    • Is the design system documentation up to date and accurate?
    • Are there any inconsistencies or discrepancies between the documentation and the actual implementation?

  6. Performance Optimization:

    • Has the design system been optimized for performance?
    • Are there any performance bottlenecks or slow-loading components?

  7. Code Quality:

    • Is the codebase clean, well-organized, and maintainable?
    • Are there any coding conventions or best practices that need to be enforced?

  8. Version Control and Updates:

    • Is there a proper version control system in place to manage updates and revisions?
    • Are updates being communicated and implemented effectively?

  9. User Feedback and Testing:

    • Have users provided feedback on the design system? If so, have their concerns and suggestions been addressed?
    • Has user testing been conducted to validate the usability and effectiveness of the design system components?

  10. Collaboration and Governance:

    • Are there clear processes and roles for maintaining and evolving the design system?
    • Is there effective collaboration between designers, developers, and stakeholders?

  11. Integration with Development Tools:

    • Does the design system integrate well with popular development tools, frameworks, and libraries?
    • Are there any issues or conflicts when implementing the design system in various development environments?

  12. Continuous Improvement:

    • Is there a plan for continuous improvement of the design system based on user feedback and evolving design needs?
    • Are there mechanisms in place for gathering and incorporating feedback from the design system users.