What is atomic design?
Atomic design is a systematic approach to building user interfaces. It uses a methodology in which the interface is defined by an atomic structure of components that can be combined to create more complex and complete interfaces.
Atomic design takes the idea of breaking down an interface into smaller components and organizes them into five distinct levels: Atoms, Molecules, Organisms, Templates, and Pages. These levels are inspired by chemistry’s periodic table, where elements are broken down by their most basic building blocks.
What are the atomic design principles?
Atomic design is a methodology for creating design systems. It helps teams create and maintain robust design systems, articulate design decisions, and build effective websites and applications.
Atomic design is a five-step methodology for creating robust interface designs:
1. Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. An atom might be a button or a form element, such as an input.
2. Molecules are groups of atoms bonded together and are the smallest fundamental units of a compound. A molecule might be a search form, a headline paired with body copy, or a group of inputs.
3. Organisms are groups of molecules bonded together to form a relatively complex, distinct section of an interface. An organism might be the header of your website, with navigation links and brand logo or the footer where you have contact information and social media links
4. Templates consist mostly of groups of organisms stitched together to form pages. These serve as blueprints that can then be coded into HTML/CSS and populated with real content in CMS or other applications that consume content from CMS.
5. Pages are specific instances of templates populated with content — they're what actual users see on your website when they visit a URL
How can the atomic design inspired methodology help a website's UX?
UX is a crucial element of any business website. It can be the difference between a conversion and a bounce, and it can make or break your brand's reputation.
The atomic design inspired methodology is a framework for creating and maintaining UX standards across your site and ensuring that every page of your website is built on the same principles. A good design system and documentation can help you stay on track with these principles while also improving the user experience on your website.
Should I use the atomic design inspired method when designing certain parts of my website or start from the beginning?
It's a great question. It doesn't matter if you're designing a new website or updating an old one, you can use the atomic design inspired methodology to add to your current website.
Starting with the atoms, then molecules and organisms will help you create a more user-friendly environment for your users.
Web designers and developers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their practice and the atomic design inspired methodology can make your website even better than it already is.