What it’s like building a design system for an Indian large scale startup

Aakriti Ahuja
2 min readMay 26, 2024

Building a design system for a large scale startup is an adventure filled with unique challenges and unexpected rewards

Your main users are your designer and developer friends, and you’re constantly striving to make their lives easier. However, in a startup, you rarely get the luxury of dedicated time and resources to work on the design system. It’s mostly a side gig, but that’s what makes it both challenging and interesting.

My typical day involves talking to different business heads about how our design system can cater to their needs, understanding their products, and explaining why we can’t have different color themes for every team 😅

Another big part of my day is guiding the design team on how components work and what they can and cannot do. Often, components are built first, and documentation happens in stages due to time constraints.


In startups, developers may lack experience creating a design system, so you have to educate them on where to restrict and where to allow flexibility. Being the only SPOC for the design system means I get a lot of feedback from developers about designers not using the system properly.

Such an interesting day, right? Haha. I love working as a design system manager for a super app startup. It keeps me on my toes and pushes me to think creatively every day.