Design debt is the building up of all of the shortcomings in the design and user experience workflows that arise from expansion, creativity, and a lack of design restructuring as time passes. It occurs when designs go through iteration in the absence of fresh data, criticism, or study or when design trends conflict with other components of the design system. That also occurs when teams prioritize feature releases above design upkeep and work only on feature releases.

Every product eventually accumulates design debt; this is a normal phenomenon. It can affect any kind of business. The primary factor influencing design debt management is the number of strings tied to each decision. The secret is to identify, comprehend, and effectively deal with it. It is a consequence of growth. If businesses lack oversight of their design debt, they will face repercussions at some point. 


Q1. What is the difference between design debt and tech debt?

The term “design debt” describes all of the flaws in your product’s user experience and design procedures. Design debt affects the quality of your user experience, whereas technical debt affects the codebase integrity of your product. 

Q2. How can design debt hurt your product?

Design debt has an immediate effect on company objectives since it reduces the rate of adoption, accessibility, visibility, and effectiveness of the user flow, all of which have a direct impact on overall customer satisfaction.

Q3. What are the different types of design debt?

The different types of design debts include:

  • UX design debt: Uneven user experiences across the whole product.
  • Operational design debt: Happens when the fundamental processes and framework are absent.
  • Visual design debt: Discordant graphical components of the product interface, such as colors and shapes. 
  • Testing and research: A poor user experience (UX) can be the consequence of neglecting user testing, which can decrease engagement and product uptake.