I wrote a post called The Workshop and The Storefront that describes the difference between a design system design/development environment (worksshop) and style guide (storefront). These metaphors was born of the client projects I’ve been fortunate to work on with Josh, so it’s fantastic he weighed in on this with his typical, unparalleled eloquence.
Too often, though, we see organizations try to force everything into one place. We see workshop pattern libraries trying to do double duty as a canonical design-system reference. Or on the other side, we see pattern libraries set up as static storefront references that live outside a useful working development environment. When these resources set up outside the workflow of designers and developers, they don’t get used, they get stale, they become irrelevant.
Following the workshop/storefront model—and stitching the two together so that one feeds the other—has ensured that the design systems we create continue to be used, vital, dynamic.