What is Modular Design and How to Implement it in 5 Easy Steps?


While buying a car, don’t we all want to have different preferences about its design and outlook? Some of us want a sunroof, a powerful engine, or leather seats. Customization of cars and products is possible due to the modular design. Similarly, this design approach can be implemented in various products, interfaces, and applications.

Creating a user-friendly product that is easy to customize, consistent, scalable, and cost-efficient all at the same time is not limited to how it’s built. It also depends on how it is designed. This is where modular design comes in to create interfaces that can be easily maintained, replaced, updated, and scaled according to the latest trends.

You might be wondering what a modular design is and how this design approach is beneficial. This blog will shed light on everything you need to know about modular design.

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What is a Modular Design?


Modularity has been here for thousands of years. However, modular design was first introduced by Starr in 1965. This design approach refers to breaking a system into various small segments or parts called ‘modules.’ Each part is developed and designed individually, and then combined, it becomes a large system.

The modular design system allows you to create, modify, replace, and exchange various sections individually between different systems. You do not have to change the entire system to fit or modify singular elements.

Modular design is a super beneficial and sustainable design method as it allows designers to reuse various elements instead of replacing and wasting them. Modular design products enhance the design workflow to improve the quality and consistency of your platform.

Key Features of Modular Design


Just like every design method, there are some key features of modular design. Let’s have a look at them.

  • Flexibility: It enables the design to adapt to changing requirements and be customizable easily.
  • Abstraction: The modular design system offers clear, high-level interfaces abstracting complex functionality.
  • Collaboration: Modular design systems allow teams to work on different modules independently through parallel development.
  • Testing: Modular design promotes validation as each segment can be individually tested since they are in modules.
  • Documentation: Modular design needs to be properly defined and documented, which is why this approach promotes better communication and transparency. It includes documenting all the system’s technical and operational information, such as schematics, manuals, and instructions.
  • Modules: Modules are small individual segments that build the entire system. Every module is self-contained and performs a specific task through well-defined interfaces.
  • Interfaces: Interfaces in modular design are bridges connecting different systems to communicate effectively. They can have electrical, mechanical, and software connections as they are communication points between different modules that show how they interact.
  • Subsystems: These are groups of modules that work together to perform a specific function within the overall system.
  • Integration: Each module is combined to test the whole system. This is done to ensure that the platform is working correctly.
  • Maintenance: This is observing, maintaining, and upgrading the system to ensure it works properly. This can also include modifying or replacing individual modules to improve efficiency.
  • Interchangeability: Modular designs do not affect the system’s overall functionality as they can be upgraded and exchanged. This promotes exceptional compatibility.

What are Modular Design Advantages?

How Can the Modular Approach Be Implemented in Product Development?


The modular approach is now being widely used in product development as it offers a 20% increase in efficiency. Here are some practical steps to implement modular design in product development.

1. Understand the Project

Before you start the project, it’s paramount to ensure that you and your entire have a complete understanding of the project. This will benefit you in the development phase as you already have your homework done, speeding up the process and making your design error-free.

The modular layout revolves around features and layers, so thoroughly considering your product’s various features is better. This will aid you in breaking the project into multiple modules, which will be easy to test, code, and integrate individually.

2. Keep Your Code Simple

While developing your product, it is super important to develop or use a simple code. Additionally, each snippet of code should perform a single task in the project, and before moving on to the next one, it is important to finish one thing. It can severely mess up your codebase if you end up adding multiple tasks to it without separating them into different modules.

3. Use Abstract Interfaces

In a modular design system, it’s necessary to use abstract interfaces for every module so that interaction with other modules can be done through well-defined interfaces rather than concrete implementations. This encourages smooth communication between different segments of code. Not only will this help designers add new features to the code without breaking the system’s functionality, but it will also enable them to modify the existing ones.

4. DRY Coding

DRY coding is essential to consider while developing and designing your product through the modular approach. DRY coding, or Don’t Repeat Yourself, is an important principle in software development as it ensures that no information is stored more than once in different parts of the program’s source code.

This makes the program easier to read and understand as the redundancy is reduced over time. One way to reduce repetition in your code is by using lines of code instead of functions in the project’s source files.

Moreover, designers can make the products reusable and scalable by avoiding using primitive values or constants like strings or numbers when declaring variables. Instead, objects should be used for improved extensibility and reusability for future updates and versions of the product.

5. Use Names that are Easy to Understand

You might mix up the names of different modules as you will be working on multiple of them. Therefore, using names that are easy to understand and remember is crucial. This way, developers will know everything about the code by just looking at the module’s name.

Examples of Modular UI Design Patterns in Product Development

  • Atomic design
  • Responsive Grids 
  • Component-based architecture
  • Container
  • Card design 
  • Micro Frontends
  • Block Element Modifier
  • The Tile

What’s the difference between a Design System and Modular Design?

The major difference between a design system and a modular design is in their system. A modular design breaks a system into various self-contained modules which can be independently created, updated, or replaced without affecting the overall structure. This makes the system flexible and efficient.

However, a design system looks at the overall picture by not only focusing on the different component’s development but their design as well. They offer guidelines that govern the design language and user experience across an entire product system. This ensures consistency, coherence, and scalability in design and offers a unified user experience across various products.

It would not be wrong to say that modular design can be a part of a design system to create a versatile and adaptable UX framework as it structures the product through various small modular components.

Popular Modular Design Examples


Here are some prominent modular design examples   

LEGO Digital Designer (LDD)


LEGO’s digital building software allows users to create virtual models using modular building blocks. The interface provides a library of modular LEGO elements that users can easily drag and drop to design their creations to promote creativity and customization.

IKEA Furniture


IKEA furniture is known for its modular design, as it offers pieces that can be assembled and reconfigured to create different furniture layouts to suit various spaces and preferences.



WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that follows a modular approach in design through its use of themes and plugins. Users can customize their websites by selecting and combining modular themes for design and adding functionality through modular plugins for features like contact forms, e-commerce, and SEO optimization.



Bootstrap is a front-end framework for web development that implements a modular design architecture through a grid system and component-based layout. It offers a library of reusable CSS and JavaScript components like toolbars, buttons, and models. Developers can easily integrate them into their projects to build responsive and visually consistent interfaces.

Apple’s UIKit for iOS Development


Apple’s UIKit framework uses a modular approach for building iOS apps by offering a set of pre-designed user interface components, such as symbols, labels, and tables. The developers can assemble and customize it to create their app interfaces. It promotes consistency and efficiency in iOS app development by reusing modular UI elements across different parts of an app.



Shopify is an e-commerce platform that utilizes a modular design approach to enable merchants to build customizable online stores. Users can choose from various modular themes and plugins to design and enhance their storefronts, allowing for flexibility and scalability in e-commerce website development.

Materialize CSS


Materialize is a CSS framework based on Google’s Material Design principles that offers modular components and responsive layouts for web development. It provides a library of pre-designed UI elements, such as logos, forms, and grids. These can be incorporated into projects to create consistent and visually appealing interfaces.



Figma is a collaborative design tool that leverages modular design for reusable design components and libraries. Designers can create modular UI elements, such as push controls, icons, and navigation bars, and save them as components for reuse across multiple design projects. This will result in consistency and efficiency in the design process.



Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform emphasizing modular design architecture and customization capabilities. It offers a modular system of extensions and themes that allow merchants to extend and personalize their online stores with additional features and designs. This caters to diverse business needs and requirements.

Angular Material


Angular Material is a UI component library for Angular applications that implements Google’s Material Design specifications. It provides a set of modular and customizable UI components, including keys, boxes, and dialogs, that can be easily integrated into their Angular projects to create modern and consistent interfaces.

Get top-tier modular designs from Denovers.

Do you want to implement modular design in your products to make them scalable, efficient, and more advanced? Reach out to Denovers, as we have the most skilled designers in this area. Our experienced team of professionals is well-versed in the modular design approach and has years of solid experience in creating web and mobile applications through this design method.

Not only do our front-end developers and designers create head-turning interfaces, but they can also revamp your old and outdated products according to your unique needs and the latest trends.

Let’s create easily customizable and maintainable products that can be modified according to user needs.

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The modular design approach is becoming more common than you think. The design industry is transforming and adopting this method to create product sections that can be easily maintained, customized, updated, exchanged, replaced, and reused. This ensures that your platform always follows the latest trends and innovations.

This also saves developers and designers from the hassle of creating new complex codes as they can reuse the existing ones used by others who built similar modules. Using reusable codes to create segments for an efficient overall system is always better.


The main advantage of modular design is its flexibility. It’s like playing with building blocks. You can easily add, remove, or change parts to fit different needs. This flexibility means systems can quickly adapt to new requirements without a complete overhaul. Modular design makes everything easier to customize and improve, whether upgrading a product or adjusting a process.

Two essential concepts in modular design are:

  • Interchangeability: Modules should be designed to be interchangeable. They should be easily swapped in or out without requiring modifications to other parts of the system. This concept ensures flexibility and allows for efficient customization or upgrading of the overall system.
  • Standardization: Standardization involves establishing common interfaces, protocols, or specifications for modules within a system. This ensures compatibility and interoperability between different modules. This enables smooth integration and reduces complexity. Standardization also facilitates the reusability of modules across different projects or systems, leading to cost savings and streamlined development processes.

Effective modular design is a process of breaking down large and complex systems into several independent modules. Each module is developed, tested, maintained, customized, replaced, and reused separately. Each module has a different function and interface from the other. This offers better usability and work handling and also makes the de-bugging process simple.

Key principles of modularity include:

  • Encapsulation
  • Abstraction
  • Decomposability
  • Composability
  • Separation of Concerns
  • Cohesion
  • Coupling
  • Reusability

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