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Introducing Component Suggestions — automatically identify and componentize repeated text

Jolena Ma
September 8, 2021

Since launching Ditto Components last year, we've watched as teams have used Ditto to build their living content design systems. They're able to define reusable text, standardize content patterns and decisions, and spend time tackling new problems instead of re-writing existing copy.

However, we often heard from teams that setting up a component library and figuring out which components to create felt daunting at first. Even once they did build up robust component libraries, it was sometimes difficult to actually integrate those into their designs.

Today, we're tackling those issues with the launch of our newest feature, Component Suggestions! By analyzing text in your designs, we'll automatically suggest Ditto components to create and existing ones to reuse in your project, making it easier for teams to bring their component libraries to life.

How does it work?

In any project, Ditto will automatically analyze the text and surface two types of suggestions:

  1. Create — these are suggestions to create Ditto components based on text that's repeated multiple times in your project
  2. Attach — these are suggestions to attach existing Ditto components in your library that are similar to text in your project

Suggestions for components to create

When Ditto identifies text that's repeated in your project and doesn't already exist as a component, we'll suggest it as a potential component to create and add to your library.

When you use this type of suggestion, you'll create a new Ditto component and instantly link all duplicates of a piece of text in your project to it. Like all components, this component can then be used by anyone else on your team, in any other project in your workspace — when you edit one instance, all other instances (even in other Figma files!) will get updated. Creation suggestions are especially useful when you're first setting up a project and when your team is first building up your component library!

To view "create" suggestions, head over to the Components tab in a web-app project or our Figma plugin, and then click the Create sub-tab. For each suggestion in the list, you'll be able to see the potential component and have the option to create the new component and attach it.

Create suggestions in the web-app
Create suggestions in the Figma plugin

What does this mean for your team? When you import a new design into Ditto, you'll be able to instantly identify repeated text and componentize it to link all instances. You'll also be able to build up your component library more easily — Ditto will automatically surface good component candidates, and anyone on your team can create and attach them without ever having to leave your designs.

Suggestions for components to attach

When Ditto identifies text in your project that's similar to a component in your library, we'll suggest it as a component to attach.

When you use this type of suggestion, you can instantly link duplicate text in your project to an existing Ditto component in your library. Ditto doesn't just identify text that matches a component exactly — it also identifies approximate matches (ie. 80% or more). This means your team can use component suggestions as a lightweight copy linter, identifying and standardizing text in your project that varies from your team's content design system with just a few clicks.

To view "attach" suggestions, head over to the Components tab in a web-app project or our Figma plugin, and click the Attach sub-tab. For each suggestion in the list, you'll be able to see the component from your library that's suggested, the percent match it is to the text identified as similar in your project, and have the option to attach the component to the suggested instances.

Attach suggestions in the web-app
Attach suggestions in the Figma plugin

What does this mean for your team? You can now seamlessly and continuously integrate your content systems with design and development. Instead of requiring teams to refer to style guides or static content examples, you can rely on Ditto to automatically surface the relevant components in your library, based on the text in your project. Anyone on your team, writers and non-writers alike, can browse the suggestions and immediately fix text to match standardized content. Generated suggestions will get updated even as new text and frames get added to your projects.

What's next?

These updates we've made to component suggestions are just the beginning! We know there are plenty more automated suggestions we can provide to help create a living content design system and set projects up in Ditto, and we can't wait to share them with you. If there's something in particular you'd like to see, let us know at support@dittowords.com!

Getting Started

You can use Component Suggestions in any Ditto project. In the web app, deselect all text in your project (just hit esc) and click the Components tab on the right. In our Figma plugin, click the Components tab in the top navigation bar.

For more details, check out our Component Suggestions help guide.

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