Many designers think that in an ideal design system, they should be able to draw the elements they want in a visual tool and have them sort of magically transmogrify into engineering components. I think that frustrates engineers to a degree because it’s not a particularly realistic, respectful or productive view of what that discipline brings to the table.
I think the truth of design systems is that a visual drawing tool will never be an ideal way to communicate with an engineer, because, fundamentally, it’s just a picture. We like to talk about the difference between building a house, engineering a house and drawing a picture of the house. A picture of a house will never be a house.
A lot of this comes down to a fundamental trope among designers: Should designers learn to code and should coders learn to design? My view is that yes, designers need to put in whatever work it takes to ensure that they have a good grasp on the medium they’re designing for — what’s possible, what’s good and what’s bad.
If all you want to do is draw a picture of a house, then just draw a picture. But if you want to really design a house, then you need to understand how houses are constructed. Should all architects be structural engineers? No, but they should probably have a pretty good understanding of how buildings are constructed. It’s the same thing with design.
A design system isn’t a magic bullet to solve this problem. It just provides a base set of ideas that everybody can work from.