Agriculture Design System
Design System for the Export Service

Change management

How we classify and communicate changes to our design system.

The design system is a living system that is constantly evolving and changing to meet the needs of our users. We want to communicate these changes simply and clearly for our users to understand.

See our updates page for our changelog.

Release cadence

We aim to release a new version of the design system via npm every two weeks, or the end of a sprint. This ensures that we are releasing changes regularly and giving our users a chance to provide feedback on changes before they are released.

This is a general guideline, and we may release more frequently if there are important changes to be released.

Change types

When contributing changes to the design system, it is important to understand how we classify and communicate them. This helps us to understand the impact of changes and to communicate them to our users.

We follow the Semantic Versioning system to classify changes. This system uses three classificatons to describe the type of change…

  • Patch
  • Minor
  • Major

Patch (fix)

A change that fixes a bug or makes a small improvement which does not affect the API of the component. The consumer isn’t expected to change their code to implement the update.

For example…

  • A minor visual change to a component
  • Resolving a crash or other kind of bug

The GitHub pull request related to a patch change can reviewed, merged, and released as soon as a AgDS team member is free.

Minor (feature)

A new feature to an existing component, or the introduction of a new standalone component. The user can elect to implement the change but isn’t forced to change existing code.

For example…

  • A new component
  • A new prop on an existing component

The GitHub pull request related to a patch change can be reviewed, merged, and released as soon as a AgDS team member is free.

Major (breaking)

A change which breaks the API of existing component(s). A user is expected to make a change to their code for it to continue working.

For example…

  • Removing a component
  • Removing a prop from a component
  • Changing the API, behaviour or name of a component

Before this can be merged, the community must be given a chance to give feedback on the change. Please follow the following steps.

  • Consult the Design System team of the change you intend to make
  • Open the PR as a draft, and add the ‘breaking’ label. Notify the AgDS team
  • AgDS team will notify the community via the ‘Design System’ chat in Microsoft Teams
  • Leave the PR open for at least one week, to give the community a chance to give feedback by commenting on the GitHub Pull Request
  • Consider the feedback given and make any changes
  • The AgDS team will decide whether to merge the PR and release the change

‘No change’

Changes that do not affect our published artefacts such as the documentation website updates do not require any versioning updates.


As a rule, we do our best to design with the future in mind, to avoid breaking changes. However, sometimes new information or ideas come to light which mean that we need to change our approach. In these cases, we will deprecate a component or prop.

Deprecation is a process of warning users that a component or prop will be removed in a future release. This gives users a chance to update their code before the change is made.

If we intend to deprecate a component or prop, the process for communicating breaking changes, as outlined above, must be followed. A Github Pull Request will be created as a draft and will include the ‘deprecation’ label. The community will be given one week to give feedback, before we decide whether to merge the PR and release the change.

About Changesets

We use Changesets to communicate the changes to our users and to automate the release process.

Every pull request which changes a component must include a changeset file. This file describes the change and is used to generate the release notes and to determine the version number of the next release.

To create a changeset, run yarn changeset in the root of the repository. Then commit the changeset file and push it to your branch.