All posts about
Design systems

The politics of design systems: Keeping stakeholders and UX teams invested through the process

Design systems, getting into the 2018 hype cycle.

“As digital ecosystems mature, a design system is rapidly moving from an innovation to a requirement for companies looking to execute quality design at scale. But framing the effort as a simple design and front-end development exercise minimizes the impact of the system on every aspect of the product design cycle. By recognizing and treating your design system effort as organizational change, enterprises are better equipped to set themselves up for success.”

Dani Nordin a.k.a. /daninordin | @danigrrl

Consolidating Design Systems: Over time, systems happen

Living design systems need to grow and flourish.

“A stronger system’s success places them in a powerful position to dictate terms. Acquired systems may bring weaker tools, processes, capacity and commitments from their leaders. Yet their core features may still be strong, as is their emotional tie to them. When talking mergers and acquisitions, “look into the books” of weaker system too. They may be looking for a way out, an existential lifeline, otherwise risking a fade into an abyss without a consolidation. These imbalances makes consolidation conversations difficult. Your goal? Realizing the promise of a thriving practice serving more teams at scale. So time to exercise some leadership and management to make consolidation best serve your community!”

Nathan Curtis a.k.a. /nathancurtis | @nathanacurtis

The UX of Design Systems: On Google’s Material Design and the templatization of digital products

Now that the hype on Google MD has faded, we’re waitng for the next killer DesSys.

“What is new is that today design systems can be more than printed design manuals. We have the ability to write design systems in code and use them directly in digital products. (…) All this critique of design systems is essentially an argument for UX designers to create design systems that grow from user-centric research. As UX designers, you are here to bridge the aesthetics with the functionality of digital products. Rather than starting with a fascination of design systems, you have to first of all focus on the user and let that inform your design system – and keep doing that over time. You have to argue for the process of understanding your users, talking to them, learning from them, and drawing up coherent systems that work on behalf of them. If you do this, systems are an incredibly powerful way of creating products that are beneficial to both companies and users.”

Rune Madsen a.k.a. @runemadsen

Computational design

Thinking, designing and doing with, by and for computers.

“Computational thinking refers to a deliberative process that finds a computational solution for a concern. Computational doing refers to use of computation and computational tools to address concerns. Computational design refers to creating new computational tools and methods that are adopted by the members of a community to address their concerns. Unfortunately, the definitions of both “thinking” and “doing” are fuzzy and have allowed misconceptions about the nature of algorithms. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate the fuzziness in the definitions by focusing on computational design, which is at the intersection between thinking and doing. Computational design is what we are really after and would be a good substitute for computational thinking and doing. (…) Computational design is where the power of the computing revolution is showing up. Computational design is what we are really after and would be a good substitute for computational thinking and doing.”

Peter J. Denning a.k.a. /peter-denning ~ Ubiquity (August 2017)

Integrating animation into a design system

Perceived behavior of the machine triggers human behavior.

“Keeping animation choreography cohesive from the outset of a project can be challenging, especially for small companies. Without a dedicated motion specialist on the team, it can be difficult to prioritize guidelines and patterns early in the design process. What’s more likely to happen is that animations will be added as the product develops.”

Alla Kholmatova a.k.a. /allakholmatova | @craftui ~ A List Apart

DesignOps at Airbnb: How we manage effective design at scale

When things get a name.

“Working daily across so many disciplines, from Engineering to Product Management, Research, Content Strategy and an array of Design specialties, every little overhead in the transfer of information compounds. Inversely, every optimization and positive connection significantly lowers friction for everyone. This is why we’ve created DesignOps, to ease collaboration and amplify effectiveness, not only across product disciplines, but also between the increasingly complex world of Product Design.”

Adrian Cleave a.k.a. /adriancleave ~ Airbnb Design

How creating a design language can streamline your UX design process

Language being used in processes for communication and specifics.

“Around a year ago, while working at a digital agency, I was given the objective of streamlining our UX design process. Twelve months later, this article shares my thoughts and experiences on how lean thinking helped to instill efficiencies within our UX design process.”

Kyle Cassidy a.k.a. /kycassidy | @kyecass ~ Smashing Magazine

Creating a design system language

System thinking in a design context.

“It seems like the current buzz word in the design industry and everyone wants one. But how exactly can a product benefit from having a living, breathing design language? I’m going to try break down the very basics so you can understand why it’s needed. Creating an underlying language will unite our design philosophies and methodologies across our platform.”

Ezequiel Bruni a.k.a. @ezequielbruni ~ Webdesigner depot courtesy of @IAtv

Building a visual language: Behind the scenes of the new Airbnb design system

Personas, wireframes and customer journey maps. Now, design systems for visual designers. Each UX discipline has its own deliverable.

“Working in software development and design, we are often required to ship one-off solutions. Sometimes we’re working within time constraints and sometimes we just haven’t yet agreed upon a path forward. These one-off solutions aren’t inherently bad, but if they aren’t built upon a solid foundation, we eventually find ourselves having to pay back accrued technical and design debts. Visual language is like any other language. Misunderstandings arise if the language is not shared and understood by everyone using it. As a product or team grows, the challenges within these modalities compound.”

Karri Saarinen a.k.a. /karrisaarinen | @karrisaarinen ~ Airbnb Design

The rise of design systems

Design systems, not destinations.

“A fundamental shift is happening in the approach to designing cross-platform applications. Designers are moving away from focusing on individual styles, restricted grids and fixed components for singular platforms. Instead, we are focusing on sharing flexible design systems. These easily accessible online repositories include design principles to follow, responsive grid systems, reusable components and style guides with examples of what and what not to do.”

Andy McDonald ~ Electronic Ink