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Managing Design System Projects

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Designing & building software is complex. Design systems have become a popular solution to help design teams streamline processes and produce great experiences. However, designing a design system is no small task - Let's explore some of the ups and downs, as well as a few tips and tricks for managing a design system project.

Originally presented at Managing Design 2017 in Melbourne.
(a UX Australia conference event)

Published in: Design
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Managing Design System Projects

  1. 1. MANAGING DESIGN SYSTEM Laura Van Doore
 PROJECTS
  2. 2. Designing & building software is complex.
  3. 3. ‣ Too many cooks.
 Multiple feature teams contributing to one core product. ‣ Scalability
 Needing code & design to scale up to larger products & more comprehensive features. Challenges in building great products:
  4. 4. ‣ The nightmare of designing for configuration ‣ Supporting multiple platforms & devices Challenges in building great products:
  5. 5. “A fractured process makes for a fractured user experience.”
 - NATE FORTIN
  6. 6. So how can we design the process in order to deliver better products & experiences?
  7. 7. Answer: 
 A DESIGN SYSTEM
  8. 8. Design System Style Guide
 ‣ Design Principles ‣ UX & Accessibility Metrics ‣ Animation Principles ‣ Coding Standards ‣ Voice & tone Guidelines ‣ Style Guide & Design Resources ‣ Key UX Personas ‣ Typography ‣ Colour Palettes ‣ Component Styling ‣ Grids ‣ Code samples
  9. 9. Design System Style Guide
≠
  10. 10. 2 tales of fails
  11. 11. #1 What’s in a name?
  12. 12. PRO TIP: Developers love APIs
  13. 13. The importance of a name Sometimes all the resistance and misunderstandings are due to the teams previous negative experiences with style guides. Repositioning the project might be just the ticket.
  14. 14. #2 Invisible Pains
  15. 15. 40 SHADES of light grey
  16. 16. Tease out the invisible pains Find those invisible pain points in your product development processes & among teams. Addressing the pain points of key team members will help feed an advocacy for the project
  17. 17. Key Lessons
  18. 18. Building a Design System is a marathon, not a sprint. 
 
 (Sorry Scrum Masters)
  19. 19. EXPECTATION REALITY vs
  20. 20. Don’t think of it like a project.
  21. 21. Approach it like a product. With a roadmap, objectives & many different groups of users.
  22. 22. “A Design System isn’t a Project. It’s a Product, Serving Products.” Nathan Curtis from @eightshapes
  23. 23. Take stock of where you are.
  24. 24. It might look something like this …
  25. 25. Create order out of the chaos …
  26. 26. Define a new structure.
  27. 27. Define a new structure ‣ Atoms & Molocules?

  28. 28. Define a new structure GE Predix System
  29. 29. Throughout the whole process, Evangelise.
  30. 30. The first challenge is building a design system. The second challenge is getting someone to care.
  31. 31. Thanks Laura Van Doore www.lauravandoore.com


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