This week we're delivering Part 2 of our Design Systems London round-up... Here's what's in store:
- Design Systems London – Part 2 takeaways
- What's a design system? Definitions from the conference
- Key lessons from the talks
Bonus: links to available slides 🎁 Enjoy!
Our main takeaways
Very much like Part 1, this part of the conference revolved around the idea that people and processes are the key to DS success:
- What does your team need? Know what problem your DS is solving
- To increase adoption, make using the DS easier than the alternative
- To boost contributions, create a great contributor experience
What's a design system? Definitions from the conference
"A design system is not a pattern library, brand guidelines or a Sketch file. It's a system of living principles, guides and components used by designers and developers to build consistent products and experiences. A design system is a product: it has users, roadmaps, releases, features, maintenance, bugs, documentation and support."
~Yaili de León
"A design system is: universal principles and culture, assets, patterns, guidelines, discipline-specific principles"
~Hana Lodhi & Antonas Deduchovas
"A collection of products that help scale our design practice"
Tips from IBM
You've built a design system... now what by Bethany Sonefeld
- Don't enforce adoption – instead, be available, have good documentation and demonstrate value
- Make it easy for people to contribute... don't do it on your own!
- Have a 6-8 months roadmap for your DS – what do its users need?
Accessbility tips from GOV UK
Accessibility in the GOV.UK Design System by Nick Colley
- Meet accessibility guidelines (WCAG)
- Include accessibility testing in your user research
- Accessible patterns can give a false sense of security – don't let them replace your design process!
Tips from Deliveroo
Building DS at Deliveroo: Learnings and Frustrations by Matt Vagni & Raph Guilleminot
- Adopting the DS should be 10x easier than the alternative
- A DS team should have:
- 1 designer & 1 engineer minimum
- people with experience and influence
- domain experts for the targeted platforms e.g. React
3. What does your company need from a DS? Do the research
Culture and principles are priority #1
Your Design System has a Heart by Hana Lodhi & Antonas Deduchovas
- If there is misalignment between stakeholders about what success means for the DS, resolve that first
- Do the research and interview stakeholders – define the problem your DS is solving
- Establish a culture and principles to unify everyone around core values
Tips from Adobe
Design Systems at Scale by Sarah Federman
- Use a documentation site to centralise and showcase the DS
- Design tokens are the key to managing styles at scale
- "What's measured is managed" – track adoption and compliance
Focus on the developer experience
Design System API's and the Developer Experience by Diana Mounter
- Start by designing the public API of your components – you can fix what's behind later
- Use bots and linters to help with DS compliance
- Provide release notes, deprecation warnings and good documentation
Links to slides 🎁
- Design systems for the rest of us ~Siddharth Kshetrapal
- Accessibility in the GOV.UK Design System ~Nick Colley
- Delivering Flexible Design Systems for Web & Native ~Charlie Robbins
- Design Systems at Deliveroo: Learnings and Frustrations ~Matt Vagni & Raph Guilleminot
That's a wrap for our Design Systems London 2018 round-up – we hope it was useful!