UI/UX 💩 / Tips

What do you need to know before starting a design system?

What do you need to know before starting a design system?

UI/UX 💩/Tips · March 25, 2019 at 10:53am

What do you need to know before starting a design system?

UI/UX 💩 / Tips · March 25, 2019 at 10:53am

3 essential tips that will guide you to the development of a successful Design System.

post.pngPosted originally on Medium

1. Ask yourself: Do I really need a Design System? What problems can this solve?

If you already have these answers, feel free to skip to the next item. Not? So let’s think together …

It seems obvious that using a Design System solves several problems, but the whole point is: Will it solve your problem? Let’s take a few steps to help you decide whether or not to use a Design System.

  • Understand the problem you want to solve: This is a good time for a brainstorming with the team. Discuss one, two or as many times as necessary, you need to have a clear understanding of the problem you want to solve.
  • Understand if a Design System solves it: You have probably read many articles about the benefits that a Design System can bring to your company. From everything I’ve read and experienced I can say that at least these 3 you will get: Consistency that will generate scalability that consequently will help in productivity. You need to feel comfortable and confident to continue the process. I can say that my first experience it took 3-month immersion, from seeking knowledge about DesignOps to understanding the real problem. So, relax 😉

2. Selling the Design System idea

Yes, don’t think that just because you have already understood the benefits that everyone around you will understand also at first.

You have already gone through the understanding of the problem and you have the possible solution, the time has come for you to show this to your company. If you’ve done the last step, you have everything to sell the ideal effectively

First define who needs to be present at the meeting and especially the decision-makers and possible supporters of the idea. Then assemble a presentation based on facts. I suggest the following topics:

  1. The challenge: Expose a challenge. For example: How to scale our product?
  2. The problem: Show the problem that the company has at that moment, related to the challenge you have already launched in the previous topic.
  3. Benchmark: It’s time for the facts. Show that your proposal is consolidated by the market, showcase success stories. But separate examples of companies that are related to your company.
  4. What it is: Introduction and explanation of what a Design System is after all. Remember to relate the concept to day to day work.
  5. How it is used: Here you are still talking about the fundamentals of the the DS, but with the technical focus, exemplifying some of the steps of a Design System and how it can be used.
  6. Where we want to come: Present your dream, think big and expose it to everyone. This will be the closing of the sale, show the benefits.
  7. Next steps: End the meeting with a planning sketch. What will be done next, what are the next steps and possible paths (you will not have all answers, it may be a scribble). After that let the discussion roll and be happy.

3. Start with a planning

You’ve done your homework, studied, defined the problem, and sold the idea. And now?

The starting point is to plan an initial scope of deliveries, define an MVP and your roadmap, list the main items that will be jobs in that first delivery. Do not rush, this is not the time to draw a thousand components, on the contrary, it is the bureaucratic phase of the thing:

  • Who will be involved (the team)
  • How will the delivery process (sprints?)
  • Stakeholders (feedbacks)
  • Roadmap (what and when)
  • Now that the real challenge begins. When you have this planning it will be easier to give continuity, even because a Design System is not a project, it is a product!

Once you have these answers you can start developing your MVP, remember to start with the product base, for example: Audit the interface elements, define the design principles that will guide your decisions and the base components like , color, typography, spacing, etc. And then, start drawing the other visual components.

I hope that somehow this post has helped. ❤

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March 25, 2019 at 3:16pm

Gonna share it on Instagram network soon

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    March 27, 2019 at 6:25am

    I am currently working on Design system for a b2b company and this article helped me quite a lot. Thank you @joaosantos

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