Learn how to plan your design system process by deciding what should be included as well as what disciplines need to be represented in your team.
- [Instructor] A design system is the blueprint for developing and maintaining your product. So a good way to start is by planning what should be included in the design system, as well as who should be included. Think about what disciplines need to be represented, such as design, development, content strategy, and anything else you think your product may require. Some of these roles may overlap or intersect, or you may even have to hire someone new, depending on your current team's skillset. Each discipline needs to be equally valued so biases are not reflected in the product.
For example, if design and development are valued higher than content strategy, you may have a beautiful site that works well on different devices, but the content is hard to understand. Each system is unique so the process may not always be the same. Here are some questions your team may want to explore during the initial planning phase. Such as, what are the goals for the system? Does it need to be faster, more organized, and have more consistency? This can apply to the product itself, as well as your team's workflow.
If you weren't specifically supporting accessibility before, use this opportunity to make accessibility an intentional requirement from the beginning. Another goal for creating a design system is to improve workflow and onboarding by having centralized documentation, one access point for your team so everyone can be on the same page, and have the information they need when they need it. Are you planning to build a system from scratch or is there an existing product that you can use as the foundation to build upon? What technologies will be used? Do you need to hire any specialists or new team members to support these technologies? What happens when the system is complete? Who will maintain the system, and how will you make sure the system is kept up to date? What is the timeline and the budget? Are you going to start with a minimum viable product, build the system gradually in sprints, or launch it all at once? What is your budget, and how will it affect what the design system includes and the timeline? If you're working with a client rather than an in-house product, how will you explain this process to them? Clients are often eager to see more detailed work, and may need more support and education to adjust to this type of workflow.
Be prepared to set expectations and explain why this process is beneficial. Once you decide on your action plan, be sure to get support from the organization, and make sure all team members are on board. Though the plans may change or need to be revised as you go along, everybody needs to work together towards a common goal.
- The pros and cons of design systems
- Open-source frameworks
- Planning a design system
- UI patterns and component libraries
- Style guides
- Building the CSS architecture
- Formatting rules
- Using standardized classes, naming conventions, and templates