Design Systems: Real Talk
Design systems have been around for ages; you can see a little bit into the history of them as brand systems and graphic standards manuals of the past are resurfacing as collectibles today.
However, in today’s modern web and software design industry, there is no denying that design systems are so hot right now. People are making them, sharing them, writing about them, and talking about them… even forming entire teams dedicated to working on them. It has been exciting to see the traction they are gaining, and how far they have come through process, automation, and tooling.
It truly can be a dream product: a design system that scales across many enterprise products, many devices and platforms, and is open source to a larger developer community. What a fun challenge for systems-minded designers and developers. And starting out, you have a pretty good idea of what the end result will be.
But at this scale, there is no end result. There are interesting challenges you will face along the way: internal politics, design changes, business decisions, configuration, deprecation strategies, naming, adoption, onboarding, support, training, governance, resistance… There are implementations and then undoing of those implementations. Enterprise design systems aren’t easy.
But don’t let this intimidate you. There are always lessons to be learned and shared. And we as an industry are constantly iterating and improving on our processes. We’re all in this together.
In this session, Jina, a design systems designer, fan, and advocate — and who was Lead Designer on the Salesforce Lightning Design System — will share some stories and insights into the lessons she has learned designing one of the largest design systems in the industry.