The Best Design Systems Are a Shared Work Language
February 20, 2023
By Lauren Shapiro, Design Partner
Design systems have shifted from a buzzword to a serious investment across all industries in the last couple of years. We’ve seen companies create dedicated design system teams, design operation roles, and invest heavily in tools to power them.
This is happening in a landscape where user behaviors and touchpoints are rapidly changing, companies are charged with finding efficiencies, and new design and development tools are merging closer.
With so many competing priorities, creating Figma components can feel like the easiest part of our job. However, designers, and other design system champions, are now, more than ever, tasked with championing delivering complex and nuanced work that straddles craft, leadership, and organizational change.
At Work & Co we see these changes first-hand when we partner with clients like IKEA, Airbnb, Vistaprint, PGA Tour, GoFundMe, and H&R Block to create, launch, and structure governance models for future-facing design systems.
From our experience, a design system creates a lasting impact when a shared language —including the vision, mindset, and process— is established from the beginning, then evolved with the input of a cross-disciplinary group of stakeholders. Four areas to explore are:
- Aligning on a collective vision
- Setting an iterative mindset
- Establishing governance from the outset
- Design systems as a catalyst for change
Read Lauren's full article in DeMagSign, a magazine from the team behind the internationally renowned Design Matters conferences.