• Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 6 years ago

    This is a fantastic post, very interesting to hear about the downsides to adopting design systems too early on.

    Especially good point about how we often overstate the value of consistency.

    2 points
    • , over 6 years ago

      Thanks Bevan. I tried to be as objective as possible but I think since leaving in-house design for large companies, I have skewed more into the camp of holding off on creating design systems.

      2 points
      • Sean LesterSean Lester, over 6 years ago

        THANK YOU! I've been responsible for all mobile platforms at Match in a redesign over the past year+ and I've had to constantly justify to my team decisions to hold off on creating a design system and trying to explain why their idea of consistency is a bit too stringent. At one point a designer tried to lock us into only using stroke icons across the entire product. For consistency. Nevermind that at certain sizes, in certain contexts, a stroke icon will never work.

        In the end consistency should serve to ensure your users feel they're on the same product at all times and should ensure they know how stuff works because you used the same patterns and visual design elements where it makes sense to do so. It should also mean that you're lessening the burden on dev by accomplishing some very simple things like not constantly adding new text styles and colors. It really shouldn't be more strict a practice than this or you'll just get in your own way, particularly when you're a team of 4-5 designers.

        I think you've just remedied months of anxiety and self-flagellation in a way the good performance reviews and promotion could not.

        0 points
        • , over 6 years ago

          Ha that's great. Thanks for the feedback. Your situation is identical to ones I've been a part of as well. I still talk to designer friends dealing with this at large software companies and they are fighting the same battle you describe.

          I talk about remodeling a home and how I would never wait to remodel my kitchen until I can afford to remodel my entire home. It's not as if my family will see the new trim and doorknobs and suddenly get lost when they enter a room that hasn't been remodeled. Your point about understanding the level of consistency is spot on. You can get in a car you have never seen before in your life and start to drive it immediately (unless it's a stick, ha). Focus on that level of consistency which allows a user to do THAT. Design system efforts can put too much emphasis on themselves rather than business value and users.

          1 point
  • Jordan Evans, 1 year ago

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    0 points