Cagri Akgul
Jun 4 · 3 min read

SEEDS, the Stora Enso Design System and journey of its making

Stora Enso Design System: SEEDS.

It feels like everything under the sun about Design Systems have been told and written. Yet our journey and especially the key decisions made while building the Stora Enso Design System (SEEDS) might be helpful for someone out there. So here it is :

Why Stora Enso Design System?

Hylte Mill in Sweden, producing paper, pulp and biocomposites.

Stora Enso is a Finnish-Swedish forestry company ( btw have you ever imagined what a tree can do? ) with 700+ years of history and thousands of employees around the world. Industrial Digitalisation is a big thing here in Scandinavia and Stora Enso is one of the front runners. With tens of applications getting built each year thanks to the digital acceleration efforts with innovation funds and startup collaborations, it was time to think about the Design Systems.

The journey of developing the Stora Enso Design System

Discovery & Validation : Quick and clean

Face to face interviews with potential sponsors, developers, designers to understand the pain points and expected value proposal showed us that biggest value would be from increased internal efficiency, and visual brand identity spreading consistently would follow that. Internal efficiency meant 2 things in this context :

  • Similar applications designed and implemented using a common library hence saving development costs.
  • End users (e.g. mill operators, data analysts, supply chain planners) learning new applications easily because they are built with same design principles and user interface components.

Next we tracked down such applications that were developed independently but could have been developed via a common library and would have saved us costs. Comparing predictive simulation applications; one for production quality and one for potential production breaks and one for maintenance planning were an enlightening moment. In the end they could all have been using the same front-end library and saving us time and money. These were the evidence supporting the first claim above.

Application fatigue and time spent on on-boarding and training were known issues so we didn’t deep dive into that one. Over-researching can drain your budget pretty quick so we thought our next big research question towards the end-users (designers and developers) should be an MVP. Or maybe an MEP?(*)

In the following posts I plan to cover these :

Building the MEP (*Minimum Eatable Pizza): One layer at a time or one slice at a time?

Tooling and Processes

Impact Measurement

Going for after a full stack Design System: From exploration to production and to polishing.

Anything else you want to be covered? Let me know in comments.

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