I want a Design System. And a pony.

Marcos Peebles
Oct 12, 2017 · 3 min read

In a perfect world all my wishes would be granted.
In a perfect world I rock.

My Birthday list in my perfect world;

  • A magic wand to explain Design Systems to… any stakeholder.
    Because I do not want to adapt the way I share it with different audiences.
  • A universal 30 seconds pitch elevator to get funding… until the Design System outcomes are ready to start proving its value.
  • Tools, tools, tools to help… me. Because lets’ face it, I’m the key factor here. People, ways of working, teams and clients, adapt or die.
  • A whole tribe of unicorns, willing to follow my lead, because I rock.
  • One size fits all Design System, stop making me think.
  • A Design System that embraces all cultures and ways of working, can’t be bothered with regional blathering.
  • A one click deployment of all instances, stop npm this and that, pipeline here and there, library yin and yang and all those things…
  • A magic phrase to unsettle experienced enterprise architects, service designers and random members of the public when they say “we tried this before, didn’t work, been there, done that”.
  • A pony.
  • And a Holy Grail, just in case.

Ring. Ring. Wake-up call.
This is the real world and my birthday is overdue. And I do not rock, I hardly manage to keep it constrained to part-time idiot.

  • Sharing what a Design System is, requires knowing who you share it with.
  • No pitch elevator will do*. Prepare. Iterate. Fail. Until you finally realise that selling a product is hard work, not a given gift. Be clear about the value but also the cost of a Design System. Nevertheless, do get funded.
  • Tools, tools, tools to help… people who will use the Design System. Recognise that each organisation will have its bespoke system and that implementing and learning new tools takes time. Change is hard.
  • Work with the people that already work in the organisation, you do not need unicorns, they don’t exist. Those who embark on the journey and experience it will be the best advocates. Change is good.
  • Every Design System will be a particular one, no organisation is a carbon copy of another. Think on how you will adapt Design Systems principles and best practices to that particular case.
  • Recognise that all cultures and ways of working have differences, understand the power of patterns but don’t be rigid about them.
  • A one click deployment for all is an intellectual fallacy. Continuous integration and delivery is hard work to prepare, implement and maintain. Initially, your greenfield is the easy path, scale after.
  • Recognise the value of experienced enterprise architects, service designers and others who have tried and failed. Learn with them. People and technology are not static things.
  • I’m probably too heavy and old for a pony anyway.
  • A Holy Grail, because you need to understand that this product will never be perfect. You need the vision, and the resilience, just in case :)

buildit

we enable + accelerate engineering transformation

buildit

We are a global engineering & co-innovation consultancy specializing in solving highly complex business problems. We leverage engineering best practices, tools, methodologies and new ways of working to deliver true business outcomes.

Marcos Peebles

Written by

Web since 90's, Design Systems ❤, Design, Code & Rants

buildit

We are a global engineering & co-innovation consultancy specializing in solving highly complex business problems. We leverage engineering best practices, tools, methodologies and new ways of working to deliver true business outcomes.

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