Launch animation for content health in our design system.
Launch animation for content health in our design system.
Launch animation for our content health system. Shout out to Sprout designer Nathan Sanders for creating this awesome graphic!

Design systems are a lot like community gardens. Everything in a system has a natural life cycle that begins with a human need, eventually grows into a fully-formed component or pattern, and (if nurtured) evolves over time.

System practitioners spend a lot of time focused on the beginning of this life cycle-how does the content of our system come to exist? How does it find its way into the system, and how can our communities play a key role in that process? …

Earlier this year, I helped form a dedicated design systems team at Sprout Social. As we rolled the team out to the organization, one difficult problem we were faced with was: how does a team of three people, with a dedicated roadmap, keep up to date with the work of twelve other teams and make sure they are properly supported?

One of the first things our team did was create a document to help other teams find ways to work with us. The document outlined example scenarios and provided numerous options for teams to get in touch if they have…

If you’re reading this, hopefully it means you or your team has decided to conduct some UX research with real humans, yay! Below are some tips I’ve learned along the way while conducting UX research sessions.

🤓 Know what you want to learn

Sync with your team members and align on what you want to get out of the sessions. These should somehow tie back into the goals of the project itself. Examples of some goals could be to understand behavior under certain circumstances, how users might expect a certain experience to work, validation that a design works well or not and why, etc. …

Earlier this year, we officially formed a systems team at Sprout Social to grow and evolve our design system, Seeds. While the history of the team is short, the roots of design systems at Sprout spans back to the company’s early days. This is the story of our journey from style guide side project to a full-fledged design systems team and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

The History of Design Systems at Sprout

Sprout’s team has grown rapidly from the original four co-founders in 2009 to around 500 employees today. As the company’s headcount and has increased, so have the number of products we offer…

In our research, we strive for the right combination of rigor, structure, and flexibility. We love scripts, but we’re not married to them. We define roles for researchers, but we don’t always stay in our lanes. We meticulously document every bit of collected data, but prefer to share insights conversationally.

We’re still relatively fresh in these processes and are still establishing our norms. Here are a few things we’ve learned.

Note: Keep in mind that Sprout Social is B2B, which comes with its own set of challenges and nuances. When necessary, we’ll note where being B2B affects our approach.

The more the merrier


Seek Simple

A collection of thoughts, tips, and learnings from Sprout…

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