A short introduction into design systems, and the first step in creating your own.
One of the challenges facing us, as a design team at Infinitec, is maintaining a consistent, cohesive and captivating experience across our digital ecosystem. In 2 years we have already designed our 4th iteration of the product and with the last iteration, we have come face-to-face with some very painful realities. If we chose to ignore them this would lead us to a place where no designer wants to be, the black hole of the Design Universe — a place I call, the Frankenstein Reality. (if you want to know more about this just leave me a comment, I’m happy to elaborate 🙂 )
Because we knew we wanted to avoid reaching that dark area of the design space we embarked on a journey of product discovery, retrospective, analysis, and synthesis. One that would help us learn from our own mistakes, and improve the development of future iterations of our product.
We started off by asking ourselves a series of questions (inspired by our friends at UXpin) such as:
- Are we always happy with the speed of product development?
- Do our interfaces share the same design patterns, colors, typography, and other styles?
- Do we always have enough time to deliver a quality product to meet KPIs?
- How much time and money do we spend on redundant design or code tasks?
- How much time and money do we spend cleaning up design or technical debt?
The painful conclusion was that our iterations always failed to bring a positive answer to any of these questions and this meant, just like Karri Saarinen says, that we needed to innovate not just on our products but also on the way we built them.
This being said, in the last 3 months my team and I decided that the solution out of the Frankenstein Reality was a design system — in other words a centralized hub for showcasing our design rules, principles, and frontend components; a place for people familiar with the Infinitec ecosystem, and for anyone wishing to learn more about our work. And we named it Aurora.
The system is specially created for applications that satisfy financial and banking requirements and is committed to improving the experience of users and product designers. Taking advantage of unitary specifications, Aurora makes design and prototype more simple and accessible for all project members, which comprehensively promotes experience and development efficiency for our applications and products.
At the moment Aurora is not open to the outside world, however, the process we take on a day to day basis to create and expand ‘her’ is not a secret and I am happy to share it with you all.