Here’s a gift for you: years and years of experience building design systems, molded into a gorgeous video series. I teamed up with Brad Frost, Dan Mall and InVision to create Design Systems: Mastering Design at Scale, a set of videos to help you plan, build, use, and maintain design systems.
At Big Medium, our whole thing is helping organizations design for what’s next—to navigate new opportunities and challenges in digital design. On the “challenge” front, few are as common or thorny as designing at scale. That scale might be about people (wrangling big production teams), or time (fighting design and code sprawl in longtime products), or breadth (maintaining consistency across projects). And of course a growing number of outfits struggle with all three at once. People multiplied by time multiplied by projects makes for a truculent trifecta that conspires to reduce quality, consistency, speed, and creativity. I call it “the heartache of design at scale.”
That’s also the title of the first episode of the series, which explains the problems design systems address, how they help, and how to get started on your own.
We hope you find the series useful—and maybe even a little provocative. Design systems have of course become a popular solution to the problem of scaling production. But a system of assets in itself is not enough. A design system will fail if it’s not combined with new kinds of product strategy and collaborative design process.
Build your design system to be a platform for radical collaboration.
That’s why the series explains not only how to build a design system, but how to adapt it into a platform for radical collaboration. Learn why your UI kit isn’t really a design system. See why the most exciting design systems are boring (in a good way!). Find out why design systems are ushering out wireframes and comps—and what you should do instead. Learn to avoid creating cookie-cutter experiences with your system, and instead unlock new heights of creativity.
Brad, Dan, and I have collaborated on a slew of design systems for our clients. We’ve distilled our hard-won lessons into six compact, powerful episodes. We’d love to hear what you think. Meanwhile, get to watching: the first episode is available now, with the remaining to be released over the coming weeks. Enjoy!
Is your organization suffering from the heartache of design at scale? From inconsistent interfaces and duplicative design work? Big Medium helps organizations scale great design through design systems. Get in touch.