Hot on the heels of his podcast conversation with Big Medium’s Brad Frost, Chris Coyier shared his ruminations on Brad’s call to create a universal design system.

Chris’s post, Thoughts on a Global Design System, is a smart, incisive, and thought-provoking set of questions and critiques about Brad’s proposal. It’s the tough love that an ambitious idea needs in order to survive.

Chris nods to the problem that Brad seeks to solve with a global design system: “Surely, the world is wasting the brain power of too many smart people solving the same set of problems again and again.” And then he pokes at whether this is the right solution. How would it work in practice? Who would run it? How could it be opinionated enough to be useful without being so opinionated that it’s no longer universal? And why haven’t similar efforts succeeded? Is what we already have as close as we’re likely to get?

That feels like I’m being awfully critical. Sorry! Like I said, I like the enthusiasm and I do think there is potential here. But to realize the potential, I think you need to ask really hard questions and have really strong answers. Ultimately I sincerely hope it can be done. Having a super robust go-to set of components that are essentially vetted by the world would be awesome. I think it will take very strong set of principals and leadership to get there.

We love both the spirit of the critique, and the depth of the commentary. Thanks, Chris, for the great framing for the conversation to come.

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