Exploring Design System Team Culture
As professionals in the digital world, we’ve probably all experienced the difference between working with a harmonious team and one that’s struggling. Creating and running a design system team is no different. The culture of your organization and your design system team has a lasting impact on your ability to successfully build and grow a system. Years of design system research and interviews, as well as real-world experience, have helped Sparkbox develop a strategy for responding to and addressing cultural challenges so that design systems move forward.
Understanding How Culture Helps Your System Thrive
It’s not just the state of your organizational culture or the subculture that defines your design system team, it’s how the two interact with one another. Are they aligned? How can you tell? You can figure it out and get everyone on the same page. Your design system will be better off as a result.
The Impact of Culture on Your Design System
A design system is about more than design and code. It’s about people: the ones who build it, the ones who use it, and the way they all work together. Learn how to assess your team’s culture and use what you discover to foster success.
Fostering a Healthy Design System
As described above, a thriving culture is a huge factor in the success of a design system over time. But it’s far from the only factor! When you’re working with complex systems there are many, many ways for individuals and teams to contribute to its success.
Designs Systems and the Myth of Creative Constriction
There’s a common misconception that using a design system chills creativity by imposing boundaries on design. Not so! Done well, design systems empower users rather than constrain them.
Stabilizing Forces for a Successful Design System
Even the most successful design systems need care and feeding. Learn how authority, value, and tradition work together to help build a culture of support and growth for your system.
Back to the Basics
A design system is a complex idea and an intricate product, and sometimes you need to delve deep to find the fix for friction (with your culture or otherwise). Other times, you might need to revisit the fundamentals and make sure everything is as it should be. Here are some resources for just such an occasion.
Anatomy of a Design System: A Primer
We’ve found that one of the biggest challenges with design systems is ensuring that everyone shares a common language and understanding of what a system is. Take a deep dive into the pieces and parts that will help you build a strong foundation.
The Design System Maturity Model
The core idea for a design system can come from anywhere. Once it takes hold, you’ll face a series of challenges and opportunities as you work toward a fully functional digital product. Our Maturity Model will help you understand where you are now and what may come next.
Design Systems on the Sparkbox Foundry
Sparkbox has been working on and with design systems for nearly a decade, and we prioritize sharing what we know. Visit the Foundry to learn more about our experiences, research, videos, and more.
Want to get a peek into Sparkbox’s work with design systems? We’ve got you covered. Here are a variety of moments in which we’ve either helped build, evolve, or diagnose and improve a design system.
Building a Design System From the Culture Up
After having to start their design system over, we helped a client get everyone in their organization on the same page in terms of what a system should be and do. This cultural alignment was key to this design system’s success.
Unsticking a Stuck Design System
From charting a path forward to gain stakeholder buy-in to helping create a shared company-wide definition of what their design system was and how it should function, getting this design system out of a ditch was about communication.