Design Systems are critical tools for organizations to use to create a cohesive brand experience across products, devices, and platforms. They also allow teams to work more efficiently and quickly. However, the structure and maintenance of the Design System you create will determine its ultimate success.
Your Design System should be a living system that is relevant, flexible, and allows growth over time, and for that to happen, you need to have busy teams across the organization invested in its success. How do you do that?
As a starting point, Design Systems need to have a champion in management who gets it. Who understands the long-term value of creating a design system, and what it takes to support and sustain it. More companies, like Google and Airbnb, are releasing their design systems and pushing their business further in innovating ways.
A centralized team to manage your design system is a useful first step, but will fall short of success because of a lack of connection to other teams working independently. If teams aren’t invested in the success of the system, it will fail.
In addition to a centralized approach to maintaining a system, design leaders across product teams need to be identified and empowered to maintain the integrity and relevancy of the system. This federated approach in combination with a centralized group who maintains the systems creates a foundation for lasting success.