Our design system at Kiwi.com is about one year old. We have a team of 5 people working on it full-time and still – there are still so many things to solve and improve. There is still so many stuff that doesn’t work well.
And some talks, for me especially from Amy (about content in design systems) and Inayaili (about untruths of design systems), have confirmed to me that we are not doing it that wrong or that also bigger design systems teams are solving very similar issues.
Some tweets worth mentioning and remembering:
Enjoyed @yaili ‘s - 5 things that aren’t true about design systems - There’s not enough time to do everything. It doesn’t have to be just the Design System team. “Entrust others or become a blocker” #PatternsDay #InteractionDesign pic.twitter.com/MkihppNgGQ— Richard Flick (@richardflick) June 28, 2019
My biggest challenge in Orbit is now to improve its documentation – so it’s probably not surprising that topics around documentation resonated with me the most for the whole day.
Some ideas I want to explore more very soon:
Checklist for essential documentation for each component:
“Someone needs a custom component every day.”
This is something that I was trying to fight in the past. Take Orbit for example – internally, we’ve made sure that it’s tough to customize the styling of components, with our explanation that it’ll just help us to maintain it better in the future. Reality? People always find a way how to adjust behavior and look of the component.
I would say that we’ve, as a team, matured a bit from last year. We are now discussing how to make customization of components flexible and maintainable at the same time. And we are looking for inspiration how other design systems are doing it – Material Design and Baseweb from Uber are doing a hell of a job in theming.
“When we provide theming, some times what is available is not enough.” Una Kravets
Also, better theming and flexibility can be pretty useful now, when we are going full-power open source with Orbit and want to offer it to external folks for helping them start their travel projects. I am looking forward to how Orbit will change with this new perspective.
“Meta-design is much more difficult than design; it’s easier to draw something than to explain how to draw it” - Donald Knuth.
And last but not least – Stuart Robson did a pretty good job with his live notes. 👏