Patterns Day, which Wipro Digital sponsored, took place on the 28 June 2019 in Brighton, England, and was the perfect occasion to gather some of our Buildit studios (London, Gdansk and Warsaw) so “Buildsters” interested in design systems, pattern libraries and style guides could participate in the superb discussions.
The organisers assembled some big names in the field. This allowed a deep exploration and discussion around both the importance of design systems overall and their crucial importance to organisations. Presenters shared real examples, which inspired great discussions about the challenges encountered whilst building them. Some conversations also addressed code, and attendees learned about some cool tools and approaches to help developers and designers increase their productivity.
We organised a raffle on Twitter during the conference to share helpful resources with participants. We raffled 10 books related to the conference topics. One was “Design Systems,” by Alla Kholmatova, who gave an interesting speech at Patterns Day. The other was an e-book called “Inclusive Components,” by Heydon Pickering, also one of the conference’s brilliant speakers.
Surprisingly, most of the eight talks at Patterns Day did not glorify the concept of Design Systems, but rather highlighted potential problems with their practical application. Questions posed included “What’s the maintenance cost?” and “Is it beneficial to introduce it only for a single product?”
One of the biggest takeaways was that there is little value in creating a Design System before real product. The reason: product developers – a Design System’s end users – would be slowed down and their creativity would be limited by a constrained interface. The conclusion seems to be to introduce Design Systems to semi-mature ecosystems.
It is very important to keep in mind that the Design System should constantly evolve with a product, and it shouldn’t be treated as a one-time thing. There should be someone dedicated to keeping it in check and healthy all the time, or it risks being abandoned and forgotten as yet another pretty-but-useless artefact.
We strongly agree that Design Systems are not for everyone, but they can be very useful in complex solutions. Only the assessment of experienced specialists allows estimating the profits and losses resulting from the implementation of Design Systems, as there is no universal answer to that. If you are looking for someone who knows how to do this, we encourage you to contact us. Find more about our approach and thoughts on Design Systems here.
The 2019 Pattern Day event allowed us to meet a lot of interesting people, and we thank you all for the inspiring and fascinating talks. If you wish to continue the conversation, or perhaps join the Buildit @ Wipro Digital team, do not hesitate to contact us, as we are hiring.