The tools that enable us to design better, more efficiently, and more beautiful have always been close to my heart. So I feel fortunate to have been leading a range of efforts with global clients to create their new design systems that act as tools to enable whole organisations to solve for the core UX problem, not the shape of a button.
Typically I see three core components for a successful design system to exist. It's the kit of parts, the processes and the tools to support it. They all need to come together to deliver a living, breathing and exciting system that have a great impact on the products it supports. In the examples below I have sometimes worked on all three, sometimes just one of the facets.
Siemens Healthineers created a new brand for itself after breaking away from Siemens AG in 2016. Through that process, they created a visual language fit for marketing and industrial design, but not necessarily digital design. We at IDEO were asked to design a new design system from the ground up fit for the future and the complex and highly regulated context of medical imaging. As a meta-layer, we were also asked to help anchor the UX organisation in the company at large, creating new opportunities to align business units and promote UX in the historically very engineering-driven organisation.
During the process of the project, we conducted a broad range of user research to understand the different needs and to anchor the effort in the organisation. We collaborated closely with all business units through workshops, 1on1 coaching and showing what good looks like to design three main iterations of the system aimed in different directions. Through close collaboration and feedback gathering, we made everyone feel ownership of the new system which put the foundation for a successful rollout throughout the company.
After the core project we continued to explore and expand the system through new contexts such as how AI should come alive across interfaces, personal assistants in MRI and other new modalities.
My Role: Project lead and lead UX designer. This also kickstarted my role as relationship lead at large, together with a colleague, between IDEO and Siemens Healthineers.
A client I have had the pleasure to work with over multiple projects through IDEO decided to change role and company. In his new role as GM for their largest business unit, it was key for him to showcase a quick impact and set a new standard for design. He reached out to me and another colleague to help redesign the design system for the whole business unit, intending to make it global across the company.
Together we created a team of interaction-designer to first understand the context and needs and then dig deep into designing the kit of parts that would enable the business unit to deliver products quicker and more consistent.
In addition to the design of the kit of parts I also had deep dives with the newly assigned design system manager to help shape the group, define hiring needs, and set up new rituals and overall support to create the context for a successful roll-out of the new system.
My Role: Guiding the design team and leading the relationship from IDEO Europe's side.
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