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Dani Nordin: Politics of design systems

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm


500 Harrison Avenue, Suite 5R
Boston, MA
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As organizations continue to take on more complex digital entities, often spanning multiple products, design systems are becoming more prevalent. Distinct from a pattern library or style guide, a well-crafted design system contains both patterns and guidelines for design practitioners, and front-end code that powers the different products. Conference presentations and articles abound with examples of ever more sophisticated systems, and practitioners across the field are anxious to start working on systems for their products. 

However, kicking off and rolling out a design system takes significant time and investment - one that many enterprises are reluctant to take on. What initially seems like the answer to achieving quality design at velocity quickly becomes a perceived bottleneck, as pieces of the system get rolled out slowly among the different products, and time and care needs to be spent making sure the codebase is stable, and the design elements can adapt to different use cases and design needs. How do you keep stakeholders from getting disgruntled? How do you keep the team motivated to keep working against the increasing pressures of executives, who can’t understand why things are taking so long?

In this session, we'll discuss practical tips for selling and continuing to market a design system within an organization, using examples from our experience creating the Bolt Digital design system for Pegasystems, along with other examples from the field. You’ll learn how to:

  • market and sell a design system into an organization
  • make the case for continued investment
  • set realistic expectations for stakeholders to avoid organizational panic 

This session is for you if you’ve ever wondered how to start or sell a design system within an organization, but you’ve had trouble getting buy-in from your stakeholders. 

Dani Nordin

Dani Nordin is the  Director of Digital User Experience at Pegasystems, overseeing a small but mighty team of UX professionals responsible for Pega’s digital design system and corporate websites. Dani has authored several video trainings and books for O’Reilly Media, including Drupal for Designers (2012) and Designing with Empathy (2015).