My role: Product Designer
Client: Sveriges Radio
Year: 2019 -
I’ve been working with design systems at Sveriges Radio since 2019. I have created a design language, set up workflows, and ensured all components scale and work for over 2 million unique users every week.
Establishing and maintaining an extensive design system for several platforms poses several complex challenges. How do you create a design language that works from the smallest phone to 4k TV? How do you charter for developers and designers with many different needs? Where does the one source of truth live? How do you document all platforms and pages while keeping it simple to find up-to-date design?
At Sveriges Radio, I started by researching and interviewing developers and designers. When we had set up a team that I led, we set out to get everyone to start using the design system. The most important thing with design systems is that it starts to be used, then you’ll figure out all of the details.\
Working with different teams needed different approaches. There wasn’t a one-stop solution. For groups with most developers, I would do a mob session where we together built components and filled a page with them. Developers would get a sense of the capabilities, and I would get feedback on what was working and what was not.
Fellow designers were onboarded when we designed together in Figma with components and styles. We created design principles and built prototypes for user testing, among many activities. In the design system team, we work from day to day on different tasks like creating Vue3 components, maintaining our design tokens, and helping teams with questions. We are an enabler team, and our most important mission is to listen to teams to have a design system that everyone can use.
The most important learning is that you can only convince co-workers to start working with design systems if you sell them all advantages like speed, consistency, and value for the user. To be user-centered is essential, and for design systems, the users are developers, designers, and stakeholders. The end-user is hopefully a happy listener.
Design systems are not a destination; it’s a way of working. And it’s really exciting.