Recently I worked on a product where there was a heavy division in labor. There was the agency. There was the design team. There was the back-end team. And there was the front-end development.

While initially this might sound like a great division of labor, it can certainly lead to difficulties in communication. Not having a clear start and end point can leave people feeling lost.

Didn’t you hear this at that meeting? Oh yeah, this is different, remember that phone call?

The problem is no one is really detail oriented enough to create this huge understanding of the minutiae of changes as you go from design to production. Creating a set of Design Systems Engineering tools really helps to aid in that communication, and also clearly shows when new elements are on or off brand.

If you are still going straight from Photoshop (or chose your latest poison, I prefer Sketch) Hi-fi mocks straight to fully implemented full-stack code, I suggest you take a step back.

While logically this seems to be the fastest way from point A to point B, at some point you will have a communication breakdown.

And at that point the neck of the bottle will keep shrinking. While you might have started with a constant velocity, you will be bogged down with meetings, phone calls, or sitting side-by-side pair hammering out the final pages.

Design Systems Engineering solves this by providing clear directions as to how something should look, how it should be coded, and what are the important bits that people will constantly forget about.


Also published on Medium.