Nov 23, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
Leadership in the design system
Say you’re a design system designer.
It requires a certain degree of leadership.
You have to lead the community.
By community, I mean people who use the design system. They are your peers but also users of the design system.
If we believe the participation from the community is essential for success. Then, we need to 1) engage, 2) activate, and 3) retain the community.
First of all, you have to engage with the people. You have to build trust as the foundation. You don’t have direct authority for the designers, engineers, researchers…
Then, when it’s ready, you’ll be leading the effort, “Hey, our design language is currently confusing as hell. But, trust me, we’ll make this better together.”
Then, you activate the community. How? Well, let’s take a step back: What is a community? A community is a group of people who have the same interest in achieving a common goal.
You activate the group by giving them a common goal, “Okay, peeps, here’s our short-term goal, and here’s the plan. What do you think?”
As you go through the process, you follow through.
You retain as many people as you can. You show up and lead the community. The more people contribute to your system, the better. Because it becomes the ecosystem itself, people will have more ownership. The community will try to shape the system that will best suit them.