“If you don’t involve your community the use and adoption will be limited” ~ Jonathan Stening
Hamish O’Neill – Design Lead, Brand & Design System @ANZ
Hamish O’Neill has over 17 years experience in digital design across retail, telecommunications, and finance. Hamish is a strategic design thinker and leader. He loves to systemise and automate process and help teams do compelling work, fast. He currently leads a team of designers, ANZ’s our dot com team, as well as leading the design of ANZ’s brand and design system. Follow Hamish on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hamishoneill
Jonathan Stening – Design Engineering Lead @ANZ
Jonathan has worked with the intersection of design and technology disciplines for over 17 years. A huge advocate for cross-disciplinary collaboration and human-centred design, Jonathan is passionate about crafting scalable UI solutions that can deliver a consistent design language. He has lead engineering for design systems at two of Australia’s major banks Westpac and ANZ. Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanstening/
- Westpac Gel
- At Westpac the CEO at the time wanted to solve the “button soup”
- Westpac GEL – usage guidelines, CX design, accessibility , brand values,
- ANZ Horizon Design System
Why have a DS?
- Brand alignment
- Consistent touchpoints
- Productivity and efficient
- Collaboration platform
What is a DS?
Who are design systems for?
- For everyone in the org
- A point of reference of every to use
- Designers, POs, BAs, Engineers, POs
The ANZ team took a human-centred approach.
A human-centred design system is more than assets and guidelines
A question was thrown to the audience on the approaches they are taking. These spanned the spectrum of strategic to tactical:
- Treat is like a product – documentation, training, onboarding (audience)
- Skunkworks – People building bottom up rather than top down – building only what is needed
- No design system
“Design Systems become human-centred when the people who use and touch the system are put at the centre … so how do you get them to adopt advocate and contribute to it? “
- Bring people on the journey
- Share what you are working on and working towards
- Understand needs
- Community input – listen and celebrate whats common and different
- Not the design police
- Take a flexible and iterative approach
- Pivot what you need to, be ready to make compromises
- Executive sponsorship from the outset brought their investment and advocacy
ANZ Approach – three key HCD methods that made ANZ Horizon successful
- Understood the needs of the community
- internal research, themes, principles
- Empower the community (within the org) to contribute
- many components designed by designers in squads. Design includes usability testing
- Shared via newsletters and internal channels
- Horizon team core group of 8 people – initiative lead … designers, …
- Allow team members to influence and contribute
- Design study – is a design critique using rose, thorn, bud in Figma. Anyone can attend. They bring their design e.g. component to the study for feedback on the component. They go through all points o feedback and discussion. Community brings their unique perspective, POV. The Horizon DS team gets to stress test the design for robustness, flexibility and extensibility – as they are solving for the enterprise.
- Formed alliances
- identified who was doing same work already – e.g. brand, design, ops
- Brought people in who were passionate about systems thinking
The Design Study is a design critique were community contributors share their proposals for additions to the Horizon DS.
The Horizon Design System team
- DS culture agree to work together in a certain way
- DS team members mindset – custodians and facilitators
- Yes you can have a system of systems
- How do you avoid design by committee?
- Something they were mindful of. Takes time up front but pays off. Need to structure right activities – and the Design Study aka design critique was central forum for get cut-through and momentum.
- How have you gauged the success of ANZ Horizon DS?
- Had to show value to different levels of org.
- Michelle Spencer – initiative lead – forecast ROI forecast many years down the track for the executive audience
- For POs and designers – focussed on what they could give to them, benefits to them, the efficiencies. Used survey data to prove efficiencies using that to sell to other teams.
- How do you perceive level of innovation when everything has to be standardised? Can you find innovation in uniformity?
- The DS creates consistency that gives the smaller pieces so you can solve for bigger problems.
- DS enables creativity to focus on journeys, edge cases, accessibility, micro-interactions … all the things that get set aside when you don’t have a DS.
- Where is the best place to learn more about creating Design Systems?
- Agency Super Normal’s to-do list https://www.designsystemchecklist.com/
- Lots of articles – search for what you need but you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach. Seek out the information that is relevant to you at the moment
- Meet-ups and groups, and Twitter. Hamish has DS twitter list.
- Dan Mall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGAX7FsOOJE
- Free training: https://thegymnasium.com/design-systems (courtesy of event sponsor Aquent)
- How do you measure the ROI?
- Productivity calculations on efficiencies based on a survey
- Don’t get caught up in the granularity of the analysis of data points in Jira for instance. Surveys sufficient over analysing tech repos etc.
- What technology do you use for a DS?
- Were wary of specific recommendations, understanding that what is best for org context will be best approach but then advocated Figma ZeroHeight, React 🙂 . ANZ DS used bespoke CMS.
What could Design Systems look like in 2030?
- Speculated that there could be 1-2 global design systems
- Foresee some automation in the future – Systemisation of broader experiences beyond components, patterns, page templates to end-to-end journeys
- Enable DS Roles to become more than experts with specialist knowledge to systems-thinking enablers
Step back – are you lost in a world of design abstraction or serving the community?
Design Systems are more than content assets and tech. They are a culture and methodology that need to be part of the fabric of an organisation.
ANZ combined a human-centred design and consultation approach with an open source community and contribution model to solve potential adoption issues and create a living and thriving design system.
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