AIR MILES Design System

A Single source of truth--not just for designers

Processes, documentation, templates, guidelines, best practices, systems integration, governance, education--it's not just a pattern library

Role
Category

Design System Manager (2020-2021)
Design System Contributor

Design System
Product Management
Systems Integration
UX/UI Design
AODA Compliance
Education

Timeline

3 Years

Ongoing

Project Impact

Consistency

Internal alignment, less friction points. Saved hours of work meeting the AA Accesbility compliancy deadline

Efficiency

Time to market increases as reusable components are used. Enabled the UX team to Rebrand in under 2 months. Able to update 50+ pages based on new brand guidelines

Scale
Workstreams, partners, and vendors, onboarding time decreased. Saved on number of meetings and back and forth with external vendors and onboarding workstreams and people

Goal

Establish & roll-out a new set of design standards + guidelines across AMRP, leveraging best-practices & using a templated approach

From what I learned from the past...

I worked on CIBC’s Design system and what I’ve learned is, that it wasn’t as easy as creating a pattern library.

Governance needed to be in place, Rituals for visibility needed to be scheduled, Onboarding Kit, Integrations with other systems, Brand guidelines, Documentation Templates--all part of the 3+ year journey.

Educating the company about a Design system also had some challenges. How do we convince senior leadership about the benefits and its ROI.

Notable Deliverables

Established component creation processes and documentation templates

  • Competitive Analysis driven - Looking into Shopify’s Polaris, Salesforce’s Lightning design system, IBM’s Carbon Design system

  • Leveraged retrospectives

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Build shared design system, and pattern library

  • Design components on Figma with different states, variation and use cases.

  • Holistic approach - not just in designers systems! How does it integrate with the engineers component repository storybook and the CRM Adobe Experience Manager

  • Documenting attributes and behaviours

  • Delegate coaching other associates

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Roadmap Workshops

  • Delivered reccomendation of which components all backed up by data, research, best practices
    Attaching components into data points (How many times it’s used, where, behaviours) to influence product roadmaps

Hosted bi-weekly design system meeting

  • Design critiques with a diverse panel (Engineers, Design, Product, Brand and more)

Design System 101 session across AMRP teams

  • Hosted Design system 101 sessions with different sectors of AIR MILES.

  • Educating what is a design system, it’s benefits and how it affects their team

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Reflection

Were the next 3 years perfect - absolutely not!
I think what makes my experience so fruitful. I had the experience of building failed design systems and every time we iterate we learn.

Lesson #1 - It can’t be just the UX designer’s design system, it’s AIR MILES’ design system so bring on all the teams will be affected-- engineers, product, project, marketing, brand

Learning #2 - Spirit of Optimize. We were so stuck on future-proofing components, we didn't have this fail fast and test mentality