Design System

Buildo Event: Design System Conversations

At Buildo, we believe in the strength of events as they are moments where our passion for design and technology becomes an opportunity to connect, educate, and inspire. The dialogue with industry experts enriches and helps us to refine our vertical-issue knowledge by understanding our client's challenges and goals.

That's why we organize events like "Design System Conversations": we're all about blending professionalism, clarity, and empathy in the tech and design world.

Join our travel across the design system’s advantage, ways of collaboration between inter and intra teams, the strategy and technologies used, and its governance guided by our guest experts:

  • Luca Campanini, Head of Software Factory at Gruppo San Donato
  • Iacopo Pancotti, Principal Software Engineer at facile.it
  • Raffaele Boiano, CEO & Co-Founder at Fifth Beat
  • Davide Di Pumpo, Design Technologist
  • Gabriele Petronella, CTO at Buido
  • Luca Cioria co-founder at Buildo, as moderator
Design System Conversations in Buildo

Buildo’s research: understanding the state of Design Systems in Italian Tech Companies

Our journey began with a deep dive into the state of design systems in Italy. In collaboration with Axelerant and the CTO Mastermind community, we picked the brains of CTOs and similar roles to better understand tech companies' state of the art in the design system field.

We rolled out a survey to gather insights on the workings of their teams and organizations.

After sifting through the survey data, we zeroed in on five individuals for one-to-one interviews to delve deeper into specific aspects useful to our research.

So, our event kicks off by highlighting some of the key benefits uncovered during our research and from our work experience that we decided to discuss with our speakers:

  • Consistency is crucial for standing out, especially in markets where products are similar, and to ensure accessibility.
  • Team efficiency, cost reduction, and enhanced teamwork, focusing on the product's scalability.
  • Streamlined collaboration, using the Design System as a common ground for complex processes, easing communication across different business areas.

Essentially, we're talking about turning a design system into a business superpower, making things pretty, smartly efficient, and more collaborative.

VIDEO

The Benefits and Business Risks of a Design System

To learn more, we invite you to watch our video about the risks and benefits of implementing a design system.

The role of the Design System in managing complexity and collaboration

Our guest speakers shared their insights on the pivotal role of design systems in managing complexity and fostering collaboration.

Raffaele highlighted the strategic role of design systems in handling product scalability and cost efficiency, an essential consideration for sustainable long-term solutions. Luca emphasized the design system as a shared platform, bridging diverse business areas and simplifying complex processes.

Then, the conversation shifted to the crucial collaboration between designers and developers. Here, the design system was lauded for enhancing communication and creating a shared language, as underscored by Davide.

"Close collaboration between designers and developers is crucial to ensure that the design system is both practically implementable and aesthetically aligned with project objectives(Davide Di Pumpo)

The challenge of managing multiple design systems within an organization was addressed at this point. As discussed by participants, the suggested approach was to strive for a unified solution that ensures coherence across various systems.

Lastly, the governance and maintenance of design systems were brought to the fore. A key point was the importance of a dedicated team for the ongoing upkeep and evolution of the design system.

The Experience of Gruppo San Donato

Luca Campanini from Gruppo San Donato shared insights into their work, highlighting how a design system can significantly enhance user experience, specifically focusing on accessibility.

Gruppo San Donato's strategic and practical approach to implementing a design system began with adapting and evolving an existing system using a tailored approach. They developed a flexible and adaptable design system that meets their unique needs.

Through an externally conducted study, GSD efficiently and promptly identified and addressed gaps. A notable aspect of their experience is how the design system standardized design practices within the organization, boosting consistency and efficiency. This allowed for the swift implementation of the design system across various projects, optimizing development time and ensuring uniformity in branding and communication.

"Maintaining a design system is an ordinary activity that should be integrated into the product development planning(Luca Campanini)

CASE STUDY

Gruppo San Donato Accessibility Assessment

Explore more with our case study on Gruppo San Donato’s Accessibility Assessment.

Development team size, roles, and governance

Next, we discussed with our experts about shared valuable insights on the dynamic team configurations required for managing a design system effectively. Raffaele and Davide underscored the critical importance of collaboration between designers and developers. They highlighted how this synergy is essential for the practical implementation of the design system, ensuring its aesthetic alignment with project objectives.

Then Gabriele and Iacopo delved into the significance of governance and maintenance as integral parts of product development.

The design system prevents designers from drawing something that is not representable within the code; in this way, they cancel all work interruptions(Iacopo Pancotti)

Further, Luca and Raffaele's conversation illuminated the vital role of content strategy within the design system team, emphasizing how content strategy contributes to the coherence and completeness of solutions.

Iacopo Pancotti, during his speech

Initial investments, adoption, and maintenance of a design system

Experts shared their perspectives on effectively managing the costs associated with a design system and strategies for its initiation and maintenance within an organization.

Raffaele likened the initial investment in a design system to a loan that yields long-term benefits, emphasizing that the cost should be spread over time and allocated across the different product levels that benefit from it. This view aligns with a sustainable and forward-thinking financial management approach.

"The investment in a design system is not just upfront but extends over time(Raffaele Boiano)

Reflecting on Buildo's experience with their design system Bento, Luca highlighted how maintaining a design system should be a regular activity, seamlessly integrated into product development planning without significantly impacting costs.

Finally, Gabriele shared a pragmatic strategy for implementing a design system, suggesting starting with a fractional team where members can take on multiple roles. This approach allows organizations to adopt a design system in a flexible and adaptable manner, especially when a full-time dedicated team cannot be justified from the outset.

"Starting with a fractional team, where members can take on multiple roles, allows organizations to adopt a design system in a flexible and adaptable way" (Gabriele Petronella)

Conclusion

We end our exploration with a clear mindset about design systems: they are strategic assets that enhance collaboration and efficiency in technology projects. Our event highlighted the transformative power of design systems in fostering a unified design language and promoting open collaboration.

At Buildo, we're committed to championing these principles and sharing knowledge that helps organizations navigate the evolving landscape of technology and design. Our events are part of our passion for connecting, educating, and inspiring through design. Stay tuned as we continue to explore the impactful role of design systems in the tech industry!

BLOG POST

Is Your Design System Really a Design System?

Now test your design system! Read this article by our CTO Gabriele Petronella and find out if it meets all the requirements.
Arianna Mandaradoni
Arianna joined buildo to give support in the marketing & sales field. She loves organizing events and is responsible for creating new market opportunities and outlining the strategic marketing initiatives of buildo.

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