Design Management

CASE STUDY

Project
Design system

Work Environment
Agile development methodology

Team
UX Designers, UI Engineers, Technical Writers and Leadership

In late 2019, the UX team at SS&C Eze started to build a new design system for the next generation products. Months later, no significant progress was made and it’s unclear when it could be done. I identified the issues and suggested my solutions to the leadership. Then I got the opportunity to lead and manage this project.

My Role

  • Created detailed project plans with a clear roadmap.

  • Defined workflow and governance. Established and conducted design scrum events.

  • Generated design stories and optimized project backlog. Distributed tasks to designers and engineers with the right skill sets and interests.

  • Kept leadership and stakeholders informed. Facilitated communication and information exchange between external groups and the UX team on a regular basis.

Challenges

Complicated and Massive

The design system contains multiple aspects such as style guide, pattern library, design assets, code components, “how-to” guide, etc.

Multiple Roles Involved

The project required collaborations of UX designers, UI Engineers and Technical Writers. Everyone’s work was related and dependent.

Various Expectations

Stakeholders had different ideas and expectations for the new design system. And there was not a clear applicable solution.

5-10 Tasks / Sprint

Before there were only 4 tasks were done in months. With the new workflow, each sprint (two weeks) our team could complete 5-10 tasks.

Completed on Time

All stage I MVP elements were designed in 8 weeks. 16 weeks later, Stage II design works were completed.

Outcomes

Positive Feedback

Leadership was very impressed by the efficiency and quality of the work the team had done. The team got positive feedback from stakeholders.

Applicable for Other Projects

The design management strategies for this project are self-maintained and duplicatable. They can be applied to similar design projects.

1. Align Vision and Set Goals

As a team, we confirmed and clarified the vision for the new design system. Besides, it’s important to make sure everyone was aware and agree the project should be planned and completed in several stages due to the size and complexity.

Strategy & Solution

2. Roadmap and Milestones

Created roadmap and set milestones with a clear timeline. Each stage’s scope and focuses were defined.

3. Focus on MVP

The first stage focused on MVP (Minimum viable product), which are the most fundamental and high priority items. The hierarchy and dependences of to-do items must be clear.

4. Defined the Workflow

Agile Sprint workflow was applied. Sprint planning, design review and scrum events happened regularly.

5. Task Management

When creating a task, it should be actionable and measurable with clear acceptance criteria. The size of a task was designed for one sprint. If a topic was too big and complex, it would be broken into smaller ones.

6. Ownership and Responsibility

Each task was assigned to an owner. The task owner was responsible to lead the design process, present and deliver designs on time. A task may also have another 1-2 contributors. They were in the assist role for the task.

Thanks : )

Please feel free to view other projects and contact me for more details.