Empathetic Design Systems

How do you make a design system empathetic and whom should it be empathetic towards? At a recent company, we decided to replace our outdated style guide with a newfangled design system that we started from scratch. And we made a great start.

But we forgot about accessibility. Only stand alone components reflected the basics of accessibility leaving full user flows behind. We forgot about our fellow coworkers and peers. Our engineers shouldered slow development times and new technologies, designs changed often, and variants were hard to implement. And we forgot about our users. Much of the design system was geared towards engineers, neglecting designers, product managers and more.

So what did we learn in our first iteration? How did empathy help shape our ever-changing, morphing design system? Come learn how to build an empathetic design system from the ground up or start incorporating empathy today!