The Value of a Design System 'As you grow a design system’s library, a UI component’s average cost increases while it’s value to the community decreases. The threshold when cost exceeds benefit varies by org'. — Nathan Curtis
Some interesting links about the introduction of metrics in design systems:
- Nathan Curtis on measuring design system success using OKRs to set goals and track progress
- Jeroen Ransijn on measuring the adoption of their design system at Segment (see The Component Usage Treemap)
- Varya Stepanova on automatic collection of quantitative data about components usage at Elisa
- Daniel O’Connor on tracking key quantitative metrics and qualitative feedback over time
- Diana Mounter on how they measure the success of their design system at GitHub
- Joshua Sortino and Jina Anne share a few tips on how to measure the impact of a design system
- Bryn Ray has made an interesting and detailed analysis of much is a design system worth
- Lily Dart in a presentation about their Constellation design system at the Lloyds Banking Group, said that the design system saved their teams £190.000 per project (!), and that overall has already saved the group more than £3.5M. That’s a really impressive metric!
- Dan Mall of SuperFriendly in his article about “Selling Design Systems” mentions the case of their customer, the Adventist church, who decided to “measure what they do” and define specific OKRs (see #1, #2 and #3).
- Rauno Freiberg of Veriff has written a post about measuring the impact of a design system using a different kind of metric (usage of components):
- Anja Klüver has recently given an amazing talk at London Design Systems conf, about making the case for a design system with stakeholder and how to give meaningful numbers about costs, savings and ROI of a design system. You can watch her talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8i1qeCv2IQ. You can also view a few slides and a small Twitter thread here.
- Christos Kastritis has published an article explaining how he started to measure the impact and adoption of the design system at Deliveroo, and in particular how to use Figma’s analytics to extract valuable data: https://medium.com/deliveroo-design/how-to-understand-your-design-systems-health-and-eventually-its-success-9cbcdae13a2f
- Chase McCoy explains how they introduced a set of metrics to define their design system’s “health”, for each component they added a health label and a detailed “scorecard”, and then aggregated the data in a nice dashboard: https://medium.com/sprout-social-design/design-system-health-3004551060f0
- Maya Hampton has published this article about measuring “outcomes over output” in design systems: https://uxdesign.cc/measuring-the-value-of-design-systems-1fe061d2ab30
- Sandra Schaus suggests to use a predictive blueprint and a quantitative data tracker when building a design system: https://uxdesign.cc/stop-building-design-systems-without-a-tracker-2568f102362d
- This post by CB Insights suggests some metrics (mostly related to CSS code) that one can use to define KPIs for a design system : https://staging.cbinsights.com/research/team-blog/design-system-success/