You’re creating a global design system for your company, are excited for its potential, and in just a few short months, you’ll be delivering your MVP. But you also know that building one —in some form or fashion— has been attempted before but fell victim to a widespread, oft-overlooked threat to design systems everywhere: a lack of data and documentation that underscores the value of a design system not only to the design team but for the business overall. Left unprepared, all your hard work risks not being adopted by the organization widely. A design system may be a useful resource on Day One, but the reality is that over time it’s only as good as its long-term strategy for investments, usually in the form of people and time. So how do you justify the investment to stakeholders who may not be designers themselves and yet can often control a design system’s future? In this talk, Carola Cassaro will share reflections from her experience helping IKEA launch a global design system while outlining how more broadly design teams can develop the case for securing the long term resources needed to nurture and support that system long term.
Carola Cassaro heads Work & Co’s Copenhagen product management team, while also leading the strategy, design, and delivery of digital products for clients in retail, media, travel, and tech industries. Most recently, she partnered with home furnishing leader IKEA to implement a global design system, establish a design operations practice, and accelerate their organizational transformation in the process — shifting the company from a brick-and-mortar mindset to a modern retail destination.