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Design-ish systems (by Ethan Marcotte)

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Here’s an interesting new article from Ethan Marcotte, in which he muses on better ways to think about Design Systems based on his recent experience.

Once you’ve identified the root causes, you’ll be in a far, far better place to choose the right things — and, more importantly, to create a system that finally supports your design.

Here’s what I took from it:

We can consider the difference between things, issues and broader goals.

It’s easy to focus on the things (design tokens, choice of design tool, programming language).

But things are just elements of the system; they don’t solve design systems.

Focusing too much or too early on the things leads to a tendency to patch problems.

Whereas discussing the current wider organisational issues we need to address leads to defining broader goals.

This in turn helps us choose and focus on the right things for the right reasons.

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