Skip to main content

Invisible success, by Eric Bailey

Visit external resource

Here’s Eric Bailey with some very relatable thoughts on the need to tell design system stories even though it’s difficult.

The component works. And because it works, nobody pays attention to it.

This is the promise of a design system made manifest: Consistent, quality experiences for complicated interactions, distributed at scale with minimal fuss.

This is objectively great. The problem, however, is how we talk, or fail to talk about this type of success.

A lack of bug reports, accessibility issues, design tweaks, etc. are all objectively great, but there are no easy datapoints you can measure here. By this, I mean it is difficult to quantify a void.

Eric advices crafting stories about the important aspects of design system work that are not directly about components:

  • Identifying and collecting various ways to weave compelling narratives about the invisible, successful work you’ve done, and then
  • Putting those stories in front of the people who need to know them.

At work we are currently working on that very thing as part of a communication strategy.

Sidenote: Eric frames all this in the context of a Data table component he recently worked on for GitHub. It looks good! This is also highly relatable, because I built one of these a few years back, too, and know how much work is involved.

External Link Bookmark Note Entry Search