Measure the impact
Set clear KPIs to determine the efficacy and adoption of the design system within the organization. Use metrics to establish a baseline of how applications are maintained so that future adoption impact can be measured. Understanding the impact on the KPIs of each application is as important as understanding the impact of the design system itself.
|Team efficiencies||Measure the impact on time to market, especially for new products that build off of the design system.||High functioning design systems save time. Product teams no longer need to consider font or color. Assembling mockups and building out code interfaces for development takes less time and resources. Developers then focus more on building and achieving a greater scope of work.|
|Speed to market||Measure the number of prototypes, the results, and how both influence the road map.||Creating and testing high fidelity prototypes becomes easier to manage and takes less time. Sharing and attaining consensus around a proof of concept to move forward speeds up. As a result, teams test multiple options before moving into development.|
|Effect on code||Measure the lines of code changed in the front-end per release, before and after the design system is launched.||The number of lines changed around the UI for each application should decrease as the design system is developed and adopted. Monitor changes to UI code over time, across releases. Set a baseline to measure against past releases and evaluate the shift in focus for product development teams (e.g., a productivity boost by allowing additional effort on feature development).|
Delivering on the value of the design system is an incremental effort and should be showcased throughout development. Don’t hide the design system effort behind a curtain and expect a big reveal to wow everyone. Since design systems are to be treated as products, they should follow the same best practices. Measuring the impact over time is easier when it is an ongoing conversation.