Sparkbox has been working with its clients to create design systems for almost a decade. We often say that design systems exist at the convergence of our work and our values. And it’s this convergence that has driven us to dig deeper with our research and push further with our client work.
Experience has shown us that even a mature design system is in a constant state of evolution as technology advances, teams change, and the needs of the organization shift over time. Our conversations about design systems with clients and friends are as different as night and day, depending on where folks are in the creation and development process. Simple questions (What should I measure? How should I get other folks involved? Where do I go from here?) often prompt completely different answers.
You may have already read about the Design System Maturity Model on the Foundry. This is a way to categorize systems into stages of maturity. We’ve based the model on years of personal engagement with design systems on behalf of our clients, our learnings from the annual Design Systems Survey, and many dozens of interviews with organizations who’ve generously shared their experiences and expertise to help deepen our perspective. We can’t put every system neatly into a box, but we can use commonalities to draw conclusions about priorities, challenges, and recommended next steps.
Using the Maturity Model as an organizational rubric has been an incredibly helpful tool as we continue to explore and advise on design systems. I bet you can guess everyone’s first question after they digest the model: “Where do I fit in?” Once we answer that question, we gain clarity about where to put time and energy in order to continue maturing the system.
That’s why we’ve gathered everything we know about design systems to create (drum roll please…) the Maturity Model Assessment. It’s simple: answer a few questions to generate a report that outlines your stage of maturity, your origin story, your priorities and challenges, and the steps you can take to move forward. We’re very happy to share all this information with you.
Interested? You could be reading your report five minutes from now.