Operational Workflow Platform
and Living Design System
How can we ensure a cohesive experience across an expansive platform of operational and analytics solutions?
One of the important, but often overlooked, challenges facing organizations and their customers today is a disparate portfolio of products that is inconsistent in layout, meaning, interaction, and approach to common tasks. To address this, many companies jump into creating a platform and design system, which brings its own set of challenges and may not solve their users’ or business needs.
TeleTracking faced similar issues. When I starting working at the company, their products had numerous inconsistencies in function, layout, interaction, and meaning. Colors and icons, for example, meant different things depending on the application and where they were located within that application. In addition, customers were working with individual products instead of engaging with the company as a whole. For example, "I work with [product name]." instead of “I work with TeleTracking."
To address these issues, I launched a platform experience initiative with the goal of unifying all products into one cohesive, role-based platform. To get a clear picture of the existing state of each product, my team and I conducted extensive user/stakeholder research and documented a full design inventory.
Based on the findings, we created reusable patterns for the redesign including standardized language, colors, and iconography. I directed my team to create a common navigation structure that was configurable to the individual client and the products/features they were using at that time. When each new product launched or major iteration was released, we applied the new platform experience.
As we continued to evolve and expand the platform, we created a living design system to support it. This system formalized the platform experience through design principles, guidelines, reusable components, and an integrated workflow spanning the software development process from the original design source files to final production code.