Measuring Design System Impact ✈︎

Wow! I believe I'm the first designer to contribute to the Hipmunk engineering blog. Hi, I'm Ryan. I'm a Senior Product Designer here at Hipmunk who occasioanlly pushes some code. For the past couple of months, I've been working on building out Hipmunk's Design System, Acorn. During these months, numerous audits have been conducted, research and development sessions, and collaboration with the development team to contribute and improve our codebase.

The initial process of advocating for a Design System wasn't a huge challenge; however, we are getting to the point of needing to define how we measure the impact. When I joined Hipmunk last year, I inherited the remnants of the beginnings of a UI library. The previous designers did some fantastic work building out a UI library that future designers could use and build on; however, it didn't extend beyond Sketch.

After understanding some of the challenges the design and development teams were having, I made it my personal mission to lead the development of our Design System in hopes to start unifying our code, creating a shared language and ultimately providing a better experience for our customers.

The first couple of months soon after I joined, I kicked off an initial audit of our code and current UI library. This led to understanding the areas where we could improve our product, communication, and design. We have now built out the colors and typography of our Design System and are now starting to think about how we can measure our impact.

Here are some of the ways we are starting to measure: - Objective Measurement. Do we have a UI library? Do we have variables defined in our codebase? Etc. - Subjective Measurement. Does the Design System help you work more efficiently? How often are you using the Design System? - Adoption/Coverage. Measuring how often the shared styles, components, etc. are used in the Designs and Code. - Code Impact. Measuring how many lines of code was added/removed to the codebase.

It's the start of a very long journey, but an essential one. If you'd like to dig deeper into the ways a Design System can impact the user, the business, and the teams, you can read the full article here: How to: measure a Design System's impact.