Ekwateur Logo
Freelance in Sep.. 2023 — Jan. 2023
Design System Manager
Project Overview
Ekwateur offers 100% renewable energy offers, from local or European production. They also offer many services to help you reduce your energy bills, all while doing good for the planet! Self-consumption, self-consumption offer, connected thermostat, consumption monitoring and control application to download, help with financing your energy work...
My Contributions
As a Design System Manager, beyond creating components that meet user-centered design needs, I implemented a project tracking method to establish best practices in the contribution model. The goal was to promote collaborative project development with a team of five designers and four developers selected to participate. In this context, I present the model I developed to ensure optimal functionality.
1. Context
By working on the implementation and maintenance of Ekwateur company's Design System, the idea of using the OKR (Objectives Key Results) method has significantly transformed my perspective. Beyond providing success indicators, this approach has proven to be a powerful ally in efficiently advancing this often relegated subject to the status of a 'side project' by companies. Indeed:

-The Design team has identified the benefits of sharing a component library and documentation but lacks sufficient resources.

-The Tech team didn't wait for the arrival of a Design System and created their own library without consistency with the design.

-The Product team is focused on the goal of pushing features to bring business value and deprioritizes this matter.

The observation is clear; everyone acknowledges that the Design System initiative should be undertaken, but at the moment, there's a preference for pushing square wheels rather than taking some time to build a perfectly round one.
Presentation image

Perhaps you would like to explore the design system?

See the Design System
2. Define principes
Before engaging stakeholders, we conducted an audit of the subject to identify challenges and medium-term objectives across four principes:

- Flexibility: Avoid dependency pitfalls.
- Scalability: Facilitate design and development.
- Coherence: Harmonize the experience and best practices.
- Consistency: Address product needs.
Presentation image
3. Define objectives
Here are some examples of objectives and actions that we were able to implement:

- Objective: How to formalize the contribution approach?
Key Result: Reduce the deployment time of a component to X days in the library.
Initiatives: Define the process / Implement rituals / Create a Kanban...

- Objective: How to identify and share various product needs?
Key Result: Increase the percentage of interface elements designed with the Design System to X%.
Initiatives: Create a backlog / Define priorities...

- Objective: How to save design and development time?
Key Result: Reduce the average deployment time for a Feature to X days.
Initiatives: Design components / Develop components...

- Objective: How to quickly onboard new team members?
Key Result: Reduce onboarding time to X days.
Initiatives: Draft clear and shared documentation / Integrate a Design System presentation into the onboarding process...

- Objective: How to optimize the number of components efficiently?
Key Result: Decrease the number of component variables by X.
Initiatives: Identify occurrences / Redefine categorizations / Clean up Figma...
Presentation image
4. Identify Stakeholders
The presentation of these measurable objectives is a crucial moment, and the ideal time could be during a ceremony already organized by the leaders to introduce the project to the entire company and identify individuals interested in the project.

In the absence of support from the leadership team, it is up to you to identify potential candidates in addition to the Design team and to make the presentation on your own.
5. Project Monitoring
Firstly, we ensure that the objectives are not overly ambitious. It's better to do fewer things but do them well to avoid creating the impression that the subject is immense (because it is indeed a vast undertaking), especially since this project adds to the already numerous tasks that everyone must handle in their daily work.

The established objectives serve as a compass and should not be questioned during the design phase. If some objectives are not met, it should not be perceived as a lack of professionalism. Let's not forget that this project is conducted in parallel with everyone's regular tasks. Furthermore, the established rituals should be a moment to reinvigorate the project and ensure progress, always keeping the set objectives in mind as a reference point.

Kanban view
6. Retrospective
This is the moment to step back and reflect on all the work accomplished, answering the question: How do we measure the impact of a Design System? In our case, our recent retrospective was a success; everyone found time to make progress on the initiatives in place:

- Objective 1: How to formalize the contribution approach?
Key Result: We reduced the deployment time for a component from +15 days to 8.9 days.
Measured over the last 2 weeks.

- Objective 2: How to identify and share various product needs?
Key Result: We increased the usage of the Design System in interface elements from approximately 45% to 68.5%.
Measured across 7 products.

- Objective 3: How to quickly onboard new team members?
Key Result: We decreased onboarding time from approximately 5 days to 1 day for becoming operational in interface design.
Measured with 1 new team member.
Design system image

Perhaps you would like to explore the design system?

See the Design System