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Laura Van Doore
 Building compelling business cases for 
 Design Systems

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Design Systems 
 are here to stay @lauravandoore

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70% According to the UXPin Enterprise UX Industry Report of companies have a Design System Source: UXPin Enterprise UX Industry Report 2017 to 2018

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How accurate is this for the audience here today?

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We’re convinced @lauravandoore

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But this guy isn’t @lauravandoore

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• Growing design teams
 Organisations are investing more in design. • Infinitely more complex design problems
 Software needs to become more sophisticated to keep up with the demands & desires of our users. • Distributed teams
 Agile delivery models encouraging cross functional teams, making it harder for teams to stay in sync Why do product teams want design systems? @lauravandoore

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Maintaining design & tech debt is starting to feel like this: But most of all …

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This all makes perfect sense, the benefits speak for themselves. 
 This is a no-brainer. — ME, 4 YEARS AGO “

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This was going to be me:

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So how can we design our business case to best communicate the clear and tangible benefits of having a design system?

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UXing your business case @lauravandoore THE IMPORTANCE OF

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@lauravandoore Know your enemy Audience

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Know your audience @lauravandoore • Emphasise benefits that appeal to your audience, not to you
 Resist the urge to only focus on the team benefits, and focus on measurable business benefits instead. • Write in the parlance of your audience
 Avoid jargon and use the language of business to craft your business case.

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Don’t go to war alone @lauravandoore

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Don’t go to war alone @lauravandoore • Get internal buy-in before external
 There’s no point in trying to convince upper management that you need a design system if you haven’t successfully convinced your team yet. • Form a united, cogent case together
 Get designers, developers, BAs, product managers together and get every teams perspective. You’ll find more and more benefits this way.

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@lauravandoore Timing is everything

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Timing is everything @lauravandoore • Recognise your position in the funding cycle
 Is the business investing to scale up? Or is upper management doubling down on cost reductions? Try to avoid asking for a large investment when the business is scaling down. • Present the cure when the pain hurts the worst
 If a design system has been a hard sell, focus on waiting for an opportunity where the benefits can really shine.

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Getting the timing wrong can make the rest of your case fall over @lauravandoore

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@lauravandoore Knowing your audience is half the battle 1 Don’t go to war alone, rally the troops Time your business case for high impact 2 3

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Translating team benefits to tangible business outcomes. @lauravandoore THE CHALLENGE

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• Consistency — A consistent experience across products & devices • Efficiency — Efficient workflow & communication across teams • Maintainability — Easier to test and maintain code • Accessibility — Baked in accessibility, to create more inclusive products • Scalability — Less of a headache to build upon through the future What are the benefits of design systems? @lauravandoore

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What does it look like if we re-interpret or translate these benefits into a format that provide business outcomes?

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Efficient workflow Team Benefit:

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Business Benefit: 28% Faster to market

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34% Less maintenance cost More maintainable Team Benefit: Business Benefit:

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18% Less support requests Consistent Interface Team Benefit: Business Benefit:

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12% Potential userbase increase Accessibility Team Benefit: Business Benefit:

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A stable foundation that will support the next 5 years of feature growth Scalability Team Benefit: Business Benefit:

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A great business case @lauravandoore THE ANATOMY OF

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@lauravandoore Buckle up

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What are we solving? Problem Statement 1

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A good problem statement… @lauravandoore • Identifies the core problem • Outlines who’s impacted by the problem • Describes how this negatively impacts business goals 1 Problem Statement

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Problem selection @lauravandoore • Your product team is likely to be impacted by multiple problems • Instead of selecting one of your ‘own problems’, UX your business case by choosing a key business problem. 1 Problem Statement

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What are we gaining from the proposed initiative? Benefits & ROI 2

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A design system increases ROI largely because it reduces cost rather than directly increasing revenue — BRAD FROST “ 2 Benefits & ROI

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Benefits & ROI @lauravandoore • Financials come first
 Upper management will usually look for financial benefits first, and then focus on peripheral benefits, like employee satisfaction. • Emphasise business outcomes, over team benefits
 Remember to frame your business case around tangible business outcomes, rather than ambiguous benefits. 2 Benefits & ROI

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Cost & Resources 3

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Presenting Cost @lauravandoore • Demonstrate that you clearly understand the cost
 It’s much easier to persuade the naysayers if you can calculate & clearly articulate the project costs. • Present multiple cost scenarios
 Give your case a better chance by presenting different cost/resourcing options to balance the project funding & risk. 3 Costs & Resources

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Risks 4

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Risks of going ahead @lauravandoore • Be realistic, rather than utopian
 Try to be open and honest about the potential risks. Otherwise your business case will seem too biased and lose credibility. • Outline the risks of failure
 What’s the worst case scenario? 4 Risks

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Risks of falling behind @lauravandoore • There is risk in doing nothing • Bigger product team = Increased need for design system
 As a product team grows larger, there’s more need for standardised ways of working. The more people you have, the less efficient workflows will be. 4 Risks

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Make sure the reward outweighs the risk. @lauravandoore 4 Risks

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Implementation Plan 5

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Delivery @lauravandoore • Present a solid roadmap
 Show a clear, deliverable scope, as well as your plans to grow & extend the design system over time. • Pinpoint where you’ll see a return
 Clearly indicate in your delivery plan when and how you’ll start to reap the benefits of the design system (hint: the sooner the better) 5 Implementation Plan

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@lauravandoore Problem Statement 1 Benefits & Estimated ROI Cost & Resources Risks 2 3 4 Implementation Plan 5

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3 ROLLOUT STRATEGIES To manage cost & risk @lauravandoore

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Chip Away #1 @lauravandoore

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Chip Away The design system is something that is only worked on in spare time, or when designers/engineers are between projects. @lauravandoore #1 Cost Risk Speed Quality

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Hibernation #2 @lauravandoore

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Hibernation Getting a core team of designers & engineers working on the Design System full-time. Possibly allows the time for designers/engineers to come up with the best implementation. @lauravandoore #2 Cost Risk Speed Quality

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Piggyback #3 @lauravandoore

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Piggyback Plan to get the bulk of the Design System implemented as a part of another project. Balances out the cost better, as you see the returns immediately. @lauravandoore #2 Cost Risk Speed Quality

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Chip Away 1 Hibernation Piggyback 2 3 @lauravandoore Rollout strategies

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No content

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Problem Statement Cost Estimation Benefits & ROI Implementation Planning Risk 
 Assessment 5 4 3 1 2

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Thanks Laura Van Doore @lauravandoore