Gardening and Design Systems

Jumping on Jeremy Keith’s Architects, gardeners, and design systems, which itself is a response to Frank Chimero’s Gardening vs. Architecture post, Dave Rupert opines on the maintenance aspect of design systems, but laments how design systems could have unforeseen consequences:

We’ve industrialized design and are relegated to squeezing efficiencies out of it through our design systems. All CSS changes must now have a business value and user story ticket attached to it. We operate more like Taylor and his stopwatch and Gantt and his charts, maximizing effort and impact rather than focusing on the human aspects of product development.

But he does offer a solution to negating this feeling:

Ultimately, your satisfaction with a design system or “design systems” as a concept in general probably depends on whether you contribute to the hyperobject or are beholden to it. It’s unfortunate that in a system where all design compositions and all lines of code must maximize shareholder value, we never learn to play and how to break the rules in order to produce something new and exciting.