Skip to Content

Design Systems, Agile, and Industrialization

Design systems are reflections of organizational processes, making them either tools for

There’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween hav­ing smart, reusable pat­terns at your dis­posal and cre­at­ing a dic­ta­to­r­ial cul­ture de­signed to en­force con­for­mity and swat down any­one col­or­ing out­side the lines.

Frost is re­spond­ing to the con­cert that de­sign sys­tems can en­force a Taylorist de­hu­man­iza­tion of our work, but that they only do this as a re­flec­tion of ex­ist­ing or­ga­ni­za­tional prin­ci­ples.

Working with other lead­ers in the de­sign sys­tems world, Frost sug­gests that de­sign sys­tems should be bor­ing — that is they should pri­mar­ily fo­cus on the parts of the process that are foun­da­tional and al­low of the team to do spend time on the in­ter­est­ing prob­lems.

Not hav­ing to rein­vent things from scratch every time you need some­thing is gen­er­ally a good idea.

The work that we do un­der the sys­tem of Agile’ is part of the or­ga­ni­za­tion struc­ture that pushes for Taylorized de­hu­man­iza­tion of web de­vel­op­ment. Our sys­tems that we build have the abil­ity to ei­ther sup­port in­di­vid­ual ex­pres­sion and hu­man­ity, or to sup­press it. The dif­fer­ence be­tween these out­comes is the broader sys­tem un­der­ly­ing our ap­proaches to work.