Open collaborative design system

I’ve started this week with a mission: stop procrastination. What would happen if I do the things that I have to do first instead of the more pleasurable ones?

To be honest I don’t know. Monday is blog day and Monday went by without a post. Short story short: I am good at procrastinating.

But Monday didn’t went idle, I’ve finish preparing the presentation for ISA2015. It’s about Red Hats design system: PatternFly.

PatternFly is a community of designers and developers collaborating to build a UI framework for enterprise web applications.

PatternFly shines at enterprise web applications

Luke Wroblewski wrote

All content-heavy interfaces need to strike an appropriate balance between visual simplicity and information density (content, as usual, is defined as the information and activities that constitute an interactive system). Visual simplicity keeps things clear and focused. Information density provides lots of choices to match lots of different user needs and behavioral patterns.

And PatternFly is crafted to achieve that balance. If you are looking to build an enterprise web applications look no further. If your app doesn’t display lots of information there are other great open source design systems like GitHub Primer, FireFox Sandstone, Zurb Foundation and Bootstrap.

What makes them successful?

Three principles to build an open design system.

Mdo mention three pillars to create an open and collaborative design system:

1. Open source

Open source mentality leads to innovation and yields surprising results. I’ve already ramble about design at open source communities. I am aware that not every company can open their projects, but in order to have a successful design system , it must work as an open source community would. Every member of the team should be envolved in building, maintaining and making it grow.

2. Documentation

Documentation is key. A good design system should be document driven. The knowledge should be in the project and not in the members heads.

3. Think about Components

Design a system of reusable components, not just pages. Every page should the sum of its parts.

Taste it

Open collaborative design systems and open :smile:. Working on this environment is as easy as becoming part of the open source community.

Here is a tip: the smaller the community is, the more open they’ll be to new comers, but it doesn’t matter the size, they are all full of very nice people that will help you walk your first steps.

Go and have a try.