Enterprise Design System

Creating the Enterprise Design System was a transformative project that required a deep understanding of user needs, collaboration across disciplines, and a commitment to excellence in design. This project not only streamlined our design processes but also laid the foundation for a more cohesive and user-friendly ever expanding digital ecosystem.


Next Era Energy


Design System



A quick snip of the enterprise design system components

The Challenges

Challenge 1: As our user experience team and projects grew, the time to delivery was not getting faster. For each new project or design phase the team was creating from scratch or spending excess time searching for components in existing projects. This resulted in setting up a new components library each time. We were designing the same components over and over again with the style changing each time to suit functionality.

Challenge 2: Collaboration efforts were strained as new development teams wanted to build fast but had to wait for design systems. There were also cases in which a product was deployed without utilizing the user experience team. This resulted in products that did not align with brand or accessibility standards.

The Process

Beginning with a deep dive into research and discovery, where we conducted extensive stakeholder interviews and audited existing designs to uncover inconsistencies and pain points. Understanding the true needs of our users through comprehensive research, we defined clear objectives and scope for the design system, setting the stage for a unified vision.

With a dedicated core team of designers, developers, and key stakeholders, we established foundational design principles that would guide our efforts. We meticulously crafted a comprehensive component library, designing and building each element to be visually consistent, reusable, and accessible. Alongside this, we developed detailed design guidelines for typography, color, spacing, and interaction patterns to ensure every product aligned with our brand and user expectations.

Creating thorough documentation and choosing the right tools were pivotal in maintaining and distributing the design system. We conducted usability testing to validate our components, gathering feedback and iterating to perfect our designs. Implementing the design system in pilot projects allowed us to refine further before rolling it out organization-wide.

To ensure successful adoption, we provided extensive training and onboarding sessions, supported by ongoing resources and assistance. Establishing a governance model ensured our EDS remained dynamic and up-to-date, continuously evolving based on feedback and new design trends.

1. Defined the project goals and requirements

  • Project Charter
  • Defined stakeholders and key players
  • Understood needs and core principles
    • Consistency
    • Usability
    • Accessibility
    • Scalability
    • Efficiency
  • Mapped out timeline for delivery (agile, working in 2 week sprints)

2. Style Guide

A style guide ensures consistency, efficiency, and quality control across all products in an enterprise design system, providing a cohesive user experience and reinforcing brand identity. It also enhances collaboration, scalability, and simplifies onboarding by offering a common reference point for designers and developers.

  • Color Palette
  • Typography
  • Grids and Spacing
  • Imagery Guidelines
  • Accessibility Guidelines
  • Iconography

3. Component Library

The component library build provided reusable, pre-designed elements that streamlined the design and development process. This effort gave us a great start to ensuring consistency and efficiency across all projects (current and future). It enhanced scalability, facilitated better collaboration, and accelerated the creation of high-quality, cohesive user interfaces.

  • Basic Components (buttons, inputs, forms, etc...)
  • Complex Components 1 (modals, navigation, tables, lists, cards, states and variations, responsive changes)
  • Complex Components 2 (carousels, accordions, cards, feedback notifications for alerts, notifications, and toasts)
  • Interaction and Motion (animations, mircro-interactions and guidelines)

4. Patterns and Templates

After understanding the components we needed to revise and add to our library, we broke them into categories to divide and conquer.

  • Dashboards
  • Forms
  • Landing pages
  • Data visualization

5. Documentation

Documentation was included on the same page as the component to ensure users had an explanation and guidance behind the use cases that were created.

  • Clear explanations on element uses, do's and don'ts for context and clarification
  • Picture/diagram examples to add clarity
  • Rules of when to use the component and how to use the component


Previously, collaboration efforts were strained as new development teams faced delays waiting for design resources. Some products were launched without input from the user experience team, leading to inconsistencies with brand and accessibility standards. The EDS addressed these challenges by providing ready-to-use components and clear guidelines, allowing teams to build quickly without compromising on quality or consistency.

  • In-page annotations (how we document and layout each component within the library)
  • Branding (colors, typography, Logos (responsive - desktop to mobile))
  • Spacing, Alignment and Layout grids
  • Icons
  • Out of the box product considerations for human centered design (important to our enterprise as items like salesforce and service now heavily utilized)
  • Note: Style guides are incorporated into the component library to provide relevant guidance and context

In summary, the Enterprise Design System project was a strategic investment that delivered substantial benefits, from improving user experience and operational efficiency to fostering collaboration and ensuring scalability. It was a cornerstone for building robust, scalable, consistent, and user-friendly digital products that aligned with the organization's goals and vision and will continue to do so.