Developing your design system documentation
There are numerous ways to enrich your design system with documentation. When deciding on what to document, you can think about many things that apply directly to your company’s organization, processes, and needs. Here are some things we recommend considering:
- Audience. Who does your design system serve? Your core team—designers and engineers—create and use your system and are likely your primary audience. What about your secondary audience? This could product managers, an accessibility or quality assurance team, or other research and content teams. Consider them when you speak to your audience consuming your design system.
- Adoption. How do you want your team to adopt your system and what workflow do you have or can put to place to better enable them? Here’s where you consider how to introduce your design system and how to create easily digestible yet informative brand and voice guidelines as well as component-level instructions, like good and bad comparisons or when and how usage, to follow.
- Structure. Begin thinking about your documentation as a whole and not separate parts. By having a consistent layout with the same information, everyone knows where to go to find what they want. This helps drive adoption and simply promotes a good user experience.
- Maintenance. You also want to consider reducing fiction for use. Being clear on how changes are received and made and who makes them adds visibility and encourages participation.
When developing your documentation, get people excited.
Making compelling introductions or examples not only to serve your audience better but also helps make working with your design system an enjoyable experience.