In a design system, all the elements of a design language can come together: interaction and visual guidelines, accessibility, brand, code, and content. That last element—content—is often absent from design systems. In this presentation, we talk about why content should be integrated into our design systems and how we go about doing it.
Customers usually come to our digital experiences to view or manage content, and yet design teams too often add content design and strategy as an afterthought. By placing content alongside the other design disciplines in a design system, we take a big step toward providing better customer experiences, we elevate the practice of content design, and we prepare our organizations for content innovations such as personalization and conversational user interfaces.
Drawing on content strategy practices like information architecture, content-first design, and governance, content professionals can help us enhance, test, and scale our design standards and how we communicate about them.
In addition to helping create robust components and patterns in the first place, content designers can make a number of other contributions to design systems:
• Editorial style
• Voice and tone
• Representative content for components
• Content patterns
• Brand guidelines
• Enhanced design documentation
About the speakers
Michael Haggerty-Villa is a senior staff content designer at Compass, where he leads content design and content strategy for the Compass Design System. He has managed the Intuit QuickBooks Design System and led a team of content designers to create the Intuit content design style guide, a publicly available site for content standards and community. He has worked on design systems for enterprises such as Disney and eBay. And he recently relocated with his family (including all three cats) to the Washington, D.C. area.