Defensie Rijkshuisstijl (DRH) is going to be the most inclusief Design System for the entire Ministry of Defense!
Almost two years ago when I started working as a Lead UX Designer at the Ministry of Defense (JIVC), I quickly started lobbying for a unified Design System
to bring all the teams and later on entire departement together. Soon the first version (DRH 1.0) was born. At this point we are wokring on v2.0.
Why a design system
The most important benefits of a Design System is the fact that it will help organizations unify in the way of thinking, working and consistancy. Next to that
makes helps UX focus more on the user's needs and interaction instead of working continuesly on making prototypes look pretty and pixel perfect. Same goes for
development, instead of re-creating the same structure, buttons, etc, it will be more focussing on thee business-rules and compiling "lego-blocks".
Focus on the more important aspecs/processes
Unification of Design and Development
Hour team consists of a virtual team; 1 UX Designer (me) and 2 Developers. We have our own Kanban-backlog where we evaluate upcoming projects and roadmaps to determin which
elements/components/structures need the most attention.
The Design System consists of Rijkshuisstijl (Central Government Branding/identity) + Material Design + Mobile first (not mobile only). This combination gave
us the correct styling and yet the flexibility of responsive design and interaction.
For creating structured components we used the Athomic Design Method. This way the components start small (atoms) and get combined to create larger components and so on. Designing and
Developing these components will be much easier (change a color in one place, have it imported everywhere).
Tools I used for the Design System are simple and limited.
Sketch; for designing the components and the libraries
Zeplin; for Hand-off, version control and Descriptions
Currently we are at DRH v2.0, which is working pretty great if I may say so myself. Although it is not inclusive enough. There is a new version being worked on parallel to the current components
To get the maturity level of the components and the design system to a higher level. This version (DRH 3.0) will be all about accessibility and interaction.
Intrigued: Would you like to know what happened next, how well did version 3.0 (and the Dark-mode) did in accessibility-testing and how three-people team created an entire Design System for the Dutch Military? Let's have a coffee ☕