How we get the work done, the system of systems.
If you haven’t already noticed we’re pretty big on systems here, huge fans. Every day we seem to be contributing to an infinite snowball of tools, tricks, processes and platforms that we’re continuously iterating and building from, this is especially true when it comes to our internal processes, #alwaysbeta baby. All in the pursuit of big-time efficiencies and enacting our Maximising Room For Magic™ protocol more often.
The latest snowball rolling along our Möbius strip is our phases of work, which are now reflected in Figma where we’re spending our whole lives.
If you want to see The System™ in action you can read about and play with The Files™ here:
It should be noted straight off the bat that this entire guide should be seen as a platform, not a uniform. It’s something to make things easier for everyone. It should help you achieve consistency, not encourage conformity. It should free you up from having to think about some of the details, rather than from thinking at all.
Our phases of work are pretty standard practice —we move from Client Service to Strategy, Creative, Design, and finally Development— though we’ve spent a fair amount of time and energy templating these so that we can automate away all the boring shit.
Our system’s foundations are in Atomic design principles, but it’s grown to be a much larger thing that encompasses more than the design and build of a site. Our team of strategists, producers, client services, and developers all have their own zones and templates to work from in each phase. Working like this doesn’t just save us a whole bunch of time, it fosters collaboration and empathy, giving everyone an idea of what it means to ‘just do your job’, as it’s pretty easy to go and check out what someone else is doing in Figma.
It’s also built for improvement, as we work through each project and learn new things, our system allows us to codify this new knowledge and apply it to similar challenges, like last week when we found yet another ‘better way’ for cart upsells to work #alwaysbeta. This saves hours, keeps us learning and most importantly, brings the body of knowledge of the whole team up.
We’ve also purpose-built a system for project management (did someone say overachieve?). It’s designed to be replicated, adaptable and efficient so that we can work quickly across all of our clients and know exactly what’s going on - we’ve been doing this in Coda, but maybe Brooke can tell you about that one day.
So far we’ve never had the need to create something as enormous as Google Materials or Microsoft Fluent (we’d love to if any out there needs one? 😃).
What does your system look like? How do you get tings did? Get in the comments and let us know for a special prize!