Base Design System

An exploration of the material of our products and method to scale.
Perfect Timing and Urgent Need
In the middle of 2016, Base was at the place where we just introduced the concept of Apollo, a sales science platform designed to deliver prescriptive insights. We were also about to embark on a journey of revamping the core experience of Base, which would help us better support various use cases of different types of customers.
However, we didn’t have a shared and integrated framework to help us move forward effectively with the growing products and teams. At the time, on the engineering side, we just decided to go with another new frontend framework and building our products with all-new components was in the plan.
It was the perfect time for us to rethink and define the material and process of making our products, and build the foundation for future evolution.
My role
Leading and Learning with the Team
This is still an ongoing project. I have been leading the design of building Base Design System from the ground up since September 2016.
Problem Framing & Vision
I defined specific problems and shared the vision, which helped to facilitate alignment and drive decision making.
Planning & Scope Definition
I set the timeline and milestones based on our current product roadmap with our product, design, and engineering teams.
Coordination & Pattern Generalization
I collaborated with four product designers and our PM & frontend partners to enrich our design system with more generalized patterns.
Design Execution & Evangelization
I executed the UIKit with documentation, and presented works to gain buy-in from executives and stakeholders of many other teams throughout the whole process.
A Foundation of Evolution
Our design system is not perfect yet. We as a team are constantly thinking, challenging, and enriching the system, from both aesthetic and structural perspectives, for both design and engineering efforts.
What we’ve seen so far is the design system not only enables us to provide a more unified experience across our products, but more importantly, it also helps to bring more creative freedom to our teams when everybody has a shared “language”. 
Our products are the best stories we would tell.
Design Documentation and Process Coordination
Currently we are working hard on documenting our design system, and facilitating collaboration across multiple teams (product, design, engineering, marketing, sales, customer success, etc.) We believe communication is the key.