Tata Consultancy Services and Adobe collaborate on a bespoke design system service

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Today, brands are creating a greater variety of content than ever before. In order to reach customers across digital channels, many brands need to develop content for websites, social media, blogs, mobile apps, digital advertising, and email newsletters. They may also need to create presentations, flyers, digital displays, and user guides.

Design systems have become the best way for forward-thinking brands to produce a variety of digital products and services quickly and efficiently. They improve consistency by providing all designers with the same reusable elements to create any type of content. They boost design speed by eliminating duplicate efforts and taking the guesswork out of design. And they improve collaboration between teams because all designers work from the same foundational design elements.

Create+ Governance graph.

“A design system serves as a source of truth for a brand, and just as importantly, it summarizes the brand’s design principles,” says Simon Williams, vice president, Digital Media Strategic Development, Enterprise Offerings at Adobe. “Every designer working with the brand should be able to view the design system and understand the brand’s vision from a design standpoint. This understanding drives a more consistent look and experience across any type of content.”

However, the implementation of a design system can be daunting and filled with challenges, especially for larger organizations. A system must be shared with everyone to be effective. While consistency is a goal, global organizations often need some level of flexibility to account for cultural differences. To help companies adopt an effective design systems workflow, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) teamed up with Adobe to offer a new design systems service to enterprise customers.

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Creating a new design systems platform with Adobe XD

TCS has seen the benefits of design systems firsthand for its own projects. When designing the 2021 app for a popular marathon, TCS transformed its internal workflow by using a design system alongside Adobe XD for fast designs and effective prototypes. The design system shared commonly used creative elements and templates with all designers. Designers no longer had to start from scratch for each design, boosting productivity while increasing creativity, as designers had more time to experiment and create new variations.

Having seen the value that working with a design system brought to its own workflows, TCS wanted to bring those benefits to clients. Design systems could be particularly beneficial to global enterprises, as they can improve user experiences at scale by enabling consistency across digital properties around the world.

TCS teamed up with Adobe to create a new Design System as a Service for clients called create+. Built with Adobe XD, create+ collects content, design, and development components that can be reused for consistent, purpose-driven experiences. Clients working with create+ can build their own unique design systems in a collaborative environment, resulting in an inclusive design system that takes into account local and cultural needs.

create+ strikes the right balance between standardization and personalization with a living design system meant to evolve and grow as the brand changes. As the platform taps into the Adobe ecosystem, the workflow will feel familiar to many users, leading to a faster learning curve and higher adoption across designers.

Crafting top-notch digital experiences

TCS recently used create+ to develop the design system for the 2022 version of its marathon app. The design system included templates with commonly used creative components, including fonts, colors, layouts, icons, and images created for the app. This year, TCS focused on creating a design system built around usability, with a particular focus on inclusive design and accessibility. For instance, TCS evaluated elements using color blindness and content contrast testing, making sure that each element would be seamlessly accessible for users with color vision deficiencies. Working with the design system, TCS reduced the time needed to create the app from five days to just five hours.

"create+ fosters innovation and creativity by helping businesses deliver human-centered design experiences for holistic growth. Moreover, its inclusive design offers accessibility to all kinds of users,” says Natarajan Baskaran, head of the TCS Interactive-Adobe Business Unit. “Through create+, TCS and Adobe can build purpose-driven design systems that can help enterprises drive brand experiences, time to market, and business outcomes, ensuring that the digital experience is inclusive and scalable."