Honeywell Forge UI Design System

Project Details

Employer: Honeywell, Inc

Date: August, 2019 - Present

Programs: Sketch, Abstract, XD, InVision, Figma, Confluence, Jira, Miro, UserTesting

Role: UX Designer, Product Manager

Skills: User Interviews, C&C Analysis, Wireframing, Hi-Fidelity Interactive Prototyping, Design System Libraries, Documentation, Governance, Version Control, Release Management, Accessibility, Internationalization

Online: Honeywell, Inc owns the copywrites to the Forge UI Design System, which is private. If you would like to talk further about my involvement in this project please contact me.

Forge UI Design System is the official design system used in the majority of the web and native mobile applications within the Honeywell Connected Enterprise (HCE) portfolio. These enterprise-level applications are built for internal Honeywell employees as well as external customers. All of HCE's applications have a global user base and are used in vastly different environments.
As lead UX desinger it is my job to design components and patterns, create documentation, peer review designer's work, hold critique sessions, market the design system internally and teach designers the new system as well as how to use our design, product management and documentation tools such as Figma, Abstract, InVision, Jira, Confluence, and Sketch. As designers began to consume and test the new library, I saw goverennace opportunities and took over as the Product Manager as well.
Components & Patterns

The Problem

Honeywell's legacy design system which was launched in 2018, did not fully meet the new standards and goals HCE had created for their software products. Adoption was adequate, but due to gaps in the design system, designers and engineers were forced to create custom solutions which led to inconsistencies, bugs and ultimately a poor user experience (for both the product teams and end-users).

The raison d'ĂȘtre of the new design system was to address the issues that caused product teams to customize and break-away from the legacy system, including responsiveness, accessibility compliance, and a solid set of aesthetic values that designers and engineers around the globe can easily follow. The goals are tricky to accomplish, as the team attempted our ensure our system was flexible enough to adapt to everchanging needs, scale and mature, while also staying true to our core goals: modern, vibrant, accessible and responsive.

Unlike other smaller design system teams focusing on very specific products or users, the users of our design system are widespread. We identified a range of user groups, such as an employee using Forge UI, external end-users using Forge UI (ranging from blue collar to executive level), internal Honeywell employees using Forge UI (in products ranging from HR tools to Procurement), an internal developer building Forge UI, or an external developer or designer using Forge UI.

The Solution

Responsiveness, Accessibility, and Internationalization are some of the main tenets of the design system, and for good reason. HCE services a broad range of end-users, utilizing their applications in a variety of contexts including, dark factories, executive board rooms, control rooms, airplane cockpits, and bright construction sites. Choices such as color palettes, themes, button size, and iconography all hold enormous weight in these contexts.

For example, a pilot in America, business analyst in the UAE, and a warehouse picker in India have vastly different occupational and cultural color and iconography associations. Color and iconography were minor considerations compared to some of the other choices that had to be made. Each component and pattern in the design system has to account for keyboard power users manipulating sprawling data tables, groups of users navigating panoramic dashboard displays, as well as users with varying motor abilities. This meant that each component and pattern from the toggle to the global navigation required interviews and working sessions with UX teams around the globe to gather requirements, pain points, needs, and suggested solutions. Each design was tested against its most complex and most simple use case during hi-fidelity design.

My Role

As one of the core designers and then later the design lead and product manager on the team, I take on a numerous responsibilities: from research, to design, to training, and governance. My accomplishmenets during my time on the Design System are as follows:

  • Created and contributed to over 60% of the design libraries and documentation: Including foundation (eg. typography, grids, spacing), components (eg. cards, buttons, data table) and complex patterns (eg. navigation, notifications).
  • Lead the migration from Sketch to Figma to improve collaboration, versioning, and contribution model.
  • Lead onboarding and training of new contributing team members and consuming product teams.
  • Productized an extremely complex project by both distinguishing and prioritizing all the users and stakeholders impacted by our system, creating educational programs, and embedding myself in external product teams.
  • Lead all planning, prioritization and governance, including release management, formal communication, managing the Jira backlog, managing the libraries and Confluence documnetation space, and ensuring all deadlines are met
  • Evangelize inclusion and accessibility best practices and co-lead all accessibility testing efforts with my Research partner, by creating hi-fidelity prototypes and testing guides to be tested with users that have disbailities.

  • Contact

    Call Me
    +1 (678) 626-7896

    Atlanta, Georgia USA

    All the fields are required