Creating a design system for a renewable materials company
Stora Enso is a global manufacturer of pulp, paper and other forest products and a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper.
Stora Enso has worked with Nordcloud for several years on a range of cloud-related initiatives. In this project, their Digitalisation & New Services team needed to scale up activities and streamline how they designed and developed user interfaces as growth of digital services accelerated. They wanted to provide a consistent user experience for end users such as mill operators, financial analysts, e-commerce customers and customer support system users – with instantly recognisable brand familiarity across the services.
In addition, Stora Enso wanted to standardise its front-end stack and build a smooth DesignOps process so as to increase development efficiency and flexibility in adapting to new interactions and design.
Creating a design system
The solution to the challenge was SEEDS, the Stora Enso Design System – a comprehensive design system including a single common library of user interface components.
Cagri Akgul, Design Lead at Stora Enso, said, “After meeting vendors, we chose to work with Nordcloud Design Studio since they had put extra effort into specialising in design systems. It was the right choice, and after a year we already had 10+ applications using our design system.”
Our engagement began with a workshop that had one objective: to map out all the products inside Stora Enso, their user interfaces and the components they used to display information. We also studied Stora Enso’s brand guidelines, as they would form the baseline for the visual identity. Based on this understanding, we prepared a foundation and guidelines for the months of work to come.
We structured the project in phases:
- Month 1: Research workshop
- Months 2-4: Building the Stora Enso Design System (SEEDS)
- Month 5: Internal soft launch
- Month 6-10: Procedures and feedback
- Month 11: Publication of SEEDS
The key to success in a design system project is close collaboration with the customer teams that will be using the system. We met with both developers and designers working on various projects inside Stora Enso to understand their issues and needs. Together, we mapped out the whole process of developing an idea into a production-ready component. This allowed us to pinpoint process inefficiencies and choose the right set of practices and tools. With this approach, the design system team was able to work quickly while keeping customer teams informed of changes and improvements.
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