Adam McClean and Dan Mall had a fantastic chat with Jared Spool about the work we did to help transform About.com into the new Dotdash. We took their monolithic brand and exploded it into a suite of topic-specific brands, with a design system to efficiently manage it all.
They talk about a whole host of topics around the work we did with them. Some of the main things I enjoyed hearing about:
- The importance of getting into the browser, and empowering frontend developers to be a key part of the design process
- How a collaborative, cross-disciplinary process is intrinsically messy, which can be challenging for project managers, even ones used to an agile workflow
- How their pattern library was born of their production code, so the two always remain in sync
- How a design system allowed them roll out high-quality new work faster than ever. People always ask me to prove tangible benefits of atomic design and design systems, so I especially loved this bit:
Without this new working methodology, without the actual architecture that we helped to develop to make things, components and auto-generate pattern library and support this new design system, it’s not just the design system and methodology. It’s actually baked into our architecture and code now. Having all of that work allows us to launch some new verticals in weeks. We just launched liveabout.com which is our fashion/style vertical, in three weeks start to finish.