Like many companies of its size, Autodesk had numerous concurrent design systems within its construction software solutions group. But to better serve the designers and engineers that build Autodesk’s diverse products, it needed to unify everything into one massive design system — to connect everything under one vision and to enable scalability.
This sort of consolidation creates a huge design system, with hundreds of various components intertwined with one another. To get the job done fast with reliable quality, STRV’s agile expertise fit the bill.
Our designers were asked to design countless components (with anywhere from tens to 400 variants) with all constraints and connections, making everything a part of one system. Considering this all had to be done for web, Windows desktop, iOS and Android apps — while preparing the system for multiple platforms — those are incredible numbers.
Working at this scale, the ability to look at the big picture knowing that minuscule changes have a ripple effect was a must. Our designers also needed to bring their own ideas, expanding on what was needed from them and working at scale — which was at times challenging due to the far-reaching context.
The STRV Solution
Our collaboration with Autodesk moved along like a well-oiled machine. As soon as anyone on the client’s team created a proposal in Confluence — along with a specification of what was needed — our designer created the component in Figma according to Autodesk’s guidelines, added it to the library and made it immediately available to the team.
STRV also proactively led the project. We were engaged in conversations leading towards a shared goal for the design system, and our role required checking how different states of specific components should behave and creating all variations— even with specific edge cases that still had to fit the mold and preserve consistency.
Our designers worked with multiple levels of consistency; for instance, the logic of how certain components fit into the layout, or where they should be depending on the context. Each component had to fit into specific usage patterns when it came to the overall product experience.
STRV’s high level of ownership was apparent in our flexibility throughout the project and cemented our long-term partnership. We remained open to adapting our pacing as needed, whether due to pushing for a certain milestone or slowing down so other teams could catch up with implementation.
Today, the design system is well-organized, can be easily managed and is ready to be expanded on as Autodesk adds more products — which is no doubt in the cards for this industry leader.