The ever-growing complexity of web and mobile products has overtaken our product development processes. What used to work in the early days of the web has started to produce diminishing returns, and to get a hold of the chaos of digital creation, companies have started to invest in design systems.
Creating a design system or a pattern library (opens in new tab) is no easy feat. It’s a long (if not infinite) process that requires a lot of decisions. Some of these decisions are about the structure and technology. All are complex and have a huge impact on the future of design and development in our organisations.
That’s why, while working on a design system, we tend to constantly check how others have solved particular problems. Diving into GitHub repositories and documentation, while extremely valuable, takes a lot of time and effort. Both could be channeled towards the actual creation of new components in the system.
As a result of this, UXPin has launched Adele (opens in new tab) – an open source repository of publicly available design systems and pattern libraries, including examples from the likes of Dropbox, Mozilla Firefox, GOV.UK, Lonely Planet and Buzzfeed. It was named after XEROX PARC programmer Adele Goldberg (opens in new tab).
Compare and contrast
You can get a list of systems that use a particular technology, data structure or have part of the system that you’re interested in. Whether you’re looking for React components, CSS-in-JS, accessibility guidelines or colour palettes – it’s all in Adele.
Adele helps designers and product teams make the best decisions for their pattern libraries by enabling them to:
- Explore technologies used in other companies’ systems
- Compare data structures (naming patterns, presence of particular guidelines e.g. accessibility guidelines)
- Check implementation details on components and design tokens
- Gather material to help convince management to embrace design systems
Adele started with 43 systems analysed in 30 categories. But more are on their way: Adele is an open source tool for the community of design systems builders and maintainers. Its goal is to collect information about all publicly available design systems.
All the data about design systems is available as individual JSONs. Anybody can contribute by refining the data or adding new systems (check the readme in Adele’s repository (opens in new tab) for details about contribution).
If you don’t see your system in Adele, you find some missing data, or you’re willing to add another category of data, get involved! Only together can we make this repository complete.
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