Amazon Design Tokens

B2B tool with enhanced ad management experience

Led a multi-team effort to strategize and create a unified naming approach for design tokens. This aimed to clarify confusion so users can create and use tokens quickly and easily. I created a unified, yet flexible formula that was adopted by multiple product teams and design systems.

Role: Lead Designer
Duration: Jan - Apr 2023
Team: UX Designers, Visual Designers, Design Technologists & Front-End Engineers working on design systems across all product teams

Goals

How might we name design tokens for effortless customer understanding and usage, requiring minimal guidance?

Context

The six device teams involved, had their own design systems. But their approach to naming tokens varied significantly, leading to a mix of structures and vocabularies. This diversity created inefficiencies, duplicated efforts, and maintenance challenges, slowing down cross-team collaboration and the delivery of quality design outcomes to customers.

Problems

  • Similar use-cases were named differently which created different mental models
  • Existing approaches were limited for complex use-cases which created confusion causing teams to use different naming approaches to quickly unblock them
  • Siloed approach cross teams increased fragmentation/ duplicative work

amazon design tokens problems

Solution

I launched a streamlined naming solution for over 500+ design tokens to fix inefficiencies and confusion across 6 teams. By leading workshops and collaborations, I created a simple, scalable naming schema, improving design and efficiency. I supported the transition with guidelines and training, and a tool to help teams quickly generate compliant names.

amazon design tokens solution - unified formula and token name builder


amazon design tokens solution - approach

Outcome

Of the 6 teams involved, 50% adopted the schema I developed. This led to:

  • Adoption across teams: Early involvement of partner teams ensured their buy-in, making them feel heard and well-prepared for the transition.
  • Improved consistency: Drove consistency across teams and reduced friction within due to shared, universally understood vocabulary.
  • Cross-collaboration: Enhanced opportunities for teams to collaborate using similar sets of tokens, breaking down silos.

Future Opportunities

  • Enhancing tooling for easier design token management
  • Establishing guidelines for contributors to maintain consistency
  • Promoting cross-team educational programs for better collaboration


Contact me to learn more about this project - Email / LinkedIn.

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