Learning from your peers is part of being a great designer. When researching a new project – whether a complete new brand or rebrand, or just a new approach or feature – insights into the design systems and identities of leading companies can be invaluable in stimulating new ideas. It’s not about copying – ok, it’s mostly not about copying – but instead taking what they have conceived, designed, developed and tested, and adapting that to the particular needs of the project you’re working on.
Many larger companies and organisations have published their design systems – but these are often spread across multiple sites. Identities and design manuals are often found on parts of a companies main site, while sometimes these are just on Dropboxs and Google drives accessible only to those who have the link. Design systems ready for developers are usually hosted on Github.
Keeping tabs on all of these is quite a job, so we’re glad that Marcin Treder has done the hard work for us. Marcin’s day job is CEO of UX design and prototyping tool UXPin, but he’s clearly put a lot of work into this side project – which he’s called Adele after 1970s programming language pioneer Adele Goldberg from Xerox Parc.
Adele includes information about 44 companies and organisations from Audi and the BBC to Trello and USAJobs. Between these are older companies with long design legacies including HP and IBM, and comparatively young upstarts including Buzzfeed and Salesforce. It’s mainly commercial companies, though it also includes the Gov.uk Service Manual and Github repository. It would be great to see this expanded to include other organisations, such as the US Web Designs Standards manual.
In a Medium post to launch Adele, Marcin says that Adele will grow and is inviting others to contribute.