You can’t innovate on products without first innovating the way you build them.
This idea has informed industrial design and architecture for decades -- and now, the design and development team at International WELL Building Institute have translated that insight into the development of Blue, IWBI’s new Design Language System (or DLS).
Blue is a collection of components defined by shared principles and patterns. This system allows for rapid iteration using a shared vocabulary across design, engineering, and other disciplines.
Instead of relying on individual atoms, all Blue components are elements of a living organism. They have a function and personality, are defined by a set of properties, can co-exists with others and can evolve independently.
Each component is defined by it’s required elements (such as title, text, icon and picture), and may sometimes contain optional elements. All of the components and views are built with our own technical view framework, which handles these styles, states and adaptivity.
These elements are both defined in our analogue documents, as well as in code, which empowers team members to prototype and experiment with ideas in high fidelity faster and at a lower cost.
Moving forward, we aim to be fully transparent and release detailed case studies on how our system is defined and what decisions go into designing components, patterns, and rules. We want to build a world where the differences between disciplines are blurred, where logic and design truly coexist, and where collaboration is not painful but inspiring.
We’re confident that creating Blue will be worth the investment and a huge leap forward for the organization. By focusing on the methods of working across disciplines, building better tools, and creating a unified system, we can use our time to apply creativity to solve bigger challenges and build the future we all want.