Fleet Design System

This project is ongoing. Gaps in the description are likely due to research segments yet to be completed.

Fleet is an internal design system to unify F5’s product portfolio, relying on robust guidelines and reusable components to accelerate development. The system allows designers and developers to shift their focus from building UI components to building the application itself, giving them more time and energy to craft workflows and experiences for their product.

My Role

I currently serve as the product owner, principal designer, principal prototype developer, and loudest evangelizer for the design system. I lead and coordinated all facets of the design and development of Fleet, including: project scoping, requirements gathering, technology analysis, pattern and interaction flow definition, documentation, prototyping, and development. It is my responsibility to prioritize, define, and task design elements among 2 junior designers, 6 developers and 2 testers.

As principal designer I define and document the use patterns and visual elements. I also provide substantial support to the development teams as the principal prototype developer.

The Challenge

No rationale, design standard or cohesion in the way experience patterns are used within single or across different products. As a result, designers and developers often invent new patterns, ignoring existing precedence and causing a disjointed experience both across product lines and within a single product. Designers have been struggling with the notion of consistency and maintaining visual unity across visual elements and patterns, each group reworking artifact designs or creating brand new patterns.

Presentation slide demonstrating visual divergence in simple controls.

UX Goals

Create a rationale, usage standard, and logic around common elements and patterns used through company wide products, providing guidelines to ensure consistent end-to-end implementation. It’s also imperative to specify the visual style and align existing discrepancies within the system. Lastly, formulate a strategy that would limit friction for domain adoption across products.

The Process

  • Multiple years and multiple revisions to get it right
    • Started with AFM, but without realizing it
    • Pattern idea solidified with CPM
    • “Fleet” born with Dashboard
    • Revised with Network Map
    • Became standard for mBIP
  • “Chasing Waterfalls”
    • Fleet was bound to a waterfall development cycle
    • New mBIP is designed around evergreen.