Adobe and IBM iX Extend Partnership to Help Enterprises Design Powerful and Consistent Customer Experiences

New design system as a service offering, built on Adobe XD, allows organizations to introduce new digital products to market faster.

Adobe and IBM iX Extend Partnership to Help Enterprises Design Powerful and Consistent Customer Experiences
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Design is increasingly a competitive differentiator for business.  Yet, delivering consistent and engaging experiences across channels can be challenging given continually advancing customer expectations and technology. Disjointed workflows and siloed teams can make it especially difficult to deliver compelling experiences at scale, which is why it’s important to implement a design system within your organization.

A design system is a centrally managed system for all design products that unites distributed design and development teams and are an efficient tool to help complex and large organizations deliver digital products to market much faster. However, many organizations still struggle to implement a design system internally, and the ones who do often times improperly manage it once it’s established due to a lack of time, resources or knowledge.

Today, Adobe and IBM iX, the business design arm of IBM Services, are announcing that they are extending their current partnership by introducing IBM iX’s first Design Systems as a Service offering using Adobe XD, Adobe’s experience design platform, to make it easier for global organizations to implement and manage a design system. The new Design Systems as a Service helps customers establish an enterprise operating model focused on driving collaboration across the organization, so teams can move faster, work smarter and increase cost savings. With the new Design Systems as a Service, teams spend less time redesigning existing design elements, so they can focus more on creating new business ideas and strategies.

Additionally, Adobe and IBM iX’s new offering also offers customers the ability to implement and customize IBM’s open-source Carbon design system. Built in Adobe XD, the Carbon design system will allow customers to customize a newly created Carbon design kit to accelerate time-to-market and reduce the overhead required to build and maintain a world-class design system. To start using the Carbon XD design kit to create your own design system, download it here.

“Together with Adobe, we knew it was important to help businesses achieve a faster-time-to-market with their digital products, while still providing better efficiency, accessibility and cost-savings,” said Billy Seabrook, Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM iX. “IBM iX created its first-ever Design Systems as a Service in order to provide our clients multiple paths to executing design systems that can be customized at scale on Adobe XD.”

“Design is foundational to a differentiated experience, and design systems that operationalize design and build on that differentiated experience are critical to long-term business success,” said Alan Weber, Program Vice President, Customer Experience, IDC. “What makes this partnership between IBM’s iX and Adobe so interesting and exciting is that it marries two of the top firms in the experience space in an open-source accelerator model that has the power to shift the nature and direction of the experience market.”

The new Design Systems as a Service offering enables customers to create custom design systems and help drive enterprise collaboration and efficiency. The Design Systems as a Service offering will include:

  • Design system setup: The design system and theme will be set up for clients and align with current brand standards and any unique experience requirements.
  • Modular construction kit: Developed by IBM iX and built with Adobe XD, the kit offers flexible designs from design modules that can be combined for either simple prototypes or complex applications. The responsive design elements offer a seamless experience on any device the designer prefers.
  • Dedicated support team: Each Design Systems as a Service client will be assigned a dedicated design and development team to support the design system pilot and roll-out. Once implemented, customers have the option to allow their design system to be fully managed by an outsourced team.

By building the new Design Systems as a Service offering on Adobe XD, IBM iX is helping design and development teams access faster ways to create, collaborate, and deliver the next generation of digital experiences. Just this morning, Adobe XD announced some exciting new features, including coediting, available in beta, which allows for real-time collaboration with other designers, the ability to track document history, and Component States, the ability to support multiple variations of a single user interface element representing different types of user interactions, like when a tab is active or when a user taps on a button. Design systems are now integral to the long-term success and viability of any digital product, and Adobe XD has become a key platform in helping companies adopt a design systems approach, improving collaboration and aligning design teams on how things can go into production.

IBM iX has been an Adobe partner for several years, leveraging Adobe Experience Cloud’s tightly integrated applications to deliver data-driven, tailored experiences across all customer touchpoints.

Now, with the introduction of the new Design Systems as a Service, Adobe and IBM iX will ultimately unite distributed marketing and design teams with a shared set of principles and guidelines, removing ambiguity and providing a single source of truth for creative assets globally. Additionally, the partnership allows customers to plug into other applications across Adobe Experience Cloud to quickly activate creative assets across all marketing channels and customer touchpoints – uniquely giving organizations the ability to make, manage, measure and monetize content at scale.

IBM iX also attended this week’s Adobe UX Leader Summit at Adobe MAX on Sunday, November 3, 2019, where experts presented Design Systems as a Service and spoke on a roundtable titled “Build an Enduring Design System.” The Adobe UX Leader Summit brings together over 200 designers from across the globe to discuss top of mind topics in UX design, in addition to actionable tips and digital playbooks to apply across organizations.

Learn more on Adobe XD here and IBM iX here.

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