Design Doesn’t Scale

Design Doesn’t Scale is a statement that has bothered me for the last four-years. When I joined Spotify’s design team in 2012, the level of inconsistency and fragmentation shocked me. Up-close, the treatment of type, colour, imagery, layout, IA, and interactions just didn’t seem to align anywhere. And when I started talking about it, I realised the whole team was frustrated too. We concluded that the fragmentation in the product was just reflecting the fragmentation in the team, that designers spread across so many different projects, timezones and competing timetables, just didn’t stand a chance. And, after all, weren’t these factors inherent in all modern tech companies anyway? It was then that I first heard myself say, “Design Doesn’t Scale”.

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