design systemshypertext

Kiwi.com’s Orbit design system →

I really like what the team at Kiwi.com have done with their design system. There’s a few details that really stand out.

Home page

One of the things my team talks about all the time is how underutilized the home pages of design systems often are. With such a wide range of information being accessed by many different people, how can you make it useful for everyone?

Homepages are also often used as explainers for what the system even is, and how to make sense of it. That use case seems to suggest that it’s designed for the first time visitor, which is odd, because a design system’s primary users are usually repeat visitors.

I like Orbit because it has a homepage that is heavily geared towards the folks using the system every day. The first think you see are the “quick links” that direct you to what are no-doubt pages frequently accessed by the Kiwi.com teams.

Right after the quick links is a section listing your bookmarks, which is my other favorite thing about this system.

Orbit's homepage
Orbit does a great job of making its homepage truly useful.

Bookmarks

The primary artifact of most design systems is a website that houses all of the resources and documentation around the system. It makes sense considering that websites (hypertext) are really good at organizing information and making it easy to navigate.

I’ve often thought of good design system sites as good hypertext systems — the really interesting ones go far beyond the features of the web (which is a really a pretty lousy hypertext system, what without crucial features like backlinks, etc.)

Orbit has a feature that is common to most hypertext systems, but is often missing from design system sites, which is the ability to bookmark pages. Once a page is bookmarked, it’s listed on the homepage for quick access, and available anywhere on the site from within a slide-out drawer.

This makes so much sense. Lots of people using design systems every day are often diving into very specific pages. Why not make those easy for them to access, and prioritize them over the other content in the UI?


Well done to the team at Kiwi.com. Orbit is awesome! 👏