Applying for UWV unemployment benefits and services used to be a tedious task that involved calling to speak with a representative, or completing a long, complicated PDF on an outdated website.
Design System lead Benjad Kashefi — who joined UWV two years after working at various agile, start-up tech companies — was accustomed to a faster, more efficient way of building digital products. Like many large public sector organizations, UWV was hampered by a legacy tech stack, low design maturity, and lack of design inconsistencies across some of their digital platforms and products.
UWV set out to improve and simplify their customer experience by creating a new user-friendly, mobile-first website and app, which became business-critical when the pandemic hit and demand skyrocketed. But without a design process in place, large-scale design and development updates were impossible to execute, and big projects often ended up in chaos.
Benjad and UWV’s Product Team sought internal support to build a MVP design system using InVision’s Design System Manager in January 2020. The design system became a single, reusable source of accessible design components and was instrumental to optimizing and scaling digital product development.
Known as “The Beagle,” named after the ship that transported Charles Darwin on his global voyage, the design system radically transformed the way UWV teams work together by establishing a clear design process, practice, and community.
InVision Inspect has also streamlined collaboration and communication between designers and developers, who were previously given a PDF of designs, leading to lots of guesswork and mistakes. Now, they get clear design specifications, allowing them to quickly code final designs with minimal questions on the CSS around size, spacing, fonts, and colors.
In less than a year, UWV’s design system, The Beagle, has already had a profound impact on business. The system has helped teams connect and collaborate more efficiently than ever before, even though they’re working remotely. It’s also helped build a new community around design, elevating its value and role within the organization.
UX designers can make rapid designs and prototypes in a couple of days with InVision Enterprise, whereas before it took a couple of weeks. We were starting from scratch, so it’s been great to see how we’ve evolved from nothing into this giant system with very clear design processes.
Design System Lead, UWV
Silos across the 200-person department have been demolished: teams now meet every week to share work, give feedback, and brainstorm about how to improve design and customer experience.
Previously, design shipped one to two projects per year. Now they’re executing four or five projects per quarter. And the time it takes designers to create new designs and prototypes has decreased from a couple of weeks to a couple of days.
Once operating in the shadows at UWV, design is now recognized as a guiding ship by stakeholders, who are investing heavily in growing the team. Most importantly, the team is able to quickly create and deliver products that truly support their customers through rough waters.