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ABB: Creating a design system to humanize technology

ABB is a global technology leader with 147,000 personnel and hundreds of digital products. It was looking for new ways to take its digital offering to the next level for ease of use and consistency of the brand experience.

Together with Idean, part of Capgemini Invent, ABB launched an initiative to build a company-wide design system for its diverse global organization. It started the journey to humanize its technology with a design approach that developed coherent and powerful solutions, fueling more meaningful experiences to their customers.

The ownership and development responsibility for hundreds of ABB digital products is distributed among tens of business units, and the product range varies from industrial automation systems and preventive maintenance services to configuring consumer-facing home automation or operating electric-vehicle charging stations. Improving this system meant diving into the expansive landscape of ABB’s portfolio and understanding the diverse product-team needs for the hundreds of digital products available worldwide.

“A design system is an infrastructure for change, a platform for communicating and sharing best practices and innovating new ones.”

Creating a scalable system for everyone

Idean joined at the early stage to start the CommonUX Design System initiative: establishing a dedicated team with a versatile system providing ABB product teams and partners a set of shared principles, reusable assets, and methodologies to steer everyone towards a collective ABB voice that connects the brand to design and content.

The ABB CommonUX Design System powers the transition from a company that traditionally delivered value through machinery to a service company of people delivering value in human interaction.

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