Designing at Scale — Guide for Product Designers

3 min readNov 25, 2022


Over the last few decades, companies have learned that they need to embrace digital transformation and release products that meet users’ expectations.

As a result, they have added a lot of UX professionals to their teams. The change forced designers to rethink how they can design at scale without creating an impossible amount of work.

📚 This is just a fragment. Read the full article here: Design at Scale and Iterate Product Design Faster.

Designing at Scale at PayPal

According to Erica Rider, UX lead for internal tools at PayPal, it’s recommended that companies should hire about ten developers to every one designer.

At PayPal, a handful of designers can work with about 1,000 developers on approximately 100 products as a way to scale design and support a lot of developers without going on a hiring spree.

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#1 Integrate Design and DevOps

Integrating design and devops into a single flow

The typical product design process doesn’t scale easily because it relies on several steps, including:

  • Product managers writing descriptions of their ideas and sending the descriptions to design teams,
  • Designers creating several versions of the ideas before they find a good design that matches the product manager’s concept,
  • Product designers sending their work to developers, who have to translate the designs into features that give the digital product exceptional usability, which isn’t always simple and fast.

Not surprisingly, the process involves a lot of back and forth before the project manager receives a completed prototype that works as intended.

Teams can improve the process by integrating design and DevOps. A version of this approach might include:

  • Define
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Evaluate
  • Deploy
  • Operate
  • Discover

The process repeats to continue improving the product until the company discontinues it.

#2 Create a design system of approved components

Few strategies matter more than creating a design system of approved digital assets for your product ecosystem. A good design system will include:

  • Pattern libraries
  • Design patterns
  • Typography
  • Brand language
  • Coded components
  • Iconography

Ideally, anyone with a question about building the product should find the correct answer in the design system. No matter how many people you add to a team, the workflow remains efficient because the design system solves problems at the source.




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