Design Paper
Shui Design System

SUBJECT: Centralized design system of Siemens Healthineers

DURATION: June 2019 - Present

TEAM: 4 designers (plus 2 part-time designers) and 13 developers

CONTRIBUTION: Creating concepts for UI components & design patterns, collaborating with developers to deliver new changes, maintaining design assets and prototyping tool



Shui is the design system of Siemens Healthineers for digital products. It was initiated in 2017 along with the corporation rebranding. The design system provides user interface guidelines and component library for more than 10 product lines across the organization.

See the pictures and video from the link below.



Consider Various User Groups and Contexts

Due to the diversified product portfolio of the company, the design system has to support products and services for various user groups including radiologists, technologists, surgeons, clinicians and so on. Each user group has specific hardware setups correlated to human-computer interaction. For example, radiologists mostly sit in front of desktop computers to interpret medical images and generate reports, while surgeons look at large monitors from a certain distance to plan operation procedures. Since we define the UI components and design patterns for all, we have to take a range of contexts into consideration.

Coexisting with Legacy System

The design system was introduced in 2018 while there have been many products in the market before that. Those products with old system need to be kept maintained and upgraded gradually. Therefore, we need to develop strategies to transform from the old system to the modern one. It's inevitable to have both legacy and new system coexisting for a long period of time. As we work on the modern design system, we have to keep a certain level of consistency between two systems, meanwhile bringing improvement of usability and delightfulness step by step, as well as adapting to the business targets nowadays.

Project Management and UX team of one

Within the design system team, there is no Project Manager and most of the time every designer takes charge of certain topics independently. We need to talk to product teams to understand the problems, break big tasks into manageable pieces and prioritize them, and coordinate delivery timelines. Besides this, as a UX designer, the responsibilities include research, concept iteration, prototyping and creating final design. The works involved collaboration with researchers, clinical experts, developers and other stakeholders across the organization.