An equation for successful customer experience


3 min read

The CX landscape


Your company, your customers, and your marketplace are all evolving quickly. What isn’t changing is your need to deliver a consistent digital experience to your customers across all touchpoints and geographies.

Image shows two women working in an office and an overlay quote 'Good design is good business' - Thomas Watson Jr.

We know when it comes to experience, human expectations continue to increase. Our core belief is that the last, best customer experience(CX) that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.

Leading brands understand the value of experience and are investing in their CX because it's considered the biggest differentiator for growth.

89% of companies that believe CX was their primary basis for competition in 2016. On average, only 12% of company revenue is being invested in Customer Experience transformation. Every dollar invested in user experience recoups 100 times. Design-driven companies outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years.

IBM iX® and Adobe® recognize this. We are partnering to help your organization deliver on those expectations. We aim to enable your business to manage the complexity of creating and implementing innovative digital brand experiences across your entire organization, anywhere.

Your equation for CX success:
Equation Graphic: (Design System plus Powerful Platform) times Strategic Integration divided by Accelerated CX


3 min read

A moving target

You must align your business and digital priorities in order to keep pace with ever demanding customer expectations.

Keeping your brand intact

Three people working in an office at night

Your company is growing, with ever-evolving products and solutions for your customers. In a large scale organization more and more people become involved in developing the many digital experiences your customers interact with. By the time you get alignment between UX design, marketing, compliance and sales to complete your new digital experiences the market has already shifted.

Brands like yours are working in more agile ways with distributed teams designing new MVPs — but they're running the risk of being disconnected, off brand and building lackluster digital experiences.

Your business question: How do you successfully deliver a consistent digital brand experience across business units and geographies, when faced with a shortage of qualified design talent to do the work?

Moving at the speed of technology

Four workers discussing in an office

The technologies you use to communicate with and engage your customers are evolving at a dizzying pace. The design requirements for emerging customer interface platforms are complex and varied (emerging devices, virtual reality, apps, etc.) The underlying Martech platform landscape is also increasingly complex and your choices are multiplying. In 2010 there were 500 marketing technology companies to work with and by 2019 there are now over 7000. For companies that need to quickly adapt to new, emerging digital design standards, keeping pace with this level of change is often the difference between success or disaster.

Your digital question: How do you successfully and quickly deliver a seamless customer experience across all the evolving technologies?

Moving Target




4 min read

Systematic design

Your success begins with a design system

When designing digital products at scale, it becomes increasingly challenging and critical to remain consistent. Under the increased pressures of content velocity, organizations are searching for ways to move faster when designing and building customer experiences.

Design System Duo

Design systems are a way for organizations to design and implement content and digital products at scale – helping achieve faster time-to-market, saving cost in reduced development time (months to weeks), and consolidating low value, non-compliant legacy digital assets into high performing, unified customer experiences.

300% return for IBM's own design program investment

A design system provides consistent, robust, and reusable design patterns that unite multi-disciplinary product teams (designers, developers, and stakeholders) around a common visual language. It reduces design debt, accelerates the design process, and bridges teams bringing products to life.”— Adobe

Three notable benefits of a design system

Centralization: A design system unites diffuse and distributed design teams with a shared set of principles and guidelines, and it removes the ambiguity of each designer solving for their instance using brand values. Assets are centrally managed and optimized in the digital asset management library. There is a clear line of sight into the digital efforts happening globally.

Scalability: Like the design system itself, the scope of the documentation can be adapted and scaled to meet all requirements. A core digital assets library can quickly be utilized to rapidly scale to new digital design work.

Compliance: A governance model ensures orderly maintenance, testing and evolutions to the design system. A design system can quickly adapt the digital experience to different device types compliance requirements via responsive resize and other design tools.

Color pallete

To learn even more about design systems, click here.

Still wondering why a design system is so crucial to the customer experience today?

Read this article from IBM's Jeoff Wilks for some more helpful tips.


6 min read

IBM Carbon meets Adobe XD

Out-of-the-box or customized, IBM Carbon is an accelerator for your own branded design system

Many available design systems on the market today only give you a very basic UI/UX kit.

Carbon Design System

IBM Carbon provides one of the most comprehensive, well considered and easy to use stacks of interlocking design system tools in the market. Carbon is IBM’s award winning, open-source design system for products and experiences. With the IBM Design Language as its foundation, the system consists of working code, design tools and resources, human interface guidelines, and a vibrant community of contributors.

As IBM’s official design system supporting over 100 products, Carbon serves a wide range of designers and developers building digital products and experiences. Design patterns are harvested from products built with Carbon to become part of the design system. Teams can use these well-defined patterns in their work and contribute patterns back to the system.

The benefits of using Carbon include improving UI consistency and quality, making the design and development process more efficient and focused, establishing a shared vocabulary between designer and developer, and providing clear, discoverable guidance around design and development best practices.

Putting Carbon Design System tools to work

A person in front of a computer designing layouts

Components: Components are the key building blocks of the design system. Each component has been designed and coded to solve a specific UI problem, such as presenting a list of options, enabling submission of a form, providing feedback to the user, and so on. All of the components in Carbon have been designed to work harmoniously together, as parts of a greater whole.

Guidelines: Guidelines are fundamental to everything we design. From color, content, tone, voice, typography and more, we provide the structure and guidance for all creative decision-making.

Experimental: Carbon is always getting better. This happens through feature and usability upgrades to our elements and components. We create these experimental projects to get them into the hands of teams who will use them. Expect these components, patterns, and tools to change over time.

Visualization: Carbon charts help you tell accurate and convincing stories around data with beautiful and accessible visualizations.

Patterns: In Carbon, patterns comprise common user flows and scenarios which are too complex or too universal to be encapsulated in a single component. Individual patterns often include two or more components from the system or apply to multiple components independently.

Click here to dive even deeper

Adobe XD can help you design on a larger scale

Adobe XD is the user experience design platform where teams create some of the world’s best experiences at scale. Design teams can use Adobe XD to create user experience designs for websites, mobile apps, desktop apps, voice interfaces, games, and more. XD is an all-in-one design platform - available across multiple platforms – combining design, prototyping, sharing, and developer hand-off.

Adobe XD is a UX design solution natively integrated in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Clients can unlock powerful creative workflows that extend across creative disciplines with deep integrations with other Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. With Creative Cloud libraries integration, marketing designers and product designers can more effectively share assets.

Visit Adobe XD to learn about features.

Adobe Xd logo

Design is foundational to a differentiated experience, and design systems that operationalize design and build on that differentiated experience are critical to long-term business success. What makes this partnership between IBM’s iX and Adobe so interesting and exciting is that it marries two of the top firms in the experience space in an open-source accelerator model that has the power to shift the nature and direction of the experience market.
—Alan Weber, Program Vice President, Customer Experience, IDC


5 min read

Delivering business impact

Bring it all together with a dedicated team

Engage with us through IBM iX’s Design Systems as a Service.

IT office space with multiple workers

Let us help you accelerate creative development and establish an enterprise operating model focused on driving collaboration across disciplines. We will work with you to design and implement a custom design system and establish a governance model that works for the specific needs of your organization. Working with our IBM iX consultants and designers on a new and cohesive design system will improve your company’s ability to quickly implement digital products across platforms, achieving a faster time to market, and improving you ability to deliver consistent, on-brand customer experiences.

The design system we co-create with you can be an custom design or a themed version of IBM's open-source Carbon Design System which will accelerate time-to-market and reduce the overhead required to build and maintain your own world-class design system. You may also choose to outsource all design system responsibilities to IBM iX. Along the journey, your design team will have access to new features developed for IBM Carbon, accelerating the development of the complete system.

A comprehensive package

Design System Documentation
A destination site for the documentation of underlying guidelines for all iterations of the client design system inclusive of brand guidelines.

  • Brand mission and values
    Documentation of the foundations of system to bring cohesion across all assets
  • Design principles
    Documentation of core design goals & philosophy that translates the mission & values
  • Brand guidelines
    Documentation of existing brand style guide for all

UX / UI Kit

The translation of the brand foundation into the User Experience via design assets

  • Global patterns
    Solutions to recurring elements within products aligned to code
  • Components
    Individual UI objects with code and customization guide

Digital Technology Kit

The translation of the entire design systems to the User Experience via prebuilt assets

  • Atomized structures
    Static digital components built via atomic methodology
  • Simple prototypical interaction
    Functioning interactive assets (ex: Button states, Drop Downs, etc…)
  • Prototypes
    Functional experiences using example APIs and services

Step-by-step chart

Spending the time to develop a design system has helped Follet reinvent and scale our customer experience. Working with IBM iX and Adobe has helped us ultimately increase instore sales and deliver a complete e-Commerce to store experience. — Lori Krzyzewski, Vice President Ecommerce Product Management and Digital Advertising, Follett

This brings us back to our equation for CX success. When you can marry the power of IBM Carbon, Adobe XD and IBM iX service integration, you’ll see the exponential impact in efficiency for your team, inspiring experiences and the speed to market your customers demand.

Equation for Success


2 min read

Getting started

IBM iX & Adobe: Inspired experiences by design

IBM iX and Adobe XD individually make it easy for enterprises to establish and manage design systems. Together we make it even easier. By combining IBM iX’s leading design capabilities and Adobe's Experience and Creative Cloud capabilities, we are uniquely positioned to help clients realize their most ambitious digital visions.  We believe that our expertise implementing Adobe Experience Cloud, combined with our design experience on Adobe Creative Cloud make IBM iX the ideal partner to help clients integrate their efforts across these solutions and realize the cost advantages and synergies they create.

We’d love to learn about your unique position and develop the perfect plan for your business. Let’s chat.

Several people in a business meeting

Who are we?

IBM iX logo

IBM iX helps accelerates creative development by helping organizations digitally transform faster and more consistently. IBM iX’s business strategy and experience design capabilities help today’s leading brands solve their most complex digital business challenges. Our 1,500+ designers globally create and manage design systems to centralize guidelines, assets, and code for distributed design teams.

Together with Adobe, we knew it was important to help businesses achieve a faster-time-to-market with their digital products, while still providing better efficiency, accessibility and cost-savings. IBM iX created its first-ever DSaaS in order to provide our clients multiple paths to executing design systems that can be customized at scale on the Adobe XD Platform,  — Billy Seabrook, Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM iX.

Billy Seabrook

Billy Seabrook
Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM iX