How to avoid people challenges around component libraries

Why dysfunction happens and how to avoid it.

David Portelli
9 min readJan 24, 2020

If digital products were like lego castles, you could think of components as the individual, unique lego blocks used to build the castles.

In most companies, it’s typical for component libraries to be a shared responsibility and whilst multiple inputs ensures thorough outcomes, it inevitably brings alignment challenges.

The topic of component libraries is worthy of volumes, in this article I merely scratch the surface in exposing typical challenges and starting points for solving them. Think of this as your sigh of relief as you read and confirm that you’re not alone having component wars.

Designers aren’t using the component library

You’ve got a component library in place, mature or not, however the team isn’t using it.

Why it happens

  1. Finding components is tedious and slowing people’s workflow.
  2. The team is frequently unaware of updates made to the library so they create components rather…