Rivet 2: a design system for all of IU
A brief overview of the future of Rivet and what it means for IU.
As laid out in our 2019 roadmap, the Rivet team spent a lot of time this summer asking the question, “What does the future of Rivet look like?” During this time, we also underwent an organizational change that aligned key groups in User Experience (UX), branding, IT, and marketing & communications under the new IU Studios organization. We have created a roadmap that outlines the next iteration of Rivet, and the evolution of our design system. Some key components of our roadmap are outlined below.
In October 2019, we will begin development of the next version of Rivet. Version 2.0 will offer a greater variety of patterns, page and layout templates, refined documentation, and an assortment of guides, providing a foundation upon which to build the many websites, apps, properties, and other digital spaces that support IU’s mission and operations.
While version 2.0 may introduce some breaking changes, you can expect many of the same conventions and patterns to be present, and for many features to remain backwards compatible. We’ll release migration guides around the launch of version 2, and we’ll continue to maintain version 1 of Rivet for 18 months, as outlined in our v1 end-of-life plan. After its end-of-life date, Rivet 1 will no longer receive updates, although hosted assets and documentation will remain available until complete retirement at a later date.
A design system for all of IU
Part of Rivet 2’s goals will be to cover a greater spectrum of use cases on the web. We’ll borrow patterns from the Web Style Guide to support the needs of marketing, informational, campaign, and other sites of various sizes and shapes. Every pattern and recommendation will consider accessibility from the start, providing guidance on creating accessible products, and helping to create digital spaces for everyone.
By the release of 2.0, Rivet will have feature parity with the Web Style Guide, and will be fully utilized in the next version of the Web Framework (check out the Web Framework site for more information about its future).
Rivet 2 will also provide patterns and resources for IU emails, digital signage, and other digital channels. This represents a significant expansion of scope for Rivet, but allows for IU to make greater use of reusable patterns, and to support the many diverse needs of its users and constituents.
Rivet went open source earlier this year, and will remain open source for version 2, allowing contributions from other IU units and transparency as we continue development. That also means you can follow along with development on GitHub.
Building in brand fundamentals
Rivet 2 is a collaboration between several brand, UX, and development teams across IU Studios, and will be informed by qualitative and quantitative research on IU’s many constituents. With input and feedback from partners across IU, we’ll shape the Rivet 2 product into a sophisticated and extensible system for all of the ways we express ourselves as IU on and off the web.
Whether you want to place the IU brand front and center, or just give it a nod while building on its foundations, Rivet 2 will provide options that allow you to focus on your content and features.
How to get involved
Later this year, you’ll be able to submit feedback and requests directly to us. We’ll begin a Request for Comment (RFC) process that outlines how we’ll be gathering feedback from the IU community. We’ll be opening both technical and general RFCs, allowing developers to comment on specific API changes, and others to comment on general changes to how we’re building the web with Rivet.
Rivet has always relied on the community of people that use it, provide us feedback, and engage in the ongoing process of creating it. A design system is a living thing, and it is shaped by individuals across IU. We appreciate your engagement, and hope you’ll stay involved as we take this exciting next step into the future.
If you’re part of the Web Community of Practice, we’ll share updates in the #rivet Slack channel, and at monthly meetings. If you’re part of the MarComm community, we’ll regularly attend monthly forums, and share updates in The Skinny. No matter who you are, if you contribute to IU’s web presence, we would love to talk or hear your feedback. Please contact us via email.