InVision, the design firm that’s raised more than $350 million from investors FirstMark, Spark, Battery and Tiger Global Management, has today announced the appointment of Eleanor Morgan as chief product officer. The company is also introducing a brand new Design System Manager, giving teams much more flexibility and control in both creating and maintaining their design system.
New features include the ability to import reusable design elements in bulk, as well as the ability to upload native Sketch libraries directly to the InVision DSM, allowing design system owners to create and manage their libraries in Sketch and seamlessly move them into InVision. The new DSM also allows for one-click updating of all libraries when a company is going through a rebrand, allowing for the entire design system to get updated at once rather than a process where each individual design asset has to be deleted and replaced with a new one.
InVision is also launching a new, more flexible documentation site for richer web editing and brand customization, with the purpose of ensuring there is a single, trusted system of record across the entire organization.
The Design System Manager flies a bit under the radar among InVision’s portfolio of products, which includes its cloud tools (such as Prototype, Inspect and Freehand) and Studio (its design tool). But the Design System Manager is critical for InVision’s broader goal of enabling collaborative design across any type of company, from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 firms.
As the design industry itself matures, with more and more companies focusing on digital experiences and more functions within the organization involving themselves in the design process, a solid experience around design systems is the unsexy backbone of the entire workflow.
“At the most essential level, it’s an accelerator of digital product development,” said Morgan. “I think the second thing is, it helps ensure quality and consistency in a customer experience by creating a shared set of components that teams can leverage at scale. Those two things are fundamental to our platform going forward.”
Prior to joining InVision, Morgan was a product designer at Volkswagen, a project lead and location director for IDEO, and most recently the chief experience officer at Casper.
Morgan says that the biggest challenge for InVision is not just capitalizing on the immense shift toward digital experiences that was already underway before the pandemic, and now ballooning further because of it, but to think two or three years ahead of this moment about where collaborative design and product development will be.
InVision faces steep competition in a growing category, with Canva serving the nondesign designers, Figma looking to move further into the consumer space, Sketch raising a fresh $20 million and Adobe moving hard into collaborative editing.
Whether the design space is gearing up for a “winner-takes-all scenario” or there’s room for several behemoths at the top is still yet to be determined. But design may very well be the next entrepreneurial gold rush, and InVision, with a valuation of $1.9 billion and 7 million users on the platform, is here for the showdown.