About this Post

With the Tesla Design System, Tesla increases collaboration and saves millions of dollars and engineering hours every quarter.


The post I wrote a few months ago briefly outlined the impact of the Tesla Design System (TDS) and the small, but mighty team responsible for it. During the last quarter, TDS has continued to grow in adoption, allowing the company to increase collaboration and save money and time, and I wanted to share some of the latest measureable developments with y'all.

First off, some context. TDS is our acronym for both, the team and the product (or design system), which stands for Tesla Design System.

Tesla Design System (TDS)

As a core systems team, TDS consists of a designer, a few engineers and me (on the product side who also wrangles pixels and code with the team). We also got an awesome intern during the last two quarters, and have an increasing community of contributors across the company. One of our top priorities is to help the TDS community consume and contribute to TDS easily, especially as we expand into new areas across the company (e.g. manufacturing systems, the vehicle platform, etc.).

Great team. Great system. Love em
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TDS has historically been a distributed team (aka: remote). I consider the extended team to include, but is not limited to: leadership partners, cross-functional partners, and of course, our contributors, all of whom are global.

TDS consists of components, design patterns, guidelines, and documentation that we develop, maintain and constantly update to meet evolving needs. The TDS website is currently being redesigned with updated documentation and an improved personalized, user experience to help make it easier for people to learn, consume and contribute.

TDS is based on HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Accessibility (we love the foundations of the Web). This foundation lets us scale and build components and patterns for the most people possible, various libraries, like React, and platforms. We also use a lot of homegrown and open source tools and utilities to build and maintain TDS.

Some of the flagship products that use TDS are the Tesla website, the Tesla Energy product line, the Investor Relations website, Tesla's retail store apps, the world-class Tesla configurator, and, as of recent, the Tesla Native App.

Q2 2022 Earnings Call β†’
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We also have a growing number of internal apps and products that use TDS, like our Tesla infrastructure systems, Tesla manufacturing systems, and the Tesla vehicle UI (e.g. those spiffy icons - those come from TDS!)

We are a team that is passionate about the Web, accessibility, collaboration, community, and design systems and the impact they can have.

The TDS team has been working hard to improve accessibility and ease of use, which has resulted in an increase in adoption and usage. This has enabled us to save the company millions of dollars every quarter and a considerable amount of time (in hours).

The following is a high-level overview of the impact the TDS team and product helped to achieve in Q3-2022 alone:

  • Over $4.2M USD was saved
  • During this period, 67k+ engineering hours were also saved

In light of the fact that TDS is a small, core team, this is quite significant. By building and maintaining an effective design system, we are able to support teams scale their product lines, and save the company millions of dollars and thousands of engineering hours every quarter. In addition, we are able to simultaneously propel the company's mission forward.

TDS will continue to grow and scale with the company, so I expect these numbers - savings! β€” to continue to grow as well.

0Dollars Saved150+ products β€’ Q3-2022

In a future post, I'll detail the makeup of our performance measures, in hope it helps others explore ways to highlight their design system and team's impact both quantitatively and qualitatively.

In the meantime, I would like to extend my appreciation and congratulations to my teammates and the entire Tesla Design System community for their continued commitment and success, especially during these challenging times.