○ Design Lead ○ Product Platform ○ Innovation

Create a unifying digital design system that enables consistency at scale.

The product, development, and innovation department at Deutsche Bahn decided to develop a series of ‘travel assistant’ digital products. The angle would be to create a consistent look and feel to all future developed Deutsche Bahn products that would coincide with the customer journey.

In order to do this a Design System should be developed to create continuity across all the products (DPP / Digital Product Platform). It should enable a lean approach to building and testing the products that would be created for the project. It would house components, documentation and could be used for a decentralized team of developers and designers.

Our Co-Founder Paul was the design lead on the project from the very beginning of the project. Working alongside Product & UX Design Studio, DayOne - Berlin and on the project amongst other contributors.

DB Explorer a product of DPP


The Challenge

Rapid Testing and Proof of Concept


New business models had to be swiftly tested through Proof of Concepts within existing DB services or via UX Labs. Potential collaborations with entertainment or news providers were to seamlessly integrate into the DB ecosystem, preserving their own branding and identity. The cross-platform, parallel development of app and web projects necessitated clear and transparent design guidelines.

The Design System encompassed a comprehensive set of tools essential for product development, including UI kits, code snippets, UX patterns, and documentation. Its primary objective was to establish DPP (Digital Product Platform) as a central point of reference, enabling all teams to align their product development efforts.

Beyond its role as a design system, DPP played a pivotal role in shaping the organizational culture and guiding its evolution over time. It fostered a sense of unity among team members, encouraging collaborative work and individual growth within the organization.



A Decentralized and Transparent Setup

DesignOps aims to optimize the design workflows and enhance collaboration within the team. By implementing standardized processes, tools, and communication channels, we worked together more efficiently and delivered higher-quality design assets.



Barrier free and open to the public


WCAG Standards & Component scaling


At Deutsche Bahn products should be usable and built for every traveller within Germany without any restrictions. Similar to how stations and trains consider barrier-free use, the products of the (BahnX innovation) internal team should also meet these requirements. In the first step, we focused on people with visual and/or colour impairments. Each component was tested for sufficient contrast and with various colour filters.

The development team programmed interfaces that also worked with enlarged fonts that can be read aloud by the system if required. Various plugins, the WCAG guidelines and guidelines of Android and iOS supported us in this.



A flexible component library enables adaptability while personalizing every digital touchpoint.



A Central Point of Truth


A design system plays a huge role in unifying not only design but culture too. It is the central glue that brings products to life, quickly and consistently.

Ownership is crucial and a shared responsibility is essential to keep a design system growing and flourishing. It is an investment that will undoubtedly constantly shift, shape and shift.

The nature of such a project should be celebrated in the fact that a design system is never done, products are always in beta, the user must and should always come first and a Digital Product Platform is a beacon rather than a burden.




The Results


60 People over 6 Teams 

Up to 60 people, divided into six teams, worked concurrently and mostly remotely on the products. To counter the formation of silos and facilitate the exchange of information and collaboration, a "single source of truth" was necessary.


A Unique Voice

DB Explorer was the first product to have a TOV specially crafted to develop a characteristic outside of the DB norm.

DS Growth

Opening New Doors

Multiple design systems were developed on the back of the DPP. Paving the way for the global design system at DB.


A New Perspective 

DPP powered many scheduled projects but also spawned new innovation across the organisation

Visionary Workflows

Never Look Back 

The project broke new ground for DB and created a new perspective and way of working.

We’re always on the lookout for creative talents and collaborations with new clients. Are you one of those?
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