The Next Era of Tango

Rethinking Tango's Design Systems and Overall Experience

My Role

I worked passionately with a team of talented designers, product managers, data scientists, and engineers to accomplish this. Overtime, my role on this project transitioned from a producer to a strategist and facilitator of the design system.


The Great Divide

Recently at Tango, we’ve been working on quite an undertaking. We decided to give Tango a much-needed makeover, a redesign. We realized the company was at a place where a redesign could positively impact the product. You see, Tango is a social messaging application in a tech space that is extremely crowded. This means that its differentiating factors lie within its technology and UX.

In the last year, we have been working at solidifying the core technology that makes Tango useful. The part that was lacking was the UX and aesthetics. We found that pushing the app toward a social direction has left the core of the application unattended and that our most dedicated users were in fact our messaging users. Thus, we decided to split our application into two parts, a messaging app and a social app.


Creating Building Blocks

At the core, the redesign intended to create focus and unity for the company’s product. Additionally, it aimed to create simplicity and order amongst the chaos of features available to users. I knew the only way we could accomplish this effectively and quickly would be to adopt a systematic design process. I had previously read about Brad Frost's Atomic Design methodology and was fascinated by its scientific approach. Additionally, with the release of Material Design and Lightning Design System, a systematic approach felt appropriate for the scalability of the design for the future.

The goal was to create a design system that would evolve over time with the growth of the company. This was a task that had to be accomplished with the guidance and cooperation of engineering teams as it would allow for designers to think like developers and vice versa.

From looking at data, we concluded that the primary users of Tango hold Android devices. We also knew that if Tango wanted to continue growing globally we had to design for global markets, which naturally made us focus on Android platforms.

Take a look at some of the systems we've started building below.


What's Next?

Keep in mind, creating a design system is typically relevant when a company is at a place that can benefit from having a design system. At some companies like Google and Salesforce, they will often devote an entire time to the maintence. At Tango we're kicking off a simple and lean design system as the fundamentals for scaling our design as we grow. A good article to check out for reference is A Maturity Model for Design Systems By Marcelo Somers.

We’ve been tackling this project for over four months now and have gather an abundance of data to help us continue iterating. The feedback we’ve received from users through user testing, surveys and of course launch has greatly impacted the changes we’ve continued making on the applications. We’re only grazed the tip of the iceberg with the visual refresh and with the creation of a system we’re now able to focus more on refining the UX of the products.