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Audiogyan (founded in 2016) is a collection of conversations with luminaries of the Indian creative world. It’s a passion project to document thoughts and ideas of Indian designers, artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, and luminaries of the creative world.


17: [ACS] Building Asphalt; Gojek’s design system with Abhinit Tiwari

Abhinit Tiwari is a designer and a programmer who has been building digital products for past 14 years. He is currently Heading the design team at Gojek. He founded Leftshift technologies where in he built products for BookMyShow, Airtel, Citrus, NH7 and many more. Leftshift was then acquired in 2016 by GO-JEK Indonesia. For those are not aware of Gojek is, it is Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand, multi-service tech platform providing access to a wide range of services including transport, payments, food delivery, logistics, and many more. Abhinit is here with us today to share his insights and learnings while building Asphalt; Gojek’s design system;
What is a design system? How is it different from a brand guidelines or Sticker sheet or pattern library or Front end framework?
How did the name Asphalt come about? What is the story behind “Salam satu aspal”?
Is asphalt based on Brad Frost atomic theory? Are there any other such theories? Did you hunt for more such theories?
Why did you feel the need of building a design system? What were the challenges before that triggered it?
What are building blocks of Asphalt? How long did it take to build it and what was the strategy before taking it on?
It is generally said that design system is a breathing document so when do you take out the ventilator? There have also been articles strongly recommending that it is not a side gig but a full time investment & commitment. How would you respond to that? One important myth associated with Design Systems is that it kills creatively. We have to work in a lot of constraints - How do you look at it?
How big is the team that handles Asphalt and how deeply front end is involved in this ongoing vertical? How big or small this team should be for a fast growing startup? Can you tell us the importance of making all organisms and molecules to be living things with code and not just static sketch or figma files?
Can you briefly tell us how did you build it? What were the key milestones and checks which gave the confidence of you going in the right direction? What was the process of validating your components to be modular and scalable?
Can you share details of any medium size project which got shipped effortlessly at Gojek because of Asphalt?
How critical is a buy-in from the top management and how did you go about doing it?
You can follow Abhinit on Twitter @abhinitial and me on @nimkarkedar and Audiogyan on @audiogyan
Oh, BTW, Gojek is hiring. Visit to know more.

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