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About Orbit

Orbit is an open-source design system created for specific needs of Kiwi.com and together with that – for needs of travel projects.

From Kiwi.com perspective, Orbit aims to bring order and consistency to Kiwi.com products and processes behind building them. We elevate user experience and increase the speed and efficiency of how we design and build products.

We opened our design system to everyone. As a company, we believe that by giving people resources to create travel products easily, we all will make travel better. Together.

Although the components are the core part of Orbit, we are not just another component library. We took years of experience of building travel product and baked it into our components – from accessibility or internalization to advanced theming or offering travel-specific components.

Principles behind Orbit

These are our values to which we refer when we build and maintain Orbit.

With absolute honesty – Orbit is not currently fully compliant with some of our principles, but we work on it every day. These principles help us to keep on track and be focused on the right things.

Find the best middle ground

There are 4 key aspects when working on Orbit. Our goal is to meet somewhere in the middle – so everything we do is not just consistent or composable, but improves the work of our designers and developers and is maintainable in the long-term.

Be transparent

Transparency is the key to success. That’s why we have a public roadmap and open feedback channels. But we are trying to go further. We document our design decisions, so we can reference to them in discussions and not reinvent the wheel again by discussing stuff repeatedly and without historical context.

Listen and react

The first and the most important part – nothing in Orbit wasn’t done without research. Listen to users, actively ask for feedback and act on users’ needs. When answering, provide enough context. Don’t let people wait for our answers – their job may be blocked by Orbit and they may rely on us to help them.

Make things simple and intuitive

Not many people read the documentation. Our goal is to make everything as simple as possible, ideally self-explanatory. We believe that consistency is followed closely by clarity. We encourage experimentation. We welcome new solutions. But, our focus is on using patterns and vocabulary that are familiar to our users.

Give users just enough control

The priority of our users will be always to deliver the feature they need to work on – and they expect Orbit to be a tool that just works. Give users delightful components, and provide enough flexibility in how to assemble them for the specific use case they have. Ensure consistency in visual interactions, but allow users to extend components by their own actions.

Guide with documentation

We decided to not document obvious things as is the visual style of components. The purpose of our documentation is to be a partner who will help solve a problem when people build with Orbit. We always aim to make our documentation available at the right moment and in the right context.

Set appropriate defaults

The best scenario is when users take our component and it works. There is no need to dive into deep waters of documentation for simple properties or to understand how that Sketch symbol works.