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Design Systems: Communication in a Crisis

Design systems help you COPE in a crisis: Create Once, Publish Everywhere

Illustration of a laptop with a dialog box with an exclamation point on the screen

Life comes at you fast, and when a crisis strikes institutions need to be able to rapidly update their digital channels to serve up relevant, necessary information for their audiences. For a website, a marketer’s best friend is a design system. Design systems help marketing teams COPE: Create Once, Publish Everywhere. 

A design system is a set of elements, components and templates that website owners can use to edit existing pages or construct new ones. Because a design system is modular, it’s simple for a content admin to add a new feature to the homepage - no need to build an entirely new page. Our design systems also typically include a few page templates, which makes it easy to rapidly spin up a new landing page. And of course, our design systems include a site-wide alert banner.

Palantir has built more than 40 design systems, and here are some stellar examples showing how those systems are helping three of our clients COPE with COVID-19:

Homepage COVID-19 Response Strategy


HonorHealth is a community health system serving Phoenix, AZ. Their top priority is to get information on COVID-19 out to worried people. The HonorHealth team mobilized to completely rethink their homepage content, and as a result visitors can now rapidly:

  • Start a COVID-19 symptom check
  • Chat with a medical expert about symptoms
  • Learn when to seek COVID-19 care
  • Find community and services for COVID-19 support
  • Donate supplies to caregivers

Screenshot of HonorHeath's homepage

Landing Page Creation 

Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)

ETF is a state agency that administers a whole host of benefits for government employees and retirees, including health insurance and income continuation insurance. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak their website team has created a primary landing page for COVID-19 with links out to topic-specific landing pages for health benefits and retirement benefits, as well as department news. These new landing pages are helping ETF's different audiences find specific, relevant information to help them navigate the crisis.

Screenshot of ETF's Q&A for Emploers: WRS Benefits and COVID-19 page

Site-Wide Alerts 

Northcentral Technical College

The site-wide alert banner is the “old reliable” of design system tools for high priority communications. Our client Northcentral Technical College is using their alert to direct visitors to a COVID-19 landing page, which means they can maintain the strategic focus of the homepage and other pages while still directing visitors to the most up to date information. 

Scfeenshot of Northcentral Technical College's homepage with COVID-19 banner

Almost every site Palantir has built over the past 6 years has a component-based design system in place, and as a result our clients are able to quickly create new pages and edit existing pages to communicate effectively. 

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