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Banco Sabadell: Digital efficiency by design

With an innovative design system, Banco Sabadell can make new apps faster—and build a better digital future.

Call for change

A digital dilemma

To meet consumer demand for web and mobile experiences, Spain’s Banco Sabadell wanted to deliver high-quality apps and tools with seamless, consistent experiences across all of their platforms. But an inefficient, outmoded approach to development was slowing things down. The solution: A custom-built design system.

Design systems are flexible, modular libraries of design elements and guidelines that connect user experience, visual design and product development. Because all of the elements are reusable and accessible, teams can work collaboratively by sharing parts of their creations to aid in the development of others.

A design system would allow Sabadell’s designers and developers to create new products and services more efficiently—and keep costs at bay. Working with Accenture, the bank set out to make it a reality.

When tech meets human ingenuity

One system, countless creations

The team called the system Galatea, a reference to artist Salvador Dalí’s “Galatea of the Spheres” painting. With Galatea, digital components and the code that accompanies them can be standardized—and therefore repurposed easily. As a centralized environment, it would also create consistency in all new projects across platforms, resulting in a smoother and more intuitive experience for customers.

To bring Galatea to life, Sabadell and Accenture worked together to not only design the system itself, but also to generate a governance model that would maintain the system and help it evolve over time. They built in best practices and brand guidelines that would keep each new product in line with customer expectations, and helped to aid a change in company culture so that Sabadell’s team would adopt and support the new system.

A valuable difference

Banking on the future

In 2022, Galatea provided support to 65 designers and developers across 56 projects and 55,000 hours of development time. Sabadell’s teams saw a 50% reduction in average development time for new products. From that new efficiency came €2.5M in cost savings for its business teams. Internally, Galatea allowed faster launches, better version control and easier onboarding of new team members. Externally, the system helped Sabadell improve its digital customer experience.

As a design system, Galatea is constantly evolving. Its participants not only take advantage of what exists within it, but add new creations and guidelines as needed for future use. Each addition makes it stronger. In this way, its growth is a team effort. In the same way, Sabadell’s digital transformation is ongoing—with Galatea as a new and important part of the bank’s digital whole.

The trust that Accenture Song provided us, thanks to its knowledge and prior experience in this type of change processes, was key, besides their ability to empathize with us as a client made us think that they were the right partner to go hand in hand with in this transformation.

Silver Bruna / Banco Sabadell Design Team Manager