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Transforming a Standards Organization with DesignOps

Think Company helped ASTM International modernize its suite of digital standards platforms and transformed its internal practices to incorporate design thinking.


ASTM is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards across a range of industries. ASTM provides access to over 13,000 standards that empower its members to build skyscrapers, develop innovative drug therapies, and more.

Think Company joined ASTM’s transformation and product development effort to provide our expertise in user experience, accessibility, and DesignOps. Our team supported a development effort that completely redesigned key experiences within ASTM’s content delivery and e-commerce platforms.


  • Standards & Compliance
  • Building & Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Pharma
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • And more
Two construction workers shake hands happily with two business people
Lab with HCPs working and typing
HCPs having a meeting while gathered at a table with papers and a laptop
Construction working holding blueprints and looking at a room

Initiating the Transformation Process

Our team started by designing a proof of concept prototype for ASTM’s premier product, Compass. Energized by these concepts and challenged by technical limitations across legacy systems, ASTM started the process of redeveloping its product suite as part of a larger digital transformation initiative. 

We did this by integrating Design Thinking principles into ASTM’s product teams. This looked like:

  • Performing divergent thinking workshops
  • Getting internal feedback from subject-matter experts, product owners, and sales
  • Collecting foundational customer research through in-depth interviews and design validation studies

This information helped guide the project and allowed our product partners to effectively prioritize the backlog for the eventual design and build.

standards interface displayed on computer

An Agile Approach to Product Development

Our Designers and Technologists worked in fully integrated Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) sprint teams beside a large development vendor to provide support with our global design system, researchOps, and front-end development and accessibility. 

By utilizing research and customer feedback loops, our team supported ASTM’s transition from big inflexible rollouts to nimble, customer-informed phased feature releases.

two construction workers on site looking at and gesturing to something out of frame

DesignOps Integration

First, we worked with ASTM to apply Design Thinking principles to their product delivery cycle. We introduced tools like Sketch, InVision, and Abstract for testing concepts and feature delivery and instituted a Kanban workflow for prioritizing work across teams. These tools also allow for rapid prototyping for user testing and version control, building flexibility into ASTM’s design process moving forward. 

image with three screenshots of a digital interface

Creating an Accessible Design System

We helped develop ASTM’s design system framework by building on an existing framework, Bootstrap. This allowed us to ramp up quickly, meet tight deadlines, and provide ASTM’s development team with detailed documentation. We applied our accessibility expertise to the design system, including a Confluence repository for documentation and a front-end component library in Storybook for cross-product deployment.

two HCPs look at a vial together in a lab

A Digitally Transformed Standards System

ASTM is launching a completely reimagined version of its premier standards app, Compass. They also have a fully-featured design system that is supporting similar transitions for their other digital products. 

After our work together, ASTM understands how to collect customer feedback to drive the continual improvement of their product suite. With a new design development infrastructure, the organization brings those innovations to market faster than ever before.

Think Company helped usher in a new age of design at ASTM during the largest technological overhaul in the history of our organization. Think helped design and develop a comprehensive design system, delivering a robust framework of front-end assets and operational processes for use by our development teams. Think’s designers worked alongside our product partners and development teams to help make choices that improved and defined scope and requirements for ease of implementation. The foundational work Think has done will set us up for success for years to come.

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