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Who uses Carbon?

Carbon is for each and every member of a cross-functional team—designers, developers, marketers and offering managers. Every point along a user’s journey needs to feel part of a holistic, branded experience and that’s where Carbon comes in.


Designers are passionate advocates for users, and Carbon helps them provide value to our users with accessible, fully-tested assets and guidance that designers can rely on to create cohesive experiences that are in line with other business units.

How Carbon helps designers

Carbon supports designers with the tools to build excellent experiences for our users that are consistent, delightful, and thoughtful. Designers can quickly create tailored solutions for our clients, drawing on Carbon’s reusable kit of parts. This saves valuable time that can be spent on innovating new solutions.

In addition, Carbon enables product and .com designers across the organization to explore and deliver the full potential of a design, leveraging the work of other teams where possible, avoiding redesign and duplication of efforts, keeping the focus on the distinct client use cases.

Here are some ways designers can begin engaging with Carbon.

Learn the system

Get the tools

  • Visit Designing > Getting Started on the Carbon website and install the design kits.

  • Visit the Other Resources page on the Carbon website to find other useful tools and kit extensions like the Mobile Sketch kit and the Master Data Visualization file.

Connect with the team

  • Find meetups for leveling up your skills, connecting with your peers, and getting reviews on work in progress.

  • If you’re confused or if you’ve spotted an inconsistency, reach out on our IBM Slack channels. At this time, the Slack channels are for IBMers only.

  • Make a GitHub issue when you find a bug or want to request a feature.

Keep up with the latest

Contribute back to Carbon

  • Contribute component and/or pattern enhancements, or create new assets, stewarded by the Carbon team.

  • Author usage documentation for patterns and components.

  • Create tooling, especially as related to design kits in various frameworks.

  • Explore scalable system logic such as token additions or inline theming.

  • Connect with the Carbon team to share work in progress and assess its suitability for universal guidance.


Carbon provides developers with the tools they need to build more product in less time, while saving them from the mind-numbing work of creating the same base components over and over again.

How Carbon helps developers

By leveraging Carbon’s pre-built assets, developers free themselves (and their backlogs) up to do the innovative work that inspires them and ultimately elevates the user experience for our clients.

Developers can create products that are cohesive with other business units—high-quality, consistent, and robust front-end experiences that share the IBM brand.

Here are some ways developers can begin engaging with Carbon.

Learn the system

Get the tools

Connect with the team

Keep up with the latest

Contribute back to Carbon

  • Contribute component and pattern enhancements or create new assets, stewarded by the Carbon team.

  • Author developer documentation for patterns and components.

  • Create any relevant tooling to help developers within your PAL community or the wider community build more efficiently with Carbon.

  • As you learn and grow give back to the community in the support channels.


Carbon allows teams to build excellent experiences that differentiate IBM from the competition.

Products and experiences built with Carbon provide an interoperability of experience and visuals across products. More complex multiproduct stories are easier to tell when product experiences are in lock step.

Here are some ways marketers can begin engaging with Carbon:

Product managers

Carbon accelerates team productivity and time to market. It improves business outcomes such as increased lifetime value, revenue, NPS, and decreased churn. Teams using Carbon have also won awards in both the product and the digital realms.

Here are some ways product managers can begin engaging with Carbon:

  • Stay current with Carbon’s releases and roadmap to prioritize upgrading Carbon’s new assets, upstream fixes, designer/developer workflow improvements, and tooling enhancements.

  • Provide the Carbon team with adoption and migration feedback, as well as measured product performance with regard to Carbon, providing a healthy collaboration loop. Here are some migration worksheets and other resources.


Multiproduct stories are easier to tell and sell when product experiences work together seamlessly. Suites of products built on the same foundation, that have the same interactions are a dream to demo.

Carbon also extends IBM iX’s capabilities, allowing iX customers to implement and customize Carbon, showcasing its adaptability as a white-label design system.

Here are some ways people in sales can begin engaging with Carbon:

  • Consultants who are selling digital solutions to clients should understand the benefits of Carbon for rapid prototyping, demo’ing and building.

  • Our IBM consultants are the champions of third party Carbon use. Carbon looks to them for the following:

    • Creating case studies that highlight the effective use and benefits of Carbon.
    • Providing information about gaps in third party capabilities, as well as prioritized client requests.
  • Stay up to date with Carbon’s roadmap and releases.


Product experiences that are built on the same foundation and work together seamlessly to reduce cognitive load for users, thereby reducing user errors and questions, and significantly reducing the need for support.

Consistent experiences also result in less need for extensive training and onboarding resources; learning can be leveraged across multiple spaces.

Here are some ways people in support roles can begin engaging with Carbon: