Posts in Design Systems
Creating and Evolving a Cross-Platform System at Scale

The design challenges we face are becoming larger in scale and and more complex. As designers and developers, we need more systematic and abstracted methods to continue building great products.

The past couple of years, Airbnb has been systemizing UI design & development on web and mobile platforms with a design language system (DLS). In this talk, Karri Saarinen, Principal Designer at Airbnb discusses what are their learnings and challenges in creating and evolving a cross-platform system for a large, fast growing and design lead product company.

Getting Your Design System Off The Ground

Introducing a design system successfully doesn’t happen overnight. It often takes months, if not years, to create full adoption and use of your system. In it’s early stages your system can feel like it isn’t working or providing value. So, how do you get your design system up and running?

In this talk, Joey Zingarelli, Product Designer at Pinterest, shares practical tips on how to get your team designing and building your product within a new set of rules and guidelines. He talks about how to avoid the pitfalls of enforcement and get your system to empower, rather than hinder, your team.

You vs. The Design System They Told You Not to Worry About

While some companies have full-time teams of designers and developers, some can only do design systems work in their spare time. As an individual contributor, you may feel pressured to be a great engineer as well as hone your visual and interactions skills—or maybe you enjoy both but find companies often make you choose one over the other?

Despite being in the fortunate position of working with full-time design systems team, Diana Mounter, Design Systems Manager at GitHub, is not immune from feeling imposter syndrome or envy towards design systems team. Diana will share some real-talk behind design systems work, taking a look at industry examples in comparison to her own experiences, how they strive to do things at GitHub and what the future might hold.

Designing a Comprehensive Color System

Color is subjective, emotional, and complex. How do you design a cohesive color system for your product that is both emotive and branded, but also usable, accessible, and flexible enough for the future?

In this talk, Linda will take you through how their design systems team at Lyft took a mathematical approach to build Lyft’s new color system (Spectrum). 

Linda shared how they created a color system that both designers and engineers can understand, the tools they made to develop and share their palettes, and how they approached a scalable system built to take Lyft through future brand refreshes and app redesigns.

The System Always Kicks Back

Congratulations! You’ve launched a design system. Everyone loves it. Everything is great! But… Now what? Lucky for you, building a successful system is just the first step.

Last year, Shopify launched Polaris — a multi-year effort that brought Shopify’s experience together. In this talk, Kyle uses examples from ongoing efforts with the UX team at Shopify to keep Polaris working.

He covers how we’ve grown the system and the challenges we’ve encountered along the way. He talks about scaling the team and scaling the system while making sure it all doesn't fall apart. Through it all, he shared some light on the new problems you should expect after you build a successful system at your company.


About the Speaker

Kyle Peatt | Director of UX at Shopify | @kpeatt

Kyle enjoys problems. Lucky for him, leading Product UX at Shopify provides plenty of opportunities to think about complicated interconnected problems and try to come up with simple, powerful solutions.  As Director of UX, Kyle leads interdisciplinary teams across content, research, design, and front-end development to create great experiences to help Shopify’s hundreds of thousands of merchants. He also enjoys a good game of crib.

 
Thinking in Symbols for Universal Design

Benjamin’s talk touches on the internationalization and localization of design elements, and how might we design with consistency for multiple interface targets like Android, iOS, Virtual Reality, or even Natural Language interfaces. He’ll dive into how to apply the same techniques and principles to design a chatbot, or a telephone autoresponder, or confidently design for 90 different languages.

In this talk, Benjamin shared some examples of how Airbnb is already doing this, some predictions of where this is going, and wrap up with some practical takeaways.


About the Speaker

Benjamin Wilkins | Design Technologist @AirBnB | @ thatbenlifetho

Benjamin Wilkins is a founding member of the Design Technology team at AirBnB, working on scaling design through systems, tools, and emerging technology. Prior to working at AirBnB, he worked cross-functionally with a number of early stage startups before partnering to start This is After, a design collective focused on generative design and identities.

Introducing Design Systems into Chaos

There are often multiple variations of button styles and hundreds of lines of code written by multiple contributors before a company starts to build design systems, and few companies start with a dedicated full-time team. So when you do get to focus on systems, what's the most valuable way to spend your time?

Diana will be sharing practical examples on where to begin to set up a design system, what to prioritize, and how to make a big impact to customers and colleagues, to help you introduce systems that bring order to chaos.


About the speaker

Diana Mounter | Design Systems Lead @GitHub | @ broccolini

Diana is a product designer based in Brooklyn, NY, and organizer for the NYC Design Systems Coalition. She works for GitHub and leads their design systems team- the team responsible for building and maintaining GitHub's CSS framework, Primer. Before joining GitHub, Diana helped re-design Etsy’s seller tools, taught new designers how to push code, and was part of a small team that rebuilt the style guide.