I enjoy design systems, tools, and processes. More importantly, I like looking at ways to improve collaboration and improving communication; I love community and people. It’s why I love design systems in the first place. Because design systems are for people.
Be open, inclusive, and community-driven. Open source. Share what you learn.
“There is no design system”. 😜 Or, rather than only focusing on the artifact (a style guide website, UI Kit, pattern library, etc) — see Design Systems is a continuous way of thinking & working.
Technology stacks and tools come and go. Be agnostically-minded and future-proof.
Anyone should be empowered to contribute to design systems.
Close gaps (rather than simply bridging them).
Design Systems are more successful with cross-functional skills represented.
There is no need to “bucket” someone to focus only on design or only on engineering. Let people shine by using their diverse range of skills.
The “design” in design systems is to solve problems for the overall experience. Everyone impacts that.
Designers who code and coders who design are able to show their work in exciting ways. Let’s embrace that.
To get buy-in, don’t just talk about potential. Show examples and concepts. Prove it with visible outcomes and incremental progress.
Rather than aiming for massive impact that takes awhile, focus on the incremental wins. The smaller success stories cultivate adoption faster.
Share the vision with everyone. (Posters can help!)
I’ve been designing and developing professionally for 19 years (and longer as a hobby for 23 years). I created my first design system 16 years ago.
I was a Senior Design Systems and Design Operations Lead and Project Manager for Amazon Honeycode, a new no-code product.
I was also the founding Lead Designer on the Salesforce Lightning Design System. During my time at Salesforce, I also led the overall Salesforce UX community and evangelism efforts, by acting as Editor-in-Chief for the Salesforce UX blog, managing the social media accounts, organizing and setting up sponsorships for meet ups and conferences, and coordinating speakers.
I led the CSS architecture and style guide for the Apple Online Store.
Through consulting, I’ve worked on projects including IBM’s Carbon Design System, a large global airline, a large pharmaceutical company, JustWorks, Spotify’s Encore Design System, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, Mass.gov, FedEx, and International Paper.
Start Up Advisory Boards: Haiku and Jobroo
Workshops, Public Speaking (13 years), Writing (several published articles and co-authored three books)
Freelance partnerships with Superfriendly, Group of Humans, NineLabs, and Josh Silverman