Weighing outcomes over output from design system teams.

drafting instruments on top of table

If you work with design systems, here’s a scenario that may sound familiar:

You got buy-in to create a new design system, likely based on the promise of increasing the productivity of designers and front-end developers and improving speed to market.

You built a component library, UI toolkit, and documentation…

Lessons learned from launching a new design system.

Backstory

I joined the digital design systems team at REI in May 2018, about a month ahead of a planned MVP launch of a shiny new design system.

As the Product Manager, my initial objectives were to lead communication around the launch and drive adoption of the system parts and pieces…

How do we evolve our systems over time?

sculpture of Lady Justice blindfolded and holding balance scales

Once a design system is up and running, how do we evolve it to bring in new patterns or best practices? What do we tell our users when they can’t find something they need in the system, or are tempted to break a pattern for their specific use case? …

What I’ve learned from Toastmasters about becoming a better public speaker (hint: it takes practice)

silver corded microphone in shallow focus

Are you terrified by the thought of giving a speech? When speaking up in front of a crowd, are you hit with a jolt of anxiety that causes your heart to race and your hands to start sweating or trembling?

Do you wish you felt more confident speaking up in…

Using human conversation patterns to design more natural digital interactions

silhouette of man and woman sitting on ottoman

We increasingly rely on digital systems to either mediate or replace human communications. But often, these experiences feel clunky and impersonal, or even scammy and deceptive.

Asking Alexa to add something to my shopping cart is a breeze:

“Hey Alexa, add bananas to my shopping list.”

“Okay, I’ve added bananas…

How little bits of code can improve the design process

Does this sound familiar?

A seemingly-straightforward digital project, like a website redesign or brand update, takes longer than expected and you’re not quite sure why?

I think most of us working in tech have been there. …

A thoughtful design system can be a powerful foundation for future growth

To keep pace with new technology and digital platforms, organizations are increasingly turning to systems to help scale and cultivate a healthy environment for growth.

Digital product development teams have adopted successful systems from other areas to build efficiently at scale —including applying principles and tactics from Agile software development…

How the Internet of Value enables better working relationships for freelancers and protects content creators

worm’s-eye-view of white concrete building

The state of blockchain technology today is often compared to the internet in the early 1990s — we’re still in the early innings. While the internet transformed how we share information and connect, blockchain is now transforming how we exchange value and who we trust.

A new vision for the…

In today’s flooded markets for products and services, it’s increasingly difficult to stand out in the sea of noise and stay competitive.

Consumers have ever higher standards and expectations — as they should — and are quick to abandon any product or service that is confusing, slow, or doesn’t meet…

Technology needs design — more than ever

User-centered design thinking principles can help new startups attract and retain users and can make or break a project. But the topics of UX design and customer experience seem to be at the bottom of the priority list for most blockchain startups.

In the dawn of the blockchain era, forward-looking…

Maya Hampton

Digital professional, creative life. Product manager for design systems at REI.

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