Design Systems

Over my career I have had the delight of being able to spearhead some of the first design systems at large and small organizations. I wrote this article featured in UX Magazine before design systems were fully established.

I am a big advocate of design systems and currently they are going to be even better with the support of data and AI. In an ever changing world, the system is only as good as the team that is using it. This is the biggest learning from helping build and scale 4 design systems at Pitney Bowes, Willis Towers Watson, Automox and Trimble.

Community contribution is critical, however a centralized, smart system needs to be planned wisely and able to adapt to change.

At Trimble, the need was to move to a more token based design system in Figma, and partner closely with the emerging and strongly led engineering centralized group. Their need was similar to Ford, but perhaps more complex with the extensive amount of aquisitions and industries to consider.

At Automox, we created a fun and innovative system with a small but mighty team of a design systems designer and a front end engineer that worked within the engineering organization.

At Willis Towers Watson, we created something that was focused on the needs of the HR Software line of business, that could easily scale as well.

At Pitney Bowes, we focused more on the community contributions with a diverse group of needs across industrial and digital platforms.

UX Ops

I have increasingly needed to bring in design and UX research operations as teams scale at organizations for several reasons. Design systems are the first tier of design ops, however, there are many functions of knowledge share and reuse that require operations. At both Automox and Trimble, I brought in UX research operations support so that we could create and share standard metrics, research methods, trainings and learnings as well as showcase, build and support client use cases to highlight and persona libraries. Without a way of centralizing and sharing this insight, it can be lost and recreated often. Creating a centralized research repository has been pivotal as well to help to organize, search, leverage and share user insights across research efforts and channels.