Design Systems

Design Systems Handbook, now on DesignBetter.Co

4 min read
Aarron Walter
  •  Nov 28, 2017
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The world’s best design teams use design systems. That’s because design systems solve the user experience fragmentation that happens when design teams scale and work across different products and platforms.

A design system unites product teams around a common visual languageTwitter Logo. It reduces design debt, accelerates the design process, and builds bridges between teams working in concert to bring products to life.

Inspired by the work of leaders who have gone through the design system journey, we’ve captured insights and first-hand experiences in a new book on DesignBetter.Co—Design Systems Handbook.

This book guides readers through the best practices and challenges of planning, designing, building, and implementing design systems. Published insights come from design leaders who’ve led design system projects at top companies:

  • Jina Anne, catalyst behind the Salesforce Lightning Design System, shares guidance on getting started. She also outlines how to arrange what can be a daunting project into manageable pieces.
  • Katie Sylor-Miller (Etsy) shares a detailed look at how a design system can evolve from a visual language to production-ready code
  • Diana Mounter (GitHub) examines the challenge of putting a design system into play in a large organization
  • Marco Suarez, formerly on the Etsy design systems team and now part of InVision’s design systems team, pushes design systems past components—into principles, voice and tone, and more
  • Roy Stanfield of Airbnb’s design systems team paints a picture showcasing the future of design systems. He elaborates on content- and context-aware components that can be adapted to new platforms and use cases. I want to live in Roy’s world of the future!

To top off the all-star cast of contributors, seasoned design systems veteran Nathan Curtis served as our technical editor. His expertise helped ensure all the advice was sound and field ready.

As we’ve done with the first 3 books, each chapter in Design Systems Handbook comes with video and audio interviews from industry experts—from Shopify, Apple, Google, and more.

We spoke with Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain who leads Shopify’s Polaris design systems team, Lori Kaplan who worked on the Macintosh HIG, Richard Fulcher of the Google Material Design team, and the entire design systems teams at Twitter and LinkedIn.

The interviews alone are fascinating. But we’ve thoughtfully tucked them in the book to help you see key concepts from the perspective of companies that have blazed the design systems trail.

We’re tremendously grateful to the talented people who contributed to this book. Whether you’re kickstarting a new design system or accelerating an existing one, we hope Design Systems Handbook becomes essential reading for your team.

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