A while ago I wrote a piece for the folks at Figma all about one of the best ways to evangelize your design system: pairing with designers and engineers. And in that piece I collected a ton of thoughts over the last year or so doing this work:
One of the hardest parts about building a design system is convincing other people to use it. It’s easy to fall into the “us vs. them” trap by constantly calling out “bad behavior”: Don’t use blue. Don’t put that there. Make sure that works on mobile. Don’t write CSS like that. This form is not accessible. Why did you need a new component there?
If you’re not careful, this attitude can lead to a poisonous culture in your design org. A design systems team needs to focus on more than just being right; they have to be helpful, too.
Right now I’m collecting all of these stray thoughts into a big ol’ talk that I’m cooking up about design systems. So if you happen to run a conference and you’re looking for someone to ramble passionately about these things for an hour then please get in touch. There will be hand-waving! There will be design system mistakes on display! There will be a lot of wholesome fonts!
Behold! My newsletter—sent infrequently—about new things that I’m working on. Every so often it’ll contain notes about web design and publishing things that I’m interested in, too.